People v. Schepps, No. 122.

CourtSupreme Court of Michigan
Writing for the CourtSTEERE
Citation203 N.W. 882,231 Mich. 260
Decision Date14 May 1925
Docket NumberNo. 122.
PartiesPEOPLE v. SCHEPPS.

231 Mich. 260
203 N.W. 882

PEOPLE
v.
SCHEPPS.

No. 122.

Supreme Court of Michigan.

May 14, 1925.


Error to Recorder's Court of Detroit; William M. Heston, Judge.

Joseph Schepps was convicted of robbery, and brings error. Affirmed.

Argued before McDONALD, C. J., and CLARK, BIRD, SHARPE, MOORE, STEERE, FELLOWS, and WIEST, JJ.

[203 N.W. 882]

Robert T. Speed, of Detroit, for appellant.

Andrew B. Dougherty, Atty. Gen., and Robert M. Toms, Pros. Atty., and Eugene A. Walling, Asst. Pros. Atty., both of Detroit, for the People.


STEERE, J.

Defendant Joseph Schepps, was arrested, held for trial to the recorder's court of the city of Detroit, and jointly informed against with three claimed associates, charging them with the crime of robbery, being armed with dangerous weapons. As charged in the information and shown by the testimony under which defendant was convicted, the transaction was what is commonly known as a daylight holdup, in which the defendants, while riding in a large sedan car on one of the streets of Detroit, pulled up past a car in which the complaining witness, Killoran, was riding alone, crowded him into the curb until he stopped, then held him up with revolvers, pulled his cap down over his eyes, expeditiously plundered him and his car of a bag containing $1,825 and some other articles which took their fancy, and then quickly sped away in their car.

Defendant pleaded not guilty to the information, was separately tried by a jury on March 14, 1922, and found guilty. When the case was called for trial on that day and a jury about to be drawn defendant's counsel interposed a motion for discharge of the accused, based upon the files and records of the case showing that upon the afternoon of March 9, 1922, the case had been called for trial, a jury drawn, examined, and sworn and discharged from the case the next morning, without legal cause as was claimed, and trial continued until March 14, 1922.

The only question here pressed for consideration is that of former jeopardy. The record shows that on March 9, 1922, this case came up for trial in the recorder's court, and a jury was impaneled and sworn, after being accepted by both sides. The prosecutor then stated he desired to take up a matter with the court in the absence of the jury, and by direction of the court the jury was conducted from the court room. The prosecutor then called the court's attention to an article on the front page of a daily newspaper of that date prejudicially featuring the case, as he claimed, and suggested that the jurors either be especially cautioned on the subject, or, if sequestered, the officers be instructed to clip such articles from the newspapers before the jury were allowed to have them. The jury was then called in, and the court gave them some instructions as to their conduct, telling them that they would be kept together during the trial, occupying quarters in the building which had been prepared for accommodation of jurors in such cases, and that they should not talk about the case either amongst themselves or with the officers who had them in charge. They then retired to their jury room. A juror named Look soon asked permission to speak with the judge, and was allowed to do so, privately at first and apparently until he disclosed what he had in mind, when the matter was publicly taken up in open court as follows:

‘Court: What was it you were trying to explain to the court a moment ago?

‘Juror T. E. Look: Why, being that I have not heard any of the facts in the case, I would be prejudiced against the state for locking me up.

‘Court: Why?

[203 N.W. 883]

‘Juror: Because I feel I am here on my honor, and I am willing to work-I am not saying anything about that.

‘Court: Do you realize that it is a matter that is within the discretion of the court?

‘Juror: Yes; I do, except the fact--

‘Court: Do you fell that under the circumstances, owing to the fact that you are going to be locked up, that you are not going to be able to give the state and the respondent a fair trial?

‘Juror: Why, I have declared that is how I feel about it.

‘Court: Do you think that you are not going to be able to give a fair verdict in this case owing to the fact that the court has seen fit to confine you during this trial?

‘Juror: Why, I don't think so. I feel this way, your honor: If there has been no facts brought out and there was no question about us jurors being prejudiced by somebody or something like that, I would not feel that way. I don't know anything about the case.

‘Court: But you are going on record here in this court by saying that you are not going to be able to give a fair trial in this case owing to the fact that the court has seen fit to confine you. That is true, is it?

‘Juror: I feel that way, your honor, yes.

‘Court (addressing counsel): Well, what have you to say, gentlemen?’

What, if anything, was said by counsel is not disclosed, but the record shows further inquiry as follows:

‘Juror: I am willing to be put on my honor that I won't say anything about it, because there has not been any facts brought out; and that is just the way I feel about it. If anything had been gone into at all, I would not blame you at all for locking us up, because I know that is the procedure. On the other hand, if it is both parties that wants to lock us up, why, I would be prejudiced against both.

‘Court: Well, who is locking you up?

‘Juror: I think it is the state.

‘Court: I'll tell you it is the court. The state has nothing to do with it; neither has the defendant or his counsel.

‘Juror: Well, that being the case, it sort of removes my prejudice. I thought it was the state or the city.

‘Court: Neither the city nor the state has anything to do with it, neither has the defendant nor his counsel said anything to me. I am to blame for your being confined.

‘Juror: Well, I can't have any prejudice against you-it wouldn't pay.

‘Court: Well, do you still think that you would be able to sit as a fair and impartial juror in the case?

‘Juror: Why, now that you have explained the circumstances, I believe that I could, regardless of inconvenience.

‘Court: All right.’

The jury was then put in charge of an officer, and the court adjourned until the following morning. On the opening of court the next morning it was called to the attention of the presiding judge that juror Look had undertaken to interrogate the officer in charge on the subject, and the latter, when called before the court and sworn, testified that Look had asked him how long they would keep them locked up if they could not agree, to which the officer had replied that it was discretionary with the court. The prosecutor then urged that the attitude of the juror after learning the jury would be confined during the trial and his declaration to the court that it would prejudice him against the state was manifestly prejudicial to an impartial administration of justice, giving rise to an overruling necessity for discharging the jury, and moved the court to declare the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
20 practice notes
  • People v. Smith, Docket No. 130353. Calendar No. 3.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • June 20, 2007
    ...(stating that "the law of jeopardy is doubtless the same under both [the federal and Michigan constitutions]");5 People v. Schepps, 231 Mich. 260, 267, 203 N.W. 882 (1925) (quoting Ascher for the proposition that the Court is "committed" to the view of double jeopardy protections set forth ......
  • People v. Nutt, Docket No. 120489, Calendar No. 6.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • April 2, 2004
    ...to the view upon the subject of former jeopardy adopted by the Federal courts under the Federal Constitution"); People v. Schepps, 231 Mich. 260, 265, 203 N.W. 882 (1925) ("this court is now committed to the views [regarding Michigan's double jeopardy protection] adopted by the Federal cour......
  • People v. Harding, Docket Nos. 91097
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • April 1, 1993
    ...that the protections afforded by the state and federal prohibitions against double jeopardy are identical, see, e.g., People v. Schepps, 231 Mich. 260, 265, 203 N.W. 882 (1925); People v. Powers, 272 Mich. 303, 307, 261 N.W. 543 (1935), the Court did not intend and could not deprive the sta......
  • People v. Beck, 160668
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • July 27, 2022
    ...his appearance and attitude, tone of voice and manner of testifying when undergoing the investigation.' "), quoting People v Schepps, 231 Mich. 260, 270; 203 N.W. 882 (1925). [4] Justice ZAHRA's partial dissent speculates about what the jurors might have known and whether they understood wh......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
20 cases
  • People v. Smith, Docket No. 130353. Calendar No. 3.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • June 20, 2007
    ...(stating that "the law of jeopardy is doubtless the same under both [the federal and Michigan constitutions]");5 People v. Schepps, 231 Mich. 260, 267, 203 N.W. 882 (1925) (quoting Ascher for the proposition that the Court is "committed" to the view of double jeopardy protections set forth ......
  • People v. Nutt, Docket No. 120489, Calendar No. 6.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • April 2, 2004
    ...to the view upon the subject of former jeopardy adopted by the Federal courts under the Federal Constitution"); People v. Schepps, 231 Mich. 260, 265, 203 N.W. 882 (1925) ("this court is now committed to the views [regarding Michigan's double jeopardy protection] adopted by the Federal cour......
  • People v. Harding, Docket Nos. 91097
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • April 1, 1993
    ...that the protections afforded by the state and federal prohibitions against double jeopardy are identical, see, e.g., People v. Schepps, 231 Mich. 260, 265, 203 N.W. 882 (1925); People v. Powers, 272 Mich. 303, 307, 261 N.W. 543 (1935), the Court did not intend and could not deprive the sta......
  • People v. Beck, 160668
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • July 27, 2022
    ...his appearance and attitude, tone of voice and manner of testifying when undergoing the investigation.' "), quoting People v Schepps, 231 Mich. 260, 270; 203 N.W. 882 (1925). [4] Justice ZAHRA's partial dissent speculates about what the jurors might have known and whether they understood wh......
  • 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