People v. Parker

CourtSupreme Court of Michigan
Writing for the CourtGRANT
Citation145 Mich. 488,108 N.W. 999
Decision Date20 September 1906
PartiesPEOPLE v. PARKER.

145 Mich. 488
108 N.W. 999

PEOPLE
v.
PARKER.

Supreme Court of Michigan.

Sept. 20, 1906.


Error to Recorder's Court of Detroit; James Phelan, Judge.

George W. Parker was convicted of manslaughter, and he brings error. Reversed, and prisoner discharged.

The respondent under an information charging murder was convicted of manslaughter. A jury was duly impaneled, accepted, sworn, and placed in charge of officers of the court March 16, 1904, and the case adjourned to the following day. The trial was again adjourned to the 18th. On that day the presiding judge announced that he had discovered that one of the jurors was related to the defendant within the ninth degree, and that his attention had been called to another juror, and he had concluded to permit the prosecuting attorney to reopen the case, reexamine the two jurors, and go back to his challenges. The two jurors were then examined and discharged, and talesmen summoned to take their places. Another of the original jurors was then peremptorily challenged by the people. On March 21st the jury was impaneled and sworn, testimony taken, arguments had, and the case submitted to the jury. The jury retired at 5:38 p. m. to consider their verdict. At 9:50 p. m. the presiding judge on his own motion summoned the jury into the courtroom, whereupon the following occurred: ‘Gentlemen of the jury, I sent for you to ask if you have agreed upon a verdict? The Foreman: We could not agree, your honor, so far. The Court: Is it a question of fact, or is it a question of law upon which you are unable to agree? The Foreman: What I understand, it is a question of fact; the same as we had before. The Court: You have had this case with you now four hours and twenty minutes. Is that right, Mr. Clerk? The Clerk: Yes, your honor. Court: Immediately after the argumets of counsel and charge of the court; and you say, Mr. Foreman, and you speak for your associates on the panel, that you are unable to agree upon the facts. The Foreman: So far as that, your honor. The Court: You may enter an order, Mr. Clerk, at this time, that the jury has had the consideration of this case since 5:20. Clerk: 5:40, your honor. Court: And it is now 10 o'clock, and up to the present time you have been unable to agree? Foreman: Yes, your honor. Court: And you say it is a question of fact? Foreman: Yes. Court: And it is not a question of law? Foreman: Not so far as I can see into it. Court: Being a question of fact, I cannot enlighten you. If it was a question of law, I would be justified and authorized in giving you further instructions, but inasmuch as it is a question of fact-and you have given the deliberations your best thought? Foreman: Yes, your honor. Court: And you inform me that you are unable to agree? Foreman: So far. Court: Enter an order, Mr. Clerk, that the jury in this case is discharged from its further consideration, and the defendant remanded to the county jail. Mr. Dohany: I would like to have your honor ask the jury if they think there is a prospect of them agreeing if they are sent back? Court: No, sir, I will not. Mr. Dohany: I take exception to the court's order. Court: Very well; you may notify the prosecuting attorney, Mr. Clerk, that this case will proceed Monday morning, or as soon thereafter as counsel in the case will be ready. * * *’

Later the court said: ‘I find that the jurors in this case were unable to agree as to what the facts of the case are, and, in my opinion, thinking there was no likelihood of them agreeing, I entered an order for their discharge.’

On April 7th, following, another jury was impaneled and duly sworn. The people rested their case, and considerable testimony was introduced on behalf of the defendant. These proceedings occupied from April 7th to April 13th. At the opening of the court on the latter day the presiding judge made the following statement: ‘Take this statement coming from the court this morning, Mr. Reporter; that in the interests of the public justice, the jury being absent that have been impaneled to try this case, the court is satisfied that the Parker Case should rest here until the court is satisfied, from a further examination, that he has caused to be made and search to be made for the man who it is charged with having made statements that reflect upon the present panel that are now engaged in the trial of George W. Parker. There shall be no star chamber procedure about this. This man will be brought in and will be examined under the instructions of the court by the attorney whom the court has selected, Mr. Pound, president of the Wayne Bar Association. I will state for the counsel's benefit that I have the statement under oath of two men who charge the ex-talesman, an ex-talesman, with having made the statements which they have testified to, and which are a serious reflection upon the manhood and integrity of the members of the present panel, now engaged upon the trial of George W. Parker. If the statement had been against the defendant, that the people's interests were being worked, and a prejudice built up against the defendant in the jury, it unquestionably would have been the duty of the court to take prompt action, and the court believes it is his bounden duty, where the prejudice is alleged to have been built up against the people, to act promptly. I have acted promptly. Within four hours after the information was laid before me, I had the services of a member of the bar to represent the court, independent of counsel in the case. I think now that before we go any further we should give the jurors who have been charged by this man an opportunity to vindicate their manhood, and, if the court is not satisfied that their statements are true, then the court will have no hesitancy in discharging the jury and calling another one, until such time as this case can be tried on the evidence in the court, and not from outside influence.’

From April 13th to April 18th no further proceedings in the trial were had, and the court was occupied in hearing contempt proceedings against an ex-talesman, and the jury were kept in the custody of the officers. On Monday, April 18th, 1904, the prosecuting attorney and counsel for the defendant and a quorum of the board of jury commissioners being in court, the following took place: ‘The Court: I want to ask the prosecuting attorney at this time if he has any statement that he desires to make to the court as to why the court should not enter at this time an order for the drawing of talesmen to the number of 100 to be placed in the box, independent of those names that are now in there, and which have received the attention of this court by being drawn, examined, challenged, and otherwise, in the former trials had in this matter? Mr. Hunt: No, your honor, I have no objection. The Court: The clerk of the court informs me that there are perhaps 200 names in the box at this time, names of jurors that were placed there at the beginning of the fiscal year by the jury commission, and which have been examined in different cases that have been tried in this court. And that upon the last trial of this defendant (referring now to the defendant Parker) an order was made by his court, drawing 50 talesmen, and that there were only 25 names in the box; that a jury was secured from 22 of the 25. Therefore the names that are now in the box-upwards of 200-have been all examined, whether in this case or in other cases; I believe in this case, as the record will show. Now, counsel understands my question, does he? Mr. Dohany: Yes, your honor. The Court: What has counsel to say? Mr. Dohany: If I understand your honor correctly, there are 200 names now in the jury box that have been drawn out and the respective jurors examined, but they have been either excused by the court or challenged by counsel, either for the people or the defendant. Is that true? The Court: As far as this court has knowledge. Mr. Dohany: Now what is the question the court desires to ask? The Court: Whether there are any objections at this time on the part of counsel for the defendant in regard to the question asked by the court of Mr. Hunt, the prosecuting attorney, if he has any objection at this time to the court ordering the jury commission to draw 100 names? Mr. Dohany: From the box? The Court: Oh, no; to be placed in the box. Mr. Dohany: What is to be done with those hundred names? The Court: To be placed in the box. Mr. Dohany: What for? The Court: For the trial of George W. Parker. Mr. Dohany: If I am not misinformed, the trial of George W. Parker is now in progress. We have a jury of 12 men sworn in the case, and that jury has not yet been discharged. I may have some difficulty in answering your honor's question for that reason. The Court: The court can assure the counsel that the case of George W. Parker will not be terminated with the present panel. Mr. Dohany: That is the first time that information has come to me from your honor. The Court: You have it now. It is on the record. I want to ask the counsel, now, what he has to say, because there is no information that this court bases its action upon what he has in that record. Everything has been done open and above board; there has been no advantage taken either of the defendant or of the people in this matter. It is too serious a matter to consider other than in open court. Mr. Dohany: If the court please, I cannot surrender any of my client's rights, and I certainly would object to the drawing of another jury in the case. The Court: That is why I call attention of counsel so that I may have his objections. Mr. Dohany: At this time I am not familiar with the records, or at least all the reasons, that your honor may have for the discharge of the present jury. So I would object to the proceedings had for the purposes of the record. The Court:...

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22 practice notes
  • People v. Allen, Docket No. 10157
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • March 27, 1972
    ...necessity to declare a mistrial, the time and effort invested in giving defendant a fair trial will not be lost. People v. Parker (1906), 145 Mich. 488, 108 N.W. 999; In re Earle (1946), 316 Mich. 295, 25 N.W.2d 202; 2 Gillespie, Mich. Criminal Law & Procedure (2d ed.), § 698, p. 887. In th......
  • People v. Lett, Docket No. 117041, Calendar No. 4.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • June 4, 2002
    ...the Michigan Constitution or the United States Constitution"); Duncan, supra, 373 Mich. at 660, 130 N.W.2d 385, quoting People v. Parker, 145 Mich. 488, 499, 108 N.W. 999 (1906) (Michigan case law has without exception recognized that "the doctrine of former jeopardy does not preclude retri......
  • Gori v. United States, No. 486
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 12, 1961
    ...Whitmore State, 43 Ark. 271; Gillespie v. State, 168 Ind. 298, 80 N.E. 829; O'Brian v. Commonwealth, 72 Ky. 333; People v. Parker, 145 Mich. 488, 108 N.W. 999; State v. Nelson, 19 R.I. 467, 34 A. 990, 33 L.R.A. 559; State v. M'Kee, 17 S.C.L. (1 Bailey) 651, 21 Am.Dec. 499; Tomasson v. State......
  • People v. Beck, 160668
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • July 27, 2022
    ...and without the "greatest caution" before declaring a mistrial. Washington, 434 U.S. at 515; Perez, 9 Wheat at 580. [3] People v Parker, 145 Mich. 488, 500; 108 N.W. 999 (1906) ("Appellate courts will not interfere with the action of trial courts in discharging juries, where facts are found......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
22 cases
  • People v. Allen, Docket No. 10157
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • March 27, 1972
    ...necessity to declare a mistrial, the time and effort invested in giving defendant a fair trial will not be lost. People v. Parker (1906), 145 Mich. 488, 108 N.W. 999; In re Earle (1946), 316 Mich. 295, 25 N.W.2d 202; 2 Gillespie, Mich. Criminal Law & Procedure (2d ed.), § 698, p. 887. In th......
  • People v. Lett, Docket No. 117041, Calendar No. 4.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • June 4, 2002
    ...the Michigan Constitution or the United States Constitution"); Duncan, supra, 373 Mich. at 660, 130 N.W.2d 385, quoting People v. Parker, 145 Mich. 488, 499, 108 N.W. 999 (1906) (Michigan case law has without exception recognized that "the doctrine of former jeopardy does not preclude retri......
  • Gori v. United States, No. 486
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 12, 1961
    ...Whitmore State, 43 Ark. 271; Gillespie v. State, 168 Ind. 298, 80 N.E. 829; O'Brian v. Commonwealth, 72 Ky. 333; People v. Parker, 145 Mich. 488, 108 N.W. 999; State v. Nelson, 19 R.I. 467, 34 A. 990, 33 L.R.A. 559; State v. M'Kee, 17 S.C.L. (1 Bailey) 651, 21 Am.Dec. 499; Tomasson v. State......
  • People v. Beck, 160668
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • July 27, 2022
    ...and without the "greatest caution" before declaring a mistrial. Washington, 434 U.S. at 515; Perez, 9 Wheat at 580. [3] People v Parker, 145 Mich. 488, 500; 108 N.W. 999 (1906) ("Appellate courts will not interfere with the action of trial courts in discharging juries, where facts are found......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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