Rawlins v. State of Georgia

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Citation5 Ann. Cas. 783,26 S.Ct. 560,50 L.Ed. 899,201 U.S. 638
Docket NumberNo. 547,547
PartiesJ. G. RAWLINS, Milton Rawlins, Leonard Rawlins, and Jesse Rawlins, Plffs. in Err. , v. STATE OF GEORGIA
Decision Date16 April 1906

201 U.S. 638
26 S.Ct. 560
50 L.Ed. 899
J. G. RAWLINS, Milton Rawlins, Leonard Rawlins, and Jesse Rawlins, Plffs. in Err.,

v.

STATE OF GEORGIA.

No. 547.
Argued April 6, 1906.
Decided April 16, 1906.

Messrs. John Randolph Cooper and Oscar M. Smith for plaintiffs in error.

Page 639

The court declined to hear Mr. John C. Hart on behalf of defendant in error.

Mr. Justice Holmes delivered the opinion of the court:

The plaintiffs in error were indicted for murder, tried, and found guilty. Leonard Rawlins was sentenced to the penitentiary for life, and the others were sentenced to be hanged. When the grand jury was organized each of the accused filed a written challenge to the array, on the ground that 'while there are in Lowndes county many lawyers, many preachers, ministers, many doctors, many engineers and firemen of railroad trains, and many dentists, as many as ten of each class named, or other large number of each of said class, all citizens and residents of said county, and being competent and qualified jurors, as to age and uprightness, experience and intelligence, and as to all the legal qualifications of a juror, yet each and every one of these classes of citizens, and each and every member thereof in the county, is expressly and purposely excluded from the grand jury service by the commissioners failing and refusing to put any of said names in the box, so that, not being in the box, they cannot be legally drawn for service.' The challenge was repeated as a plea in abatement, and the petit jury was challenged on the same ground. Rights under the 14th Amendment were specially set up and claimed. The challenges and pleas were overruled, subject to exceptions. The exceptions were overruled by the supreme court of the state (52 S. E. 1), and a writ of error was taken out to bring the case to this court.

At the argument before us the not uncommon misconception seemed to prevail that the requirement of due process of law took up the special provisions of the state Constitution and laws into the 14th Amendment for the purposes of the case, so that this court would revise the decision of the state court that the local provisions had been complied with. This is a mistake. If the state Constitution and laws as construed

Page 640

by the state court are consistent with the 14th Amendment, we can go no further. The only question for us is whether a state could authorize the course of proceedings adopted, if that course were prescribed by...

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90 practice notes
  • Peters v. Kiff 8212 5078, No. 71
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 22, 1972
    ...whether his challenge would prevail, i.e., whether the exclusion might be found to have sufficient justification. See Rawlins v. Georgia, 201 U.S. 638, 640, 26 S.Ct. 560, 561, 50 L.Ed. 899 (1906), holding that a may exclude certain occupational categories from jury service 'on the bona fide......
  • Taylor v. Louisiana 8212 5744, No. 73
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • January 21, 1975
    ...those engaged in particular occupations the uninterrupted performance of which is critical to the community's welfare. Rawlins v. Georgia, 201 U.S. 638, 26 S.Ct. 560, 50 L.Ed. 899 (1906). It would not appear that such exemptions would pose substantial threats that the remaining pool of juro......
  • Albert Twining v. State of New Jersey, 10
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • November 9, 1908
    ...S. 425, 50 L. ed. 256, 26 Sup. Ct. Rep. 87; Howard v. Kentucky, 200 U. S. 164, 50 L. ed. 421, 26 Sup. Ct. Rep. 189; Rawlins v. Georgia, 201 U. S. 638, 50 L. ed. 899, 26 Sup. Ct. Rep. 560; Felts v. Murphy, 201 U. S. 123, 50 L. ed. 689, 26 Sup. Ct. Rep. 366. Among the most notable of these de......
  • Snyder v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 241
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • January 8, 1934
    ...v. New Jersey, 175 U.S. 172, 20 S.Ct. 77, 44 L.Ed. 119; Howard v. Kentucky, 200 U.S. 164, 26 S.Ct. 189, 50 L.Ed. 421; Rawlins v. Georgia, 201 U.S. 638, 26 S.Ct. 560, 50 L.Ed. 899, 5 Ann.Cas. 783. 9 Hurtado v. California, supra, pages 528, 529 of 110 U.S., 4 S.Ct. 292; Twining v. New Jersey,......
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90 cases
  • Peters v. Kiff 8212 5078
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 22, 1972
    ...whether his challenge would prevail, i.e., whether the exclusion might be found to have sufficient justification. See Rawlins v. Georgia, 201 U.S. 638, 640, 26 S.Ct. 560, 561, 50 L.Ed. 899 (1906), holding that a may exclude certain occupational categories from jury service 'on the bona fide......
  • Taylor v. Louisiana 8212 5744
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • January 21, 1975
    ...in particular occupations the uninterrupted performance of which is critical to the community's welfare. Rawlins v. Georgia, 201 U.S. 638, 26 S.Ct. 560, 50 L.Ed. 899 (1906). It would not appear that such exemptions would pose substantial threats that the remaining pool of jurors would not b......
  • Albert Twining v. State of New Jersey
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • November 9, 1908
    ...50 L. ed. 256, 26 Sup. Ct. Rep. 87; Howard v. Kentucky, 200 U. S. 164, 50 L. ed. 421, 26 Sup. Ct. Rep. 189; Rawlins v. Georgia, 201 U. S. 638, 50 L. ed. 899, 26 Sup. Ct. Rep. 560; Felts v. Murphy, 201 U. S. 123, 50 L. ed. 689, 26 Sup. Ct. Rep. Among the most notable of these decisions are t......
  • Snyder v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • January 8, 1934
    ...175 U.S. 172, 20 S.Ct. 77, 44 L.Ed. 119; Howard v. Kentucky, 200 U.S. 164, 26 S.Ct. 189, 50 L.Ed. 421; Rawlins v. Georgia, 201 U.S. 638, 26 S.Ct. 560, 50 L.Ed. 899, 5 Ann.Cas. 783. 9 Hurtado v. California, supra, pages 528, 529 of 110 U.S., 4 S.Ct. 292; Twining v. New Jersey, supra, page 11......
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