Jacobs v. State

Decision Date23 October 1911
Citation141 S.W. 489,100 Ark. 591
CourtArkansas Supreme Court

Appeal from Garland Circuit Court; Calvin T. Cotham, Judge affirmed.


Appellant was convicted on five separate indictments for exhibiting certain gambling devices, each indictment being for the exhibition of a different one.

One indictment charged him with exhibiting a gambling device commonly called "klondike;" another with exhibiting a gambling device, commonly called a "crap table;" another with exhibiting a gambling device commonly called "roulette;" the fourth with exhibiting a gambling device commonly called "faro bank;" and the fifth charged him with exhibiting a device commonly called "birdcage." He pleaded guilty to the indictment which charged him with having exhibited the gambling device known as "klondike," and a judgment of conviction was rendered upon the plea. Upon the trial of each of the other indictments, respectively, charging the setting up and exhibiting of a crap table, roulette wheel, faro bank and bird cage, respectively, a plea of former conviction, based upon said judgment, was interposed as a bar to the prosecution.

It was agreed that the several devices were exhibited at the same time and place as the device known as "klondike," upon trial for exhibition of which a judgment of conviction had been rendered, and the indictment and judgment of conviction were also read in evidence. The four cases were heard by the court upon the indictments, the plea of former conviction, the agreement of counsel, and the record in said case in which the plea of guilty was entered.

The plea of former conviction was overruled, and a fine of one hundred dollars and costs was assessed in each case. From the judgments this appeal comes.

Judgment affirmed.

Rector & Sawyer, for appellant.

Although the grand jury returned five indictments charging the exhibition of as many gambling devices, it is admitted that the exhibition of the different devices was at the same time and place and under the same circumstances. Under the statute, § 1732, Kirby's Digest, the exhibition of several gambling devices at the same time and place constitutes but one offense. 1 Bishop's New Crim. Proc 269, § 436; 64 Ark. 235. Had the exhibition of these several devices been charged in one indictment, it would have been held to charge but one offense, and not to be void for duplicity. 32 Gratt. (Va.) 873; 83 S.W. 975; 112 Ind. 245; 102 Ind. 156; 100 Ind. 154; 4 Dana (Ky.) 518; Wharton's Crim. Pl., 910; Kirby's Dig., § 2514; 17 Tex.App. 159; 41 Iowa 577. As to what constitutes duplicity in an indictment, see 6 Tex.App. 251; 1 Id. 643; 21 Tex. 656; 23 Tex.App. 317. See also 56 S.W. 918; 6 Ark. 568; 77 Md. 121; 104 Ill. 544.

If an indictment charging in one count the keeping or exhibiting the different gaming tables and devices named in the statute is not bad for duplicity, and only one punishment can be inflicted therefor, they can not be separate and distinct offenses if kept or exhibited at the same time and place and under the same circumstances. If they are separate offenses, how can they be joined in the same count without rendering the indictment duplex?

The statute is directed, not against the physical act of setting up, keeping and exhibiting the gambling devices, but against the business. See 7 Words & Phrases, 6446, "set up" and; "exhibit" as used in gaming and statutes punishing gaming. 18 Cyc. 1497; Texas Pen. Code, 1895, art. 387; 16 Tex.App. 282; 10 Tex.App. 377, 379; 3 Words & Phrases, 2584, "keep" and "keeping;" 33 Tex. 331, 335; 4 Words & Phrases, 3917. See also 63 S.W. 461, 464; 111 Ky. 135; 8 Words & Phrases, 7060.

The purpose of the statute in enumerating the different gambling devices was not to make separate crimes, but that one could exhibit no table, no device upon which gambling could be done, and escape punishment. 8 Enc. Pl. & Pr., 974, tit. "Several Games;" Id. 962; 13 Ga. 396.

Hal. L. Norwood, Attorney-General, and William H. Rector, Assistant, for appellee.

The court properly overruled the plea of former conviction. The rule is that former conviction is a bar to a subsequent indictment for any offense of which the defendant might have been convicted under the indictment and testimony in the first case. 43 Ark. 68; 48 Ark. 34; 94 Ark. 211. The burden was on appellant to prove that the offense charged in the indictment in the second case is the same as that for which he had been previously convicted. 42 Ark. 372; 92 Ark. 413. See also 45 Ark. 62; 88 Ark. 521; 51 Ark. 171; 12 Cyc. 287; 26 Fla. 472; 2 Ind.App. 376; 53 Mo.App. 571; 29 S.W. 268; 53 Me. 536; 11 Gray 398; 49 Tex.Crim. 80; 1 Bishop, Crim. Law, § 1052; 4 Blackstone 336.

KIRBY, J. HART and FRAUENTHAL, JJ., dissent.


KIRBY, J., (after stating the facts).

Each of the indictments charges appellant with keeping and exhibiting a certain gambling device, naming it, in violation of section 1732 of Kirby's Digest, which reads as follows:

"Every person who shall set up, keep or exhibit any gaming table or gambling device, commonly called A. B. C., O. E., roulette, rouge et noir, or any faro bank, or any other gaming table or gambling device, or bank of the like or similar kind, or of any other description, although not herein named, be the name or denomination what it may, adapted, devised or designed for the purpose of playing any game of chance, at which any money or property may be won or lost, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not less than one hundred dollars, and may be imprisoned any length of time, not less than thirty days nor more than one year."

It is contended by appellant that, having set up and exhibited each and all of the gambling devices, with the exhibition of which he was separately charged in the different indictments at the same time and place, he was guilty of but one offense, and that, having pleaded guilty and been convicted under one of said indictments, the court erred in denying his plea of former conviction as a bar to his prosecution upon the other charges.

The first seven sections of the statute against gaming (sections 1732-8, Kirby's Digest) relate exclusively to the banking games, whether called by the names specified or by any new name or device, and the court, construing the fourth section (1735) which denounces a penalty against the owner or occupant of any house who "shall knowingly permit or suffer any of the before mentioned tables, games or banks to be carried on or exhibited in their house," etc., held "The offense prohibited in the fourth section is not that of keeping a common gaming house, which implies frequency or continuance of the act permitted, but the offense of the owner or occupant is complete if he suffer a single act of the exhibition of any of the games designed to be so prohibited. * * * Our opinion is, that the offense designed to be punished by the fourth section is the suffering or permitting to be carried on or exhibited in any house, etc., by the owner or occupant thereof, any of the banking games, gaming tables or devices, prohibited in the first section. " Stith v. State, 13 Ark. 680. These games are usually exhibited by persons whose occupation it is to prey upon the community, and who are therefore particularly obnoxious to the laws, and the exhibition of the games is commonly understood to be a challenge to all...

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4 cases
  • Caton v. State
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • May 1, 1972
    ...requirement is that the evidence must show that the lesser offense was committed. Davis v. State, 45 Ark. 464. See also, Jacobs v. State, 100 Ark. 591, 141 S.W. 489. And the jury may convict of the lower, if it entertains a reasonable doubt as to which of the two offenses a defendant is gui......
  • Kastel v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • December 19, 1927
    ...808; Territory v. West, 14 N. M. 546, 99 P. 343; State v. Freeman, 162 N. C. 594, 77 S. E. 780, 45 L. R. A. (N. S.) 977; Jacobs v. State, 100 Ark. 591, 141 S. W. 489; Storm v. Territory, 12 Ariz. 109, 99 A. 275; 1 Bishop, New Crim. Proc. § 816 (2). Three questions arise under the plea at ba......
  • Jacobs v. State
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • October 23, 1911
  • Richards v. State
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • April 28, 1913
    ... ... interposed a plea of former conviction as a bar to the ... prosecution, the burden of proof was upon appellant to show ... that the offense charged in the indictment was the same as ... that for which he had been previously convicted, and this the ... jury found he failed to do. Jacobs ... ...

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