Reeves v. State, 3 Div. 751

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Writing for the CourtSTAKELY; The Board of Jury Supervisors of Montgomery County is composed of the two Circuit Judges
Citation88 So.2d 561,264 Ala. 476
Decision Date21 June 1956
Docket Number3 Div. 751
PartiesJeremiah REEVES, Jr. v. STATE of Alabama.

Page 561

88 So.2d 561
264 Ala. 476
Jeremiah REEVES, Jr.
v.
STATE of Alabama.
3 Div. 751.
Supreme Court of Alabama.
June 21, 1956.

[264 Ala. 477]

Page 562

Peter A. Hall and Orzell Billingsley, Jr., Birmingham, for appellant.

[264 Ala. 478] John Patterson, Atty. Gen., and Robt. Straub, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the state.

STAKELY, Justice.

Page 563

Jeremiah Reeves, Jr. (appellant), was indicted by the Grand Jury of Montgomery County for the offense of rape. He was tried before a jury upon a plea of not guilty and a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. The trial resulted in a conviction. The case was appealed to this court where it was affirmed. Reeves v. State, 260 Ala. 66, 68 So.2d 14. On certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States the judgment of conviction was reversed. Reeves v. State, 348 U.S. 891, 75 S.Ct. 214, 99 L.Ed. 700.

Appellant was arraigned on November 26, 1952, and on that date pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. When the case came up for trial the second time on May 30, 1955, appellant made a motion for permission to withdraw his former pleas in order to attack the legality of the indictment. A motion of quash the indictment was also filed. On May 30, 1955, a motion to quash the venire drawn on May 16, 1955, was filed. Appellant also filed a motion for the appointment of a lunacy commission. Another motion to quash the indictment was also filed. Appellant also filed a motion to set aside the entire jury box and to declare it void. Appellant also made a motion to allow the public to remain in the court room during the trial and further made a motion that the public be excluded only while the prosecutrix testified. All of the aforesaid motions were denied.

Testimony was taken before the court on the motion to quash the venire on the ground of systematic exclusion of Negroes from jury duty in Montgomery County. The motion was denied and the case went to trial. The jury returned a verdict of guilty and fixed the punishment at death. Counsel moved the court to set aside the verdict and the motion was denied. The court adjudged appellant guilty and sentenced him accordingly. It is from such judgment and sentence that this appeal has been taken.

We see no reason to set out the details of the alleged rape of the prosecutrix and the identification of the appellant as the guilty party. We have read the evidence very carefully in this regard and consider that there was clearly evidence from which the jury had the right to infer that the prosecutrix was raped and that this appellant was the one who perpetrated the act. It should be mentioned here that while on the first trial the questions of an [264 Ala. 480] alleged confession and inculpatory statements were raised, these questions are not involved in the instant case. In other words the entire case for the State was testimony tending to show the act which constituted the crime, with the attendant circumstances, and the identification of appellant as the party committing the crime. The defendant denied that he committed the crime and there was testimony tending to show that he was at another place at the time the alleged crime was committed.

I. On this trial of the case the appellant sought to withdraw his pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, which were entered on arraignment in order to permit him to attack the indictment on the ground of systematic exclusion of Negroes on the grand jury. The defendant was represented by counsel at the time the pleas were filed. The competency of counsel then representing defendant is not questioned. We find no error in the court's refusal to allow the aforesaid pleas to be withdrawn. Ordinarily an accused need not be rearraigned upon the second or subsequent trial of his case. We find that in most jurisdictions when a case has been reversed it is not necessary that the defendant be rearraigned. Thomas v. State, 17 Okl.Cr. 550, 190 P. 711; Hamit v. State, 42 Okl.Cr. 168, 275 P. 361; Steen v. State, 97 Tex.Cr.R. 99, 242 S.W. 1047; State v. Farrell, 223 N.C. 804, 28 S.E.2d 560; State v. Hewitt, 206 S.C. 409, 34 S.E.2d 764. In Alabama the courts have placed a limitation upon this rule but this limitation is not important under the facts presented in this case. In Alabama if the indictment is changed by amendment (by agreement) or its scope by the fact that the earlier conviction acts as an acquittal of a higher degree of the offense, the better practice is to rearraign the defendant prior to the second trial. Thomas v. State, 255 Ala. 632, 53 So.2d 340. In the case at bar the indictment has not been

Page 564

changed in any way and once having pleaded to the charge against him, we see no abuse of the court's discretion when the court refused to allow the defendant to reopen the pleading.

In Alabama there are certain statutory regulations with reference to objections to an indictment. In §§ 278, 279 and 286, Title 15, Code of 1940, there are provisions setting forth the method of attacking an indictment. Section 278 provides that the proper method is by plea in abatement. Section 279 provides that in all cases such a plea in abatement must be filed before the plea to the merits. The same is true in section 286. In Clark v. State, 239 Ala. 380, 195 So. 260, it is shown that under the procedural law of this state pleas in abatement must be filed before pleading to the merits or in bar and it is only where the court in its discretion allows pleas to the merits to be withdrawn that pleas in abatement can be filed. The principle here referred to was recently dealt with by the Supreme Court of the United States in Michel v. Louisiana, 350 U.S. 91, 76 S.Ct. 158, 100 L.Ed. ----. In that case the appellant was indicted on February 19, 1953, and was presented to the court for arraignment on February 23, 1953. The arraignment was continued in order that counsel might be secured. In Louisiana the defendant is required to object to the grand jury before three judicial days after its term and in any case before arraignment. The Supreme Court of the United States in holding that the three day limitation was not a denial of due process, said that a motion to quash is normally a short, simple document, easily prepared in a single afternoon. It then appeared that the term of the grand jury which indicted the defendant expired March 2, 1953. The motion to quash the indictment was filed March 9, 1953, five days after the expiration of the term of the grand jury. Counsel contended that they had not been formally appointed until March 5, 1953. The Supreme Court of Louisiana held that counsel had been appointed on March 2 and the Supreme Court of the United States refused to overturn the findings of the Louisana Court. It should be noted that in the Michel case, supra, the ground for challenge of the indictment was the systematic exclusion of Negroes from the grand jury. The state court found that question had been waived by the failure to file the motion to quash at the proper time. The Supreme Court of the United States did not disturb that ruling.

[264 Ala. 481] But there is more in this case than waiver by failure to make a timely assertion of an alleged right. As we understand the situation the question of the systematic exclusion of Negroes from the grand jury was raised on the first trial of the case and was before the Supreme Court of the United States. The reversal however by the Supreme Court of the United States was apparently based upon the erroneous introduction in evidence of the alleged confession. This is borne out by the citation of authorities on which the reversal is based. Reference to the opinion of this court in Reeves v. State, supra, as well as the record before the court on the former appeal, of which we take judicial notice, Alabama Water Co. v. City of Anniston, 227 Ala. 579, 151 So. 457, shows that the defendant filed a motion to quash the indictment by the grand jury panel on the ground that Negroes had been systematically excluded therefrom. The defendant called two members of the jury commission as his...

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29 practice notes
  • Hollis v. Davis, No. 88-7477
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 18, 1991
    ...168 So. 665 (1936); Vernon v. State, 245 Ala. 633, 18 So.2d 388 (1944); Fikes v. State, 263 Ala. 89, 81 So.2d 303 (1955); Reeves v. State, 264 Ala. 476, 88 So.2d 561 (1956). See also Collins v. State, 234 Ala. 197, 198, 174 So. 296 7 Of course, inadequate representation is only one of two c......
  • Aaron v. Capps, No. 74-2526
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • February 3, 1975
    ...See 155 So.2d at 335. We note that a challenge to the composition of the jury in Montgomery County was timely entered in Reeves v. State, 264 Ala. 476, 88 So.2d 561 (1956), cert. granted, 352 U.S. 965, 77 S.Ct. 373, 1 L.Ed.2d 321, cert. dismissed, 355 U.S. 368, 78 S.Ct. 363, 2 L.Ed.2d 352 (......
  • Hollis v. Davis, No. 88-7477
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 25, 1990
    ...569, 168 So. 665 (1936); Vernon v. State, 245 Ala. 633, 18 So.2d 388; Fikes v. State, 263 Ala. 89, 81 So.2d 303 (1955); Reeves v. State, 264 Ala. 476, 88 So.2d 561. See also Collins v. State, 234 Ala. 197, 198, 174 So. 296 7 Of course, inadequate representation is only one of two components......
  • Gannett Co Inc v. Pasquale, No. 77-1301
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • July 2, 1979
    ...spectators from trial, but seldom applied so as to result in blanket exclusion of the public and press. For example, in Reeves v. State, 264 Ala. 476, 483, 88 So.2d 561, 567 (1956), the court, in applying the Alabama provision cited by the Court, ante, at 388 n. 19, noted that the trial cou......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
29 cases
  • Hollis v. Davis, No. 88-7477
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 18, 1991
    ...168 So. 665 (1936); Vernon v. State, 245 Ala. 633, 18 So.2d 388 (1944); Fikes v. State, 263 Ala. 89, 81 So.2d 303 (1955); Reeves v. State, 264 Ala. 476, 88 So.2d 561 (1956). See also Collins v. State, 234 Ala. 197, 198, 174 So. 296 7 Of course, inadequate representation is only one of two c......
  • Aaron v. Capps, No. 74-2526
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • February 3, 1975
    ...See 155 So.2d at 335. We note that a challenge to the composition of the jury in Montgomery County was timely entered in Reeves v. State, 264 Ala. 476, 88 So.2d 561 (1956), cert. granted, 352 U.S. 965, 77 S.Ct. 373, 1 L.Ed.2d 321, cert. dismissed, 355 U.S. 368, 78 S.Ct. 363, 2 L.Ed.2d 352 (......
  • Hollis v. Davis, No. 88-7477
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 25, 1990
    ...569, 168 So. 665 (1936); Vernon v. State, 245 Ala. 633, 18 So.2d 388; Fikes v. State, 263 Ala. 89, 81 So.2d 303 (1955); Reeves v. State, 264 Ala. 476, 88 So.2d 561. See also Collins v. State, 234 Ala. 197, 198, 174 So. 296 7 Of course, inadequate representation is only one of two components......
  • Gannett Co Inc v. Pasquale, No. 77-1301
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • July 2, 1979
    ...spectators from trial, but seldom applied so as to result in blanket exclusion of the public and press. For example, in Reeves v. State, 264 Ala. 476, 483, 88 So.2d 561, 567 (1956), the court, in applying the Alabama provision cited by the Court, ante, at 388 n. 19, noted that the trial cou......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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