Mays v. State

Decision Date31 January 1929
Docket Number6 Div. 42.
Citation120 So. 163,218 Ala. 656
PartiesMAYS v. STATE.
CourtAlabama Supreme Court

Appeal from Circuit Court, Jefferson County; John P. McCoy, Judge.

Clint Mays was convicted of murder in the first degree, and he appeals. Reversed and remanded.

See also, (Ala. Sup.) 117 So. 457.

Thomas and Brown, JJ., dissenting in part.

F. D McArthur, of Birmingham, for appellant.

Charlie C. McCall, Atty. Gen., for the State.


The defendant proved a good character for peace and quiet. The trial court then permitted the witness, upon cross-examination and over the objection of the defendant, to testify that he (the defendant) had the reputation of a bootlegger. This fact did not affect the defendant's character for peace, or tend to discredit the character witness as to the estimate placed by him upon the defendant's character and was highly improper and prejudicial. Way v. State, 155 Ala. 63, 46 So. 273; Moulton v. State, 88 Ala. 118, 6 So. 758, 6 L. R. A 301. Nor was this error cured by the fact that the defendant subsequently testified as a witness, as he could not be impeached upon a mere reputation of being a bootlegger or for a conviction as such for that matter. Ex parte Marshall, 207 Ala. 566, 93 So. 471, 25 L. R. A. 338; Harbin v. State, 210 Ala. 667, 99 So. 100, and cases there cited; Baugh v. State, 215 Ala. 619, 112 So. 157.

The trial court erred in permitting the witness Floyd Calhoun, over the objection of the defendant, to testify as to a conversation with his father and also with Oscar Martin. These conversations did not occur in the presence of the defendant, and were purely hearsay evidence.

This is a companion to the case of Lockett v. State (Ala. Sup.) 117 So. 457, and there was no error of the trial court in the rulings upon the assumption that what transpired from the arrest of Brown to the time of the killing was a part of the res gestæ, an that there was prima facie a conspiracy between this defendant and Lockett.

While the examination of the jurors by counsel on both sides took rather a wide range, it seems to have been authorized by section 8662, new to the Code of 1923, and which applies to all cases civil and criminal. This does not mean, however, that an affirmative answer to the different questions would necessarily give a right to challenge for cause.

We do not think the trial court committed reversible error in the voir dire examination of the jurors, though it is safer to adopt, as near as practicable, the statute (sections 8610 and 8612...

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15 cases
  • Carpenter v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • January 20, 1981
    ...reveals no error. Conversations not occurring in the accused's presence or hearing are inadmissible, being hearsay. Mays v. State, 218 Ala. 656, 120 So. 163 (1929); Hamlett v. State, 19 Ala.App. 218, 96 So. 371 After eliciting testimony from three character witnesses, appellant called witne......
  • Cox v. Roberts
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • October 17, 1946
    ... ... question as to the sufficiency of the evidence going to prove ... agency. We cannot say in view of this state of the record ... that the verdict for the defendant was not based on the ... finding by the jury that the plaintiff had not proven that ... Mrs ... a legal case for challenge, though such case is within the ... scope of the inquiry authorized. Mays v. State, 218 ... Ala. 656, 120 So. 163; Gammill v. Culverhouse, 217 ... Ala. 65, 114 So. 800; Cooper v. Auman, 219 Ala. 336, ... 122 So. 351. The ... ...
  • Rose v. Magro
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • October 24, 1929
    ... ... take assailant's life as the preventive alternative must ... be shown; and that defendant so believed. White v ... State, 209 Ala. 546, 96 So. 709; Union Indemnity Co ... v. Webster, 218 Ala. 468, 118 So. 798; Drummond v ... Drummond, supra. That is to say, the ... material facts as to the juror on which to exercise the right ... of peremptory challenge. Mays v. State, 218 Ala ... 656, 120 So. 163. We cannot say that the trial court has ... abused his discretion in this behalf in declining the ... ...
  • Flannagin v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • September 7, 1972
    ...test. Such questions, though leading, are in many instances necessary. This method of qualifying the jury was approved in Mays v. State, 218 Ala. 656, 120 So. 163, where this court held that on voir dire examination of jurors it is safer to adopt, as nearly as practicable, the language of a......
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