Gaines v. State of Washington, No. 841

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtTAFT
Citation48 S.Ct. 468,277 U.S. 81,72 L.Ed. 793
Docket NumberNo. 841
Decision Date14 May 1928
PartiesGAINES v. STATE OF WASHINGTON

277 U.S. 81
48 S.Ct. 468
72 L.Ed. 793
GAINES

v.

STATE OF WASHINGTON.

No. 841.
Submitted April 23, 1928.
Decided May 14, 1928.

Page 82

Mr. W. P. Guthrie, of Seattle, Wash., for plaintiff in error.

Mr. Ewing D. Colvin, of Seattle, Wash., for defendant in error.

Mr. Chief Justice TAFT delivered the opinion of the Court.

The defendant was charged by information with the crime of murder in the first degree in the superior court of King county in the state of Washington. The trial resulted in a verdict of guilty as charged, and a finding by the jury that the death penalty should be inflicted. Motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were made and overruled, and the judgment was entered upon the verdict.

The defendant appealed to the Supreme Court of the state. That court, after a consideration of the errors claimed to have been committed on the trial, affirmed the judgment and sentence. 144 Wash. 446, 258 P. 508. Final judgment was entered January 18, 1928. On February 6, 1928, a petition for a writ of error from this court was presented to the Chief

Page 83

Justice of the Supreme Court of the state. He allowed the writ, and it was accordingly issued. In accordance with our practice, the clerk brought to the attention of the court the fact that this was a criminal case, and was therefore to be expedited. An examination of the assignments of error and the record disclosed that the writ of error was improvidently allowed. The only law under which such a writ of error would lie was section 237(a) of the Judicial Code, as amended by the Act of February 13, 1925 (chapter 229, 43 Stat. 936, 937; 28 USCA § 344(a), which read as follows:

'A final judgment or decree in any suit in the highest court of a state in which decision in the suit could be had, where is drawn in question the validity of a treaty or statute of the United States, and the decision is against its validity; or where is drawn, in question the validity of a statute of any state, on the ground of its being repugnant to the Constitution, treaties, or laws of the United States, and the decision is in favor of its validity, may be reviewed by the Supreme Court upon a writ of error.'

The record and the assignments of error do not show that there was here drawn in question the validity of a treaty or statute of the United States, or the validity of a statute of the state of Washington on the ground of its being repugnant to the Constitution, treaties, or laws of the United States. It followed that the writ of error would have to be dismissed. Thereupon the court entered, March 19, 1928, a rule against the plaintiff in error, Wallace C. Gaines, to show cause before this court on April 23d, why, treating the writ of error inadvertently allowed in this cause as a petition for writ of certiorari herein, certiorari should not be denied for lack of a substantial federal question in the record giving this court jurisdiction. 276 U. S. 607, 48 S. Ct. 339, 72 L. Ed. —.

The order to show cause was issued in view of section 237(c) of the Code of Judicial Procedure, as amended by

Page 84

the Act of February 13, 1925 (chapter 229, 43 Stat. 936, 938; 28 USCA § 344(c). That paragraph is as follows:

'If a writ of error be improvidently sought and allowed under this section in a case where the proper mode of invoking a review is by a petition for certiorari, this alone shall not be a ground for dismissal; but the papers whereon the writ of error was allowed shall be regarded and acted on as a petition for certiorari and as if duly presented to the Supreme Court at the time they were presented to the court or judge by whom the writ of error was allowed: Provided, that where in such a case there appears to be no reasonable ground for granting a petition for certiorari it shall be competent for the Supreme Court to adjudge to the respondent reasonable damages for his delay, and single or double costs, as provided in section 1010 of the Revised Statutes.'

In obedience to the rule, the petitioner, Wallace C. Gaines, has filed a return, in which he avers that the first federal question upon which he asks a writ of certiorari arises because of the action of the trial judge, as shown by the record as follows:

'At the close of the afternoon...

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200 practice notes
  • State Ex Rel. Cosner v. See, No. 9910.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • March 4, 1947
    ...States has consistently held that this amendment does not apply to the trial of criminal prosecutions by a State, Gaines v. Washington, 277 U.S. 81, 48 S. Ct. 468, 72 L.Ed. 793; and that the first ten amendments to the Federal Constitution apply only to the procedure and the trial of causes......
  • United States ex rel. Bennett v. Rundle, No. 17407.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • December 5, 1969
    ...denied him the right under the Sixth Amendment to a "public trial."10 At the outset it must be acknowledged that in Gaines v. Washington, 277 U.S. 81, 48 S.Ct. 468, 72 L.Ed. 793 (1928), the Supreme Court held that the public trial provision of the Sixth Amendment did not apply to state proc......
  • Bute v. People of State of Illinois, No. 398
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 19, 1948
    ...at the instance of a public officer. Hurtado v. California, 110 U.S. 516, 4 S.Ct. 111, 292, 28 L.Ed. 232; Gaines v. Washington, 277 U.S. 81, 86, 48 S.Ct. 468, 470, 72 L.Ed. 793. The Fifth Amendment provides also that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against ......
  • United States ex rel. Epton v. Nenna, No. 68 Civ. 461.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • October 5, 1970
    ...people — e.g., law-trained prosecutors. Lem Woon v. Oregon, 229 U.S. 586, 33 S.Ct. 783, 57 L.Ed. 1340 (1913); Gaines v. Washington, 277 U.S. 81, 86, 48 S.Ct. 468, 72 L.Ed. 793 (1928); Beck v. Washington, 369 U.S. 541, 545, 82 S.Ct. 955, 8 L.Ed.2d 98 (1962). This does not mean, of course, th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
200 cases
  • State Ex Rel. Cosner v. See, No. 9910.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • March 4, 1947
    ...States has consistently held that this amendment does not apply to the trial of criminal prosecutions by a State, Gaines v. Washington, 277 U.S. 81, 48 S. Ct. 468, 72 L.Ed. 793; and that the first ten amendments to the Federal Constitution apply only to the procedure and the trial of causes......
  • United States ex rel. Bennett v. Rundle, No. 17407.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • December 5, 1969
    ...denied him the right under the Sixth Amendment to a "public trial."10 At the outset it must be acknowledged that in Gaines v. Washington, 277 U.S. 81, 48 S.Ct. 468, 72 L.Ed. 793 (1928), the Supreme Court held that the public trial provision of the Sixth Amendment did not apply to state proc......
  • Bute v. People of State of Illinois, No. 398
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 19, 1948
    ...at the instance of a public officer. Hurtado v. California, 110 U.S. 516, 4 S.Ct. 111, 292, 28 L.Ed. 232; Gaines v. Washington, 277 U.S. 81, 86, 48 S.Ct. 468, 470, 72 L.Ed. 793. The Fifth Amendment provides also that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against ......
  • United States ex rel. Epton v. Nenna, No. 68 Civ. 461.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • October 5, 1970
    ...people — e.g., law-trained prosecutors. Lem Woon v. Oregon, 229 U.S. 586, 33 S.Ct. 783, 57 L.Ed. 1340 (1913); Gaines v. Washington, 277 U.S. 81, 86, 48 S.Ct. 468, 72 L.Ed. 793 (1928); Beck v. Washington, 369 U.S. 541, 545, 82 S.Ct. 955, 8 L.Ed.2d 98 (1962). This does not mean, of course, th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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