Padgett v. State

Decision Date22 October 1912
Citation59 So. 946,64 Fla. 389
PartiesPADGETT v. STATE.
CourtFlorida Supreme Court

Error to Circuit Court, Taylor County; J. W. Malone, Judge.

Noah Padgett was convicted of murder, and brings error. Affirmed.

Syllabus by the Court

SYLLABUS

While plaintiffs in error in criminal cases have the option of proceeding under special rules 1, 2, and 3 (37 South. x) adopted on the 2d day of March, 1905, or rule 103, adopted at the April term, 1873, in the preparation of their transcripts and bills of exceptions, the better and safer procedure is for such plaintiffs in error to have their transcripts prepared and their bill of exceptions made up, settled, and certified in accordance with the provisions of such rule 103. Whichever procedure is adopted, it is advisable to follow closely the directions given in the respective rules.

It is of the utmost importance that the transcripts and briefs should be clearly and correctly typewritten or printed so that the same may be easily read without unduly taxing the eyes of the members of the appellate court.

In the preparation of transcripts, redundancies and repetitions should be avoided, as the copying or setting forth papers or proceedings more than once therein, when the same is not required, increases the costs unnecessarily and causes the expenditure of additional time by the members of the appellate court which could be more advantageously employed.

The general rule seems to be concerning motions that, unless the moving party is entitled, as a matter of right, to the relief demanded, it is not error to deny a motion which cannot be allowed substantially in the form in which it is presented.

A defendant in a criminal case is not entitled, as a matter of right, to be supplied with a list of the state's witnesses who are to testify against him. Neither is he entitled, as a matter of right, to have all the articles in the possession of the state, intended to be introduced in evidence against him, placed in the hands of the clerk or other officer of the court for inspection by the defendant or his counsel.

A party has no right to cross-examine a witness except as to facts and circumstances connected with matters testified about by the witness on his direct examination. If a party desires to inquire into other matters, he must make the witness his own. While this is true, a wide range should be allowed on the cross-examination of a witness when the questions propounded seek to elicit the motives, interest, or animus of the witness as connected with the cause or the parties thereto upon which matters he may be contradicted by other evidence. Likewise considerable latitude should be permitted in the propounding of questions on cross-examination which seek to test the memory or credibility of the witness.

The extent and limits of the range of the cross-examination rest within the sound judicial discretion of the trial court, and an appellate court will not interfere with the exercise of such discretion unless a clear abuse thereof is made to appear.

The trial judge in his discretion may permit leading questions to be propounded to witnesses, and the exercise of this discretion is not reviewable by this court upon writ of error.

Where a defendant is found guilty of murder in the first degree, it becomes immaterial for an appellate court to consider the legal accuracy or technical correctness of charges defining or confined to lower degrees of murder or homicide, unless it is made to appear that such charges, of which complainat is made, could have caused the jury to have misinterpreted them to the injury of the accused.

In determining the correctness of charges and instructions, they should be considered as a whole; and, if as a whole they are free from error, an assignment predicated on isolated paragraphs or portions, which, standing alone, might be misleading, must fail.

If a defendant wishes to avail himself of the omission of the trial judge to more fully charge the jury upon any point in the case, he should specifically request the desired instruction.

The refusal of the trial court to grant a new trial for insufficiency of the evidence to sustain the verdict, or because the verdict is contrary to the evidence, will not be reversed, unless, after allowing all reasonable presumptions of its correctness, the preponderance of the evidence against the verdict is so decided as to clearly convince the appellate court that it is wrong and unjust.

COUNSEL Calhoun & Palmer and W. B. Davis, all of Perry O. O. McCollum, of Live Oak, and J. N. Stripling, of Jacksonville, for plaintiff in error.

Park Trammell, Atty. Gen., and C. O. Andrews, of Tallahassee, for the State.

OPINION

SHACKLEFORD J.

Noah Padgett was tried for and convicted of the crime of murder in the first degree, and was sentenced to imprisonment for the term of his natural life; the jury having recommended him to the mercy of the court. From such judgment and sentence he seeks relief here by writ of error.

Before entering upon the consideration of the 59 errors assigned, we think it advisable to make certain comments as to the manner in which this judgment is presented to us for review.

First. We would call attention to our discussion in Seaboard Air Line Ry. v. Rentz & Little, 60 Fla. 429, 54 So. 13, as to the respective duties and relations of the members of the bench and bar, and as to the necessity for their co-operation in order that justice may be properly administered--the purpose for which courts of justice exist. Also see the authorities therein cited, and in the dissenting opinion of the writer herein in White v. State, 59 Fla. 53, text 60, 52 So. 805, text 807. In these cases as in Hoopes v. Crane, 56 Fla. 395, 47 So. 992, and in several other cases, we have expressed our strong disapproval of the practice of assigning a large number of errors and stated why such a course was reprehensible, and wherein it tended to hinder, delay, and make difficult the administration of justice.

As we held in several cases since the adoption of special rule 6 (37 South. xvi), on the 2d day of March, 1905, plaintiffs in error in criminal and habeas corpus cases have the option of proceeding under special rules, 1, 2, and 3, adopted on such date, or rule 103, adopted at the April term, 1873, of this court, in the preparation of their transcripts and bills of exceptions. We further held that these respective modes of procedure must not be blended, but one or the other must be selected and followed. See Clinton v. State, 53 Fla. 98, 43 So. 312, 12 Ann. Cas. 150; Albritton v. State, 54 Fla. 6, 44 So. 745; Stephens v. State, 54 Fla. 107, 44 So. 710; Hallbeck v. State, 57 Fla. 15, 49 So. 153. While such option may be exercised, we are of the opinion that it is the better and safer procedure for the plaintiff in error in a criminal case to have his transcript prepared and his bill of exceptions made up, settled, and certified in accordance with the provisions of such rule 103. Be this as it may, if such plaintiff in error elects to proceed under special rules, 1, 2, and 3, as the plaintiff in error in the instant case has done, he should comply carefully with all the requirements of such rules and closely follow the directions given therein. As we have repeatedly held, it is the duty of any party resorting to an appellate court to see that his transcript of record is properly prepared in compliance with the rules of court, and to make the errors complained of clearly to appear. See Clinton v. State, supra, and McKinnon v. Lewis, 60 Fla. 125, 53 So. 940, wherein prior decisions of this court will be found collected.

In the instant case as in the case of Rentz v. Live Oak Bank, 61 Fla. 403, 55 So. 856, the plaintiff in error has seen fit to pursue a course of which we expressed our disapproval. In the prefatory or introductory portion of the bill of exceptions is set forth certain questions propounded to certain witnesses, with the objections interposed thereto, the rulings of the court thereon, and the exceptions noted to such rulings. The like course is also pursued with certain documentary evidence. After such preliminary proceedings in regard to the evidence, which cover 15 typewritten pages, then follow 7 typewritten pages of charges and instructions given or refused, upon which assignments are predicated, and then follows all the evidence given in the case, mostly in narrative form, covering more than 125 typewritten pages. As we said in the cited case: 'The objection to this course is that we find it difficult, if not in some instances impossible. to tell at what stage of the trial, or under what circumstances, the testimony so objected to and admitted (or rejected) was proffered, although in passing upon the correctness of some of the rulings of the trial court, upon which assignments are based, it is important that this should be made to appear.' It is readily apparent, also, that such a course imposes an additional and unnecessary burden upon the appellate court in the way of time and labor required in the attempt to properly consider and pass upon such assignments of error. This difficulty could not arise if the plaintiff in error had proceeded under rule 103, and would not have arisen if the provisions of special rules 1, 2, and 3 had been complied with and the directions given therein followed.

We would also call attention to the desirability, not to say importance, of having the transcripts and briefs clearly and correctly typewritten or printed, so that they may be easily read without unduly taxing the eyes of the members of this court.

Redundancies and repetitions in the transcript should also be avoided, as the copying or setting forth papers or proceedings more than once therein, when the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
48 cases
  • Stalnaker v. State
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • July 28, 1938
    ...to the statements of this Court about the preparation and filing of transcripts as made in Padgett v. State, 64 Fla. 389, text page 392, 59 So. 946, page 948, Ann.Cas.1914B, 897: 'As we held in several cases, since the adoption of special rule 6 (37 So. xvi), on the 2d day of March, 1905, p......
  • Young v. State
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • March 15, 1923
    ... ... 34, 37 So. 917; ... Morrison v. State, 42 Fla. 149, 28 So. 97; Smith ... v. State, 25 Fla. 517, 6 So. 482; Alvarez v ... State, 41 Fla. 532, 27 So. 40; Olds v. State, ... 44 Fla. 452, 33 So. 296; Pinder v. State, 27 Fla ... 370, 8 So. 837, 26 Am. St. Rep. 75; Padgett v ... State, 40 Fla. 451, 24 So. 145 ... 'A ... defendant to justify his acts on the ground of self-defense ... must have used all reasonable means within his power and ... consistent with his own safety, to avoid danger and to avert ... the necessity of taking the life of the ... ...
  • City of Hollywood v. Bair
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • October 31, 1938
    ... ... declaration here, in a degree, is subject to the criticism as ... made, we do not think it fails to state a cause of action. We ... base our conclusion on the following authorities: Rivers ... v. City of Gainesville, 106 Fla. 267, 143 So. 235, 144 ... Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Dees, 56 Fla. 127, 48 ... So. 28; Pensacola Elec. Co. v. Bissett, 59 Fla. 360, ... 52 So. 367; Padgett v. State, 64 Fla. 389, 59 So ... 946, Ann.Cas.1914B, 897; Simpson v. State, 129 Fla ... 127, 176 So. 515 ... It is ... contended here ... ...
  • Mitchell v. Mason
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • March 4, 1913
    ... ... difficult the administration of justice--the purpose for ... which courts of justice exist. That any one of the circuit ... judges in this state would commit 108 separate and distinct ... errors in the trial of a cause is rather a violent ... presumption, and, even if such should be the ... courts in the disposition of business. We would also call ... attention to what we said in Padgett v. State, 64 ... Fla. ----, 59 So. 946, as to the proper preparation of ... transcripts and briefs, especially as to the avoidance of ... ...
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT