Geary v. People

Decision Date10 January 1871
CourtMichigan Supreme Court
PartiesEdward S. Geary v. The People

Heard January 4, 1871

Error to Eaton circuit.

Judgment reversed, and a new trial granted.

Shaw & Pennington, for plaintiff in error.

Dwight May, attorney-general, and W. N. Brown, for defendant in error.

OPINION

Campbell Ch. J.

The plaintiff in error was charged with an assault with intent to commit rape, and was convicted of an assault. He alleges error upon certain rulings on evidence, and upon the charge of the court.

There was one general exception to the entire charge of the court pointing out no particular matters complained of in it. It is very well settled that exceptions to a charge should be specific enough to show what parts of it are regarded as erroneous, or how it injuriously affects the rights of the party excepting. This rule is not controverted by the plaintiff as applicable under the old law; but it is suggested that under the law of 1869, requiring charges to be written, the charge becomes a part of the record, and is reviewable as an entirety.

There is no change brought about by that law in the nature or functions of a charge. It merely substitutes a written charge for an oral one. But the charge, as we held at the last term, in Hunter v. Parsons, can only be brought before us as it would have been formerly, by exceptions or case made. And the exceptions taken to it must be taken in the same way now as before. Its object is merely to give the jury proper instructions, and, in very many cases, without the explanation of surrounding circumstances, its correctness could not be determined at all. The bill of exceptions, if properly drawn, will show how far it is applicable to the facts shown on the trial, and what effect it may have been capable of in that application. But the record, aside from the bill, will not generally furnish all the means requisite for understanding its bearings on the controversy. We think the general exception taken must be disregarded.

The only errors properly assigned relate to the exclusion of certain testimony, designed to impeach the credit of the complaining witness. She had denied having had conversations with various persons concerning her expectation of receiving some profit out of the trial. She said she did not state to Ellen Pratt and Etta Conly that when she got through with Geary she could dress as well as they, for she would have three hundred dollars out of him; and said she never heard anything about three hundred dollars until that day. She denied saying to Mrs. Pratt "that if the case was ever going to be tried she wanted it tried right away, for she wanted whatever she should get out of it before she died."

When the defendant...

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38 cases
  • Commonwealth v. Craig
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Superior Court
    • January 21, 1902
    ...207; 22 N.E. 990; Johnson v. Wiley, 74 Ind. 233; Starks v. People, 5 Denio, 108; Snelling's Will, 136 N.Y. 515; 32 N.E. 1006; Geary v. People, 22 Mich. 220; Hamilton v. People, 29 Mich. 173; Helwig Lascowski, 82 Mich. 619; 46 N.W. 1033; Tolbert v. Burke, 89 Mich. 132; 50 N.W. 803; Day v. St......
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    • December 9, 1922
    ...the case on trial and the defendant. 30 Am. & Eng. Ency. Law, p. 1102; 40 Cyc. 2684; Pennington v. K. C. Rys. Co., 213 S.W. 137; Gearry v. People, 22 Mich. 220; Hastings Stetson, 130 Mass. 76; Kidd v. Ward, 91 Iowa 371. This evidence showed Rachel to be a corrupt witness and was admissible.......
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