Hernandez v. State

Decision Date16 May 1932
Docket NumberCriminal 771
Citation40 Ariz. 200,11 P.2d 356
PartiesEUTROPIO HERNANDEZ, Appellant, v. STATE, Respondent
CourtArizona Supreme Court

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. Howard C. Speakman, Judge. Judgment affirmed.

Mr William J. Fellows, for Appellant.

Mr. K Berry Peterson, Attorney General, Mr. J. R. McDougall Assistant Attorney General, and Mr. Lloyd J. Andrews, County Attorney, for the State.

OPINION

LOCKWOOD, J.

Eutropio Hernandez, hereinafter called appellant, was convicted in the superior court of Maricopa county for the crime of selling intoxicating liquor, and has brought his case before us for review. There is but one point raised in the appeal, and a statement of the facts preceding the trial is all that is necessary for the proper understanding of the issue involved.

Appellant was informed against on the 3d of July, 1931. He was arraigned on the 13th of July, being represented at that time by his present counsel, William J. Fellows. The reading of the information was waived, and the appellant entered a plea of not guilty, and the court thereupon set the case for trial for the twenty-fourth day of September. Neither appellant nor his counsel then or afterwards made any objection to the date of trial fixed by the court, until September 22d, when appellant filed a motion to dismiss the prosecution upon the ground that the case had not been brought to trial within sixty days after the filing of the information, as required by the provisions of section 5204, Revised Code of 1928. The motion was denied, and the court proceeded to try the case over the objection of appellant, finding him guilty as charged, and sentencing him to pay a fine of $100, and be imprisoned for four months in the county jail.

Motions in arrest of judgment and for new trial, based on the same grounds as the motion to dismiss, were duly filed and denied by the court, and the matter is now before us on appeal.

Section 24, article 2 of the Constitution of Arizona provides:

"In criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right . . . to have a speedy public trial. . . ."

This constitutional provision has been made more specific by the legislature in section 5204, supra, which reads, so far as material, as follows:

"§ 5204. Dismissal for want of prosecution. The court, unless good cause to the contrary is shown, must order the prosecution to be dismissed . . . if a defendant, whose trial has not been postponed upon his application, is not brought to trial within sixty days after the finding of the indictment or the filing of the information."

It is evident from the foregoing recital of facts that the defendant was not tried within the sixty days set forth in section 5204, supra.

We have held in the case of In re Von Feldstein, 17 Ariz. 245, 150 P. 235, in construing section 1274, Penal Code of 1913, which is verbatim the same as section 5204, supra, that the statute is imperative, and that the court, unless good cause to the contrary is shown, must order the prosecution to be dismissed; and, further, that the state must bear the burden of showing such good cause for postponement beyond the period fixed by law. See, also, Yule v. State, 16 Ariz. 134, 141 P. 570; In re Begerow, 133 Cal. 349, 85 Am. St. Rep. 178, 56 L.R.A. 513, 65 P. 828; People v. Morino, 85 Cal. 515, 24 P. 892; Ex parte Ford, 160 Cal. 339, Ann. Cas. 1912D 1267, 35 L.R.A. (N.S.) 882, 116 P. 757.

Unless, therefore, it appears affirmatively from the record in this case that there was good cause for the delay, it was the duty of the lower court to dismiss the prosecution.

On examining the reporter's transcript, we find the following statement made by the trial judge in regard to his reason for refusing to dismiss:

"There is now and has been for some ten or fifteen years a rule in this court that no jury trial shall be held during July and August, and this Court was following the rule of Court. . . ."

"In other words, if we have to try these men during July and August I want the Supreme Court to say so."

Obviously the "good cause shown" was the custom of the court not to hold jury trials during July and August. Does this satisfy the statute? The question of good cause has been before the courts of many of the states, and the decisions thereon are varying. We have found none, nor have we been cited any, that are strictly on all-fours with the case at bar. We think, however, the principle applicable is well stated in the case of Ex parte Caples, Miss. 358, as follows:

"A judge has no right, upon such an issue, to consult the desires or interests of particular classes of the community, so long as there remains one prisoner in custody who demands to be tried, nor even to subordinate the rights of the imprisoned to the mere wishes of the entire community. There must be some grave public necessity to warrant the prolongation in confinement of those who demand that speedy trial which the Constitution guarantees to the humblest citizen."

No rule or custom of court can set aside a positive statute especially when it involves the protection of a constitutional right conferred upon the individual citizen. This court will take judicial notice that during the months of July and August, the weather in Maricopa county is extremely hot, and it is very uncomfortable both for a trial judge and a...

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16 cases
  • Pines v. District Court in and for Woodbury County
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • July 27, 1943
    ... ... petitioner's attorney, in the presence of Judge Prichard, ... who had charge of the criminal division, that the State was ... ready to proceed with the trial of the second indictment. Mr ... Margolin then told the Court that he was going to file the ... motion to ... petitioner. See comment in Ex parte Van Garner, 134 Kan. 410, ... 5 P.2d 821. As said in Hernandez v. State, 40 Ariz. 200, 11 ... P.2d 356, 357: "The constitutional and statutory ... provisions involved herein were not meant to shield the ... ...
  • Autrey v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Appeals
    • June 27, 1967
    ...385; State v. Holloway, 147 Conn. 22, 156 A.2d 466, and State v. Thompson, 38 Wash.2d 774, 232 P.2d 87. The case of Hernandez v. State, 40 Ariz. 200, 11 P.2d 356, aptly states as 'The constitutional and statutory provisions involved herein were not meant to shield the guilty man who sits si......
  • State v. Huckaby
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Common Pleas
    • August 5, 1997
    ...trial grounds. The court of appeals, in affirming the denial of the speedy trial claim, quoted from the case of Hernandez v. State (1932), 40 Ariz. 200, 205, 11 P.2d 356, 357-358, as follows: " 'The constitutional and statutory provisions involved herein were not meant to shield the guilty ......
  • Ramsdell v. Langlois
    • United States
    • Rhode Island Supreme Court
    • February 21, 1966
    ...not now be permitted, upon the occurrence of the event of which they were forewarned, to claim that rights were violated. Hernandez v. State, 40 Ariz. 200, 11 P.2d 356; People v. Washburn, 285 Mich. 119, 280 N.W. 132, 123 A.L.R. Although for the reasons indicated Ramsdell is not entitled to......
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