Keeton v. State, 31931

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtAnderson, J.
Citation175 Miss. 631,167 So. 68
PartiesKEETON v. STATE
Decision Date06 April 1936
Docket Number31931

167 So. 68

175 Miss. 631

KEETON
v.
STATE

No. 31931

Supreme Court of Mississippi

April 6, 1936


APPEAL from circuit court of Jones county.

(In Banc.)

1. CRIMINAL LAW.

Refusal to excuse defendant from arraignment on ground that defendant was physically unable to attend held not error where four physicians appointed by court stated that their examination of defendant disclosed that defendant could be arraigned without danger to her health.

2. CRIMINAL LAW.

Confession of murder obtained after questioning defendant for part of day and most of night after her arrest held not inadmissible as having been obtained under duress where witnesses stated that confession was free and voluntary, that no duress was exercised, and that no clemency was promised to defendant.

3. CRIMINAL LAW.

Confession in other respects admissible is not incompetent because it was not spontaneous utterance of prisoner.

4. CRIMINAL LAW.

That confession was obtained by persistent questioning is not sufficient alone to exclude confession if confession emanated from free will of accused and without inducement of hope or fear.

5. CRIMINAL LAW.

Finding that confession was freely and voluntarily made will not be disturbed unless it appears that such finding was manifestly contrary to weight of evidence.

[175 Miss. 632]

6. CRIMINAL LAW.

Where defendant confesses commission of crime, corpus delicti is required to be established only to a probability, and proof is sufficient where confession and evidence of corpus delicti taken together establish corpus deliciti beyond reasonable doubt.

7. CRIMINAL LAW.

Where accused confesses, much slighter proof is required to establish corpus delicti than would be necessary where state must make out entire case unaided by a confession.

8. CRIMINAL LAW.

Where accused confesses, corroborative proof will be held sufficient which satisfies mind that it is a real and not an imaginary crime which accused has confessed, and jury may find that defendant was guilty party on proof much slighter than that ordinarily essential.

9. WITNESSES.

Refusal of subpoena duces tecum directed to prosecution requiring production of certain written confessions allegedly made by defendant for inspection by defendant's counsel held proper where application for subpoena did not set out substance of what was expected to be proved by confessions.

10. WITNESSES.

Statute relating to privileged communications applies to criminal as well as to civil cases (Code 1930, section 1536).

11. WITNESSES.

Where physician by direction of court or officer thereof makes an examination of defendant's physical or mental condition without objection, relation of physician and patient does not exist, and hence result of such examination is not privileged (Code 1930, section 1536).

12. WITNESSES.

In murder prosecution, testimony of physicians who examined defendant at trial court's request with view of ascertaining and testifying in trial as to whether defendant was sane held not privileged, especially where defendant was capable of consenting to the examination (Code 1930, section 1536).

13. WITNESSES.

Where physician, who treated defendant after homicide as her physician, had been defendant's family physician but had never [175 Miss. 633] treated defendant prior to homicide, privilege as to physician's testimony extended only to knowledge acquired after homicide (Code 1930, section 1536).

14. CRIMINAL LAW.

Where relation of physician and patient did not arise until after homicide, although physician had been defendant's family physician prior to homicide, mere objection that testimony of such physician as to defendant's mental condition at time of homicide was privileged held too general to preserve anything for review (Code 1930, section 1536).

15. WITNESSES.

Person claiming privilege must show that relation of physician and patient existed, and also existence of all conditions of exclusion (Code 1930, section 1536).

16. CRIMINAL LAW.

Objection to admission of evidence on ground of privilege must be specific (Code 1930, section 1536).

17. CRIMINAL LAW.

General objection to evidence on ground of privilege, which was overruled, will not be considered on appeal unless on face of evidence in its relation to rest of case there appears no purpose for which evidence could have been admissible (Code 1930, section 1536).

18. CRIMINAL LAW.

In prosecution for murder of deceased whose body was dismembered after she was killed, admitting certain parts thereof to prove her death held not error.

19. CRIMINAL LAW.

Evidence of fatty substances, shoes and stockings, and blood stains found in home of deceased held competent to show corpus delicti and criminal agency of defendant.

20. HOMICIDE.

Instruction in murder prosecution authorizing conviction in ground of conspiracy held supported by evidence and hence proper notwithstanding evidence of conspiracy was weak and uncorroborated.

ETHRIDGE and COOK, JJ., dissenting; ANDERSON, J., dissenting in part.

HON. W. J. PACK, Judge.

[175 Miss. 634]

HON. W. J. PACK, Judge.

Ouida Keeton was convicted of murder, and she appeals. Affirmed.

Affirmed.

J. Morgan Stevens and J. M. Stevens, Jr., both of Jackson, and Frank Clark, of Waynesboro, for appellant.

Our contention is first, that the record demonstrates that the defendant was physically prostrate; that she should not have been put to trial, and this regardless of her mental condition; secondly, that it became the duty of the court to inquire into the mental condition of the defendant and have that issue properly determined; and thirdly, it is our contention that the record of the proceedings had and done, or in other words the entire record, demonstrates that the defendant's physical and mental condition was such that this trial was contrary to every instinct of humanity, as announced by the common law, the distinguished authorities on criminal law and procedure and the prior decisions of this court.

Hawie v. State, 121 Miss. 197, 83 So. 158; Freeman v. People, 4 Denio (N. Y.) 9, 47 Am. Dec. 216; 16 C. J. 789; 3 A. L. R. 94.

Complaint is made at the action of the trial Court in admitting over the objection of the defendant, the alleged confession of the defendant, as testified to by the witness, Jim Brown. The statement was not free and voluntary.

The state utterly failed to prove that this alleged confession was free and voluntary.

Johnson v. State, 170 Miss. 196, 65 So. 218; Underhill on Criminal Evidence (2 Ed.), sec. 126; People v. McMahou, 15 N.Y. 384; Whip v. State, 143 Miss. 757, 109 So. 697; Whitley v. State, 78 Miss. 255, 28 So. 852, 53 L. R. A. 402; Durham v. State, 47 So. 545; Reason v. State, 94 Miss. 290, 48 So. 820; Fisher v. State, [175 Miss. 635] 145 Miss. 116, 110 So, 361; Fletcher v. State, 159 Miss. 41, 131 So. 251.

Our second objection to the introduction of this confession is because there had been no competent proof of the corpus delicti.

Harper v. State, 83 Miss. 403, 35 So. 572; Crawford v. State, 133 Miss. 147, 97 So. 534; Williams v. State, 128 Miss. 271, 90 So: 886; 12 A. L. R. 275; Duplex Printing Press Co. v. Dearing, 254 U.S. 443, 16 A. L. R. 196.

The third objection to the introduction of the alleged confession is that the record shows that this was not all that the accused was represented as saying.

Complaint is made at the action of the trial court in overruling the application of the defendant to require the prosecuting attorneys to produce and make available for inspection all written statements obtained from the defendant by the prosecution, touching her guilt or innocence of the crime charged.

Eaton v. State, 140 So. 733; Sprinkle v. State, 137 Miss. 731, 102 So. 844; State v. Tippett, 296 S.W. 132; U. S. v. Rich, 6 Alaska, 670; People v. Gerold, 265 Ill. 448, 107 N.E. 165, Ann. Cas. 1916, 636; Cloniger v. State 91 Tex. Crim. Rep. 143, 237 S.W. 288; People v. Miller, 257 N.Y. 54, 177 N.E. 306; State v. Murphey, 154 La. 190, 97 So. 397; People v. Radeloff, 252 N.Y.S. 290, 140 Misc. --; Bishop v. State, 96 Miss. 846, 52 So. 21; Coon v. State, 13 S. & M. 246; McCann v. State, 13 S. & M. 471; 2 A. L. R. 1017; 26 A. L. R. 541.

The confession was insufficient to show criminal participation.

Harper v. State, 63 Miss. 403, 35 So. 572; Crawford v State, 133 Miss. 147, 97 So. 534; Williams v. State, 128 Miss. 271, 90 So. 886; 12 A. L. R. 275; Duplex Printing Press Co. v. Dearing, 204 U.S. 443, 16 A. L. R. 196.

It was error to not permit defense to show entire statements and confession. [175 Miss. 636]

Sprinkle v. State, 137 Miss. 731, 102 So, 844; State v. Tippett, 296 S.W. 132; U. S. v. Rich, 6 Alaska, 670; People v. Gerold, 265 Ill. 448, 107 N.E. 165, Ann. Cas. 1916A, 636; Cloniger v. State, 91 Crim. Rep. 143; People v. Miller, 257 N.Y. 54, 177 N.E. 306; State v. Murphy, 154 La. 190, 97 So. 397; People v. Radeloff, 252 N.Y.S. 290, 140 Misc.; State v. Burris, 198 Iowa 1156, 198 S.W. 82; Eaton v. State, 140 So. 722; Bishop v. State, 96 Miss. 846, 52 So. 21; Coon v. State, 12 S. & M. 246; McCann v. State, 13 S. & M. 471; 2 A. L. R. 1017; 26 A. L. R. 541.

It was error to exhibit limbs and portions of corpse in courtroom.

Davenport v. State, 143 Miss. 121, 108 So. 433, 45 A. L. R. 1348; Davis v. Elzy, 126 Miss. 789, 88 So. 630; Hunter v. Elzy, 127 Miss. 683, 90 So. 440; Dobbs v. Richardson, 137 Miss. 789, 102 So. 769; Watkins v. Richardson, 142 Miss. 210, 106 So. 753; Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. McSwain, 149 Miss. 455, 115 So. 555.; McCall v. Turner, 126 Miss. 260, 88 So. 705; Y. & M. V. R. R. Co. v. Messina, 109 Miss. 143, 67 So. 963; Newton Oil Mill v. Spencer, 116 Miss. 568, 77 So. 605; Hamel v. So. Ry., 113 Miss. 344, 74 So. 276; I. C. R. R. Co. v. Humphries, 170 Miss. 840, 155 So. 421; Provident L. & A. Ins. Co. v. Chapman, 152 Miss. 747, 118 So. 437; Con....

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37 practice notes
  • Vance v. State, 33130
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • September 12, 1938
    ...390, 130 So. 479; U. S. F. & G. Co. v. Hood, 124 Miss. 548, 87 So. 115; Watkins v. Watkins, 142 Miss. 210, 106 So. 753; Keeton v. State, 175 Miss. 631, 167 So. 68; Maddox v. State, 173 Miss. 799, 163 So. 449; Davenport v. State, 143 Miss. 121, 108 So. 443, 45 A.L.R. 1348; 28 R. C. L. page 5......
  • Owen v. State, 32379
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • December 14, 1936
    ...v. State, 110 So. 361, 145 Miss. 116; McMaster v. State, 82 Miss. 459; Boudreaux v. State, 168 So. 621; 16 C. J. 730; Keeton v. State, 167 So. 68; White v. State, 129 Miss. 182. The trial court made an error in permitting state witness McDonald upon his cross-examination to testify [177 Mis......
  • Pullen v. State, 32065
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • May 11, 1936
    ...of mobbing, which aroused fear in the appellant. There is no merit in either of these contentions. See Ouida Keeton v. State (Miss.), 167 So. 68. There is nothing to indicate that this confession did not emanate from the free will of the accused, and without the inducement of hope or fear. ......
  • United States v. Harper, No. 30324.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • October 25, 1971
    ...to determine whether he is mentally competent to stand trial. See Hopkins v. State, 212 Miss. 772, 55 So.2d 467 (1952); Keeton v. State, 175 Miss. 631, 167 So. 68 (1936); Norwood v. State, 158 Miss. 550, 130 So. 733 (1930). See also Hardy v. Riser, N.D.Miss.1970, 309 F.Supp. 1234, 1239. Thu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
37 cases
  • Vance v. State, 33130
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • September 12, 1938
    ...390, 130 So. 479; U. S. F. & G. Co. v. Hood, 124 Miss. 548, 87 So. 115; Watkins v. Watkins, 142 Miss. 210, 106 So. 753; Keeton v. State, 175 Miss. 631, 167 So. 68; Maddox v. State, 173 Miss. 799, 163 So. 449; Davenport v. State, 143 Miss. 121, 108 So. 443, 45 A.L.R. 1348; 28 R. C. L. page 5......
  • Owen v. State, 32379
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • December 14, 1936
    ...v. State, 110 So. 361, 145 Miss. 116; McMaster v. State, 82 Miss. 459; Boudreaux v. State, 168 So. 621; 16 C. J. 730; Keeton v. State, 167 So. 68; White v. State, 129 Miss. 182. The trial court made an error in permitting state witness McDonald upon his cross-examination to testify [177 Mis......
  • Pullen v. State, 32065
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • May 11, 1936
    ...of mobbing, which aroused fear in the appellant. There is no merit in either of these contentions. See Ouida Keeton v. State (Miss.), 167 So. 68. There is nothing to indicate that this confession did not emanate from the free will of the accused, and without the inducement of hope or fear. ......
  • United States v. Harper, No. 30324.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • October 25, 1971
    ...to determine whether he is mentally competent to stand trial. See Hopkins v. State, 212 Miss. 772, 55 So.2d 467 (1952); Keeton v. State, 175 Miss. 631, 167 So. 68 (1936); Norwood v. State, 158 Miss. 550, 130 So. 733 (1930). See also Hardy v. Riser, N.D.Miss.1970, 309 F.Supp. 1234, 1239. Thu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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