In re Eckart. riginal, No. 14

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtWHITE
Citation166 U.S. 481,17 S.Ct. 638,41 L.Ed. 1085
PartiesIn re ECKART. riginal
Decision Date19 April 1897
Docket NumberO,No. 14

166 U.S. 481
17 S.Ct. 638
41 L.Ed. 1085
In re ECKART.
No. 14, Original.
April 19, 1897.

Rublee A. Cole, for petitioner.

W. H. Mylrea, for espondent.

Mr. Justice WHITE delivered the opinion of the court.

This is an application for the allowance of a writ of habeas corpus, to obtain the discharge of the petitioner from an alleged unlawful imprisonment in the Wisconsin State Prison.

From the statements in the petition and return, it appears that petitioner has been detained in custody since April 13, 1878, under a judgment of the circuit court of Jefferson county, Wis., entered upon a verdict of a jury finding him 'guilty,' after trial had, upon an information which charged Eckart with having, 'on the 13th day of December in the year 1877, at Jefferson county, state of Wisconsin, unlawfully, feloniously, and of his malice aforethought killed and murdered Charles Paterson, against the peace and dignity of the state of Wisconsin.' The ground relied upon to establish that the imprisonment, under the judgment referred to, was unlawful, is that, under the laws of Wisconsin, murder is divided into three degrees, the punishment varying according to the degree, and that, as the verdict in question failed to specify the degree

Page 482

of murder of which the accused was found guilty, the trial court was without jurisdiction to pass sentence and judgment upon the accused, and the deprivation of liberty under such judgment is without due process of law.

It also appears from the statements in the petition and answer to the rule that in September, 1893, Eckart unsuccessfully applied to the supreme court of Wisconsin for the allowance of a writ of habeas corpus, asserting in his petition the same detention and the same grounds for his right to release as is relied upon in the present application, and that in his petition to the Wisconsin court he specially set up that the was restrained of his liberty 'contrary to the constitution of the United States and laws enacted thereunder, and without the due process of law guarantied by the fourteenth amendment to that instrument.'

It has been held by the supreme court of Wisconsin that, under the statutes of that state, an allegation of the commission of crime in language such as was employed in the information upon which Eckart was tried would justify a conviction of murder in either the first, second, or third degree, and it has also been there held that the jury must find the degree in their verdict, in order that the court may impose the proper punishment. Hogan v. State, 30 Wis. 428, 434; Allen v. State, 85 Wis. 32, 54 N. W. 999; La Tour v. State (Wis.) 67 N. W. 1138.

In its decision refusing the writ applied for by Eckart, the supreme court of Wisconsin held that, while the conviction under the sentence in question was erroneous, the error in passing sentence was not a jurisdictional defect, and the judgment was therefore not void. In this view we concur. The court had jurisdiction of the offense charged, and of the person of the accused. The verdict clearly did not acquit him of the crime with which he was charged, but found that he had committed an offense embraced with in the accusation upon which he was tried. It was within the jurisdiction of the trial judge to pass upon the sufficiency of the verdict, and to construe its...

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69 practice notes
  • Clark v. Arizona, No. 05–5966.
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 29, 2006
    ...the mens rea required to be proven for particular offenses was often described in general terms like “malice,” see, e.g.,In re Eckart, 166 U.S. 481, 17 S.Ct. 638, 41 L.Ed. 1085 (1897); 4 W. Blackstone, Commentaries *21 (“[A]n unwarrantable act without a vicious will is no crime at all”), bu......
  • Brown v. Davenport, 20-826
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 21, 2022
    ...225 U.S. 420, 427-429 (1912); Markuson v. Boucher, 175 U.S. 184, 187 (1899); Tinsley v. Anderson, 171 U.S. 101, 106 (1898); In reEckart, 166 U.S. 481, 482-483 (1897); Berge-mannv. Backer, 157 U.S. 655, 658-659 (1895); Andrews v. Swartz, 156 U.S. 272, 276 (1895); In re Jugiro, 140 U.S. 291, ......
  • State Et Rel. Johnson v. Thomson, Cr. No. 212.
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • September 29, 1948
    ...court has jurisdiction by law of the offense charged, and of the party who is so charged, its judgments are not nullities.” In re Eckart, 166 U.S. 481, 482–485, 17 S.Ct. 638, 41 L.Ed. 1085, 1086, 1087. It is by no means true that every unauthorized action of a court—even action which the la......
  • State ex rel. Johnson v. Broderick, Crim. No. 206.
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • June 27, 1947
    ...in the crime purported to be charged.’ Reichert v. Turner, supra; Ryan v. Nygaard, supra; Ex parte Yarbrough, supra; In re Eckart, 166 U.S. 481, 17 S.Ct. 638, 41 L.Ed. 1085;In re Gregory, 219 U.S. 210, 31 S.Ct. 143, 55 L.Ed. 184. It is also contended that the imprisonment and detention of N......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
69 cases
  • Clark v. Arizona, No. 05–5966.
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 29, 2006
    ...the mens rea required to be proven for particular offenses was often described in general terms like “malice,” see, e.g.,In re Eckart, 166 U.S. 481, 17 S.Ct. 638, 41 L.Ed. 1085 (1897); 4 W. Blackstone, Commentaries *21 (“[A]n unwarrantable act without a vicious will is no crime at all”), bu......
  • Brown v. Davenport, 20-826
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 21, 2022
    ...225 U.S. 420, 427-429 (1912); Markuson v. Boucher, 175 U.S. 184, 187 (1899); Tinsley v. Anderson, 171 U.S. 101, 106 (1898); In reEckart, 166 U.S. 481, 482-483 (1897); Berge-mannv. Backer, 157 U.S. 655, 658-659 (1895); Andrews v. Swartz, 156 U.S. 272, 276 (1895); In re Jugiro, 140 U.S. 291, ......
  • State Et Rel. Johnson v. Thomson, Cr. No. 212.
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • September 29, 1948
    ...court has jurisdiction by law of the offense charged, and of the party who is so charged, its judgments are not nullities.” In re Eckart, 166 U.S. 481, 482–485, 17 S.Ct. 638, 41 L.Ed. 1085, 1086, 1087. It is by no means true that every unauthorized action of a court—even action which the la......
  • State ex rel. Johnson v. Broderick, Crim. No. 206.
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • June 27, 1947
    ...in the crime purported to be charged.’ Reichert v. Turner, supra; Ryan v. Nygaard, supra; Ex parte Yarbrough, supra; In re Eckart, 166 U.S. 481, 17 S.Ct. 638, 41 L.Ed. 1085;In re Gregory, 219 U.S. 210, 31 S.Ct. 143, 55 L.Ed. 184. It is also contended that the imprisonment and detention of N......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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