Rudy v. Commonwealth

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtSTERRETT, J.
Citation128 Pa.St. 500,18 A. 344
Decision Date07 October 1889
PartiesRUDY v. COMMONWEALTH.
18 A. 344
128 Pa.St. 500

RUDY
v.
COMMONWEALTH.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Oct. 7, 1889.


Error to court of oyer and terminer, Lancaster county; J. B. LIVINGSTON, Judge.

John W. Rudy brings error from a conviction of murder in the first degree. Deceased was defendant's father.

The specifications of error are as follows: (1) The court erred in allowing the commonwealth to stand jurors aside who were brought into court upon a special venire. (2) The court erred in disallowing the defendant's question to Jacob Witch, as follows: "Question. Did or did not John Rudy, at the time he said 'some one of the poor-house fellows killed my father,' also say 'they have stolen his goods, and were always annoying him and teasing him,' in the presence of the body immediately after it was discovered that his father was killed?" (3) The court erred in disallowing the defendant's question to Jacob Witch, as follows: "Question. Did Christian Rudy complain to you that the people at the poor-house, and the inmates, abused him and treated him badly?" (4) The court erred in its charge to the jury in saying: "The setting up of an alibi by the prisoner does not relieve the commonwealth from furnishing, as it has done here, full proof of the commission of the offense or crime charged." (5) The court erred in its charge to the jury in saying: "Where a prisoner sets up an alibi as a defense, the burden of proving his alibi to the satisfaction of the jury is thrown upon him. If he does not do this his defense of

18 A. 345

alibi fails entirely." (6) The court erred in its charge to the jury in saying: "Where a defense rests on proof of an alibi, such proof must cover the whole time during which the crime charged was perpetrated,— the time when the evidence shows it was committed,—so as to preclude the possibility of the presence of the prisoner at the place where, and at the time when, it was perpetrated." (7) The court erred in its charge to the jury in saying: "The value of this defense, the alibi, clearly consists in the prisoner proving his alibi to the satisfaction of the jury. If he fails to do so, it is valueless as a complete defense." (8) The court erred in its charge to the jury in saying: "And, where the evidence is so imperfect as not to satisfy the jury as to an alibi, they will not find it to be a fact, and will not say it is a defense." (9) The court erred in its charge to the jury in saying: "In seeking a solution of this pivotal question, you will probably first examine the testimony as to the alibi, and in doing this you will examine all the evidence in the cause bearing upon the presence of the prisoner, John W. Rudy, at the time and place of the murder, as well as that bearing upon his absence from that place at that, the time of the murder. You have heard it all from the stand, and you have heard it more fully and ably commented on by the learned counsel than is usual in courts of justice, and from it must form your own judgment. If the evidence has satisfied you that the prisoner has proved his alibi; that he (John W. Rudy) was at some other place, or at other places, at and during the whole period of time when this murder was committed, and was not there at the place when it was committed,— then your verdict should be not guilty; for, as we have said, a man cannot be in two different and distinct places at the same time. But if the evidence presented in this ease, on this question of alibi, does not prove an alibi, you will then, from a full, fair, careful examination of all the...

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4 practice notes
  • State v. Webb
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • January 20, 1899
    ...v. Downs, 123 N.Y. 558, 25 N.E. 988; Tiffany v. Commonwealth, 121 Pa. St. 165, 6 Am. St. Rep. 775, 15 A. 219; Rudy v. Commonwealth, 128 Pa. St. 500, 18 A. 344; Commonwealth v. McKie, 1 Gray, 61, 61 Am. Dec. 410; People v. Coughlin, 65 Mich. 704, 32 N.W. 905; Lilienthal v. United States, 97 ......
  • State v. Ardoin, 18,584
    • United States
    • Louisiana Supreme Court
    • February 13, 1911
    ...455; People v. Downs, 123 N.Y. 558, 25 N.E. 988; Tiffany v. Com., 121 Pa. 165, 15 A. 462, 6 Am. St. Rep. 775; Rudy v. Com., 128 Pa. 500, 18 A. 344; Com. v. McKie, 1 Gray (Mass.) 61, 61 Am. Dec. 410; People v. Coughlin, 65 Mich. 704, 32 N.W. 905; Lilienthal v. U.S. 97 U.S. 237, 24 L.Ed. 901;......
  • Gravely v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • January 16, 1894
    ...117 N. Y. 71, 22 N. E. 455;People v. Downs, 123 N. Y. 558, 25 N. E. 988;Tiffany v. Com., 121 Pa. St. 165, 15 Atl. 462;Rudy v. Com., 128 Pa. St. 500, 18 Atl. 344;Com. v. McKie, 1 Gray, 61;People v. Coughlin, 65 Mich. 704, 32 N. W. 905;Lilienthal v. U. S., 97 U. S. 237;Howard v. State, 50 Ind......
  • State v. Zeigler.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • April 13, 1895
    ...17 S. E. Rep. 108; 8 W. Va. 766; 20 W. Va. 679; 37 W. Va. 813; 3 Greenl. Ev. § 5, note d; 117 N. Y. 71; 123 N. Y. 553; 121 Pa. St. 165; 128 Pa. St. 500; 1 Gray 61; 97 U. S. 237; 1 Bish. Crim. Pro. 1048. [40 W.Va. 595] Attorney-General Riley for the state, cited 33 W. Va. 370; 8 W. Va. 741; ......
4 cases
  • State v. Webb
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • January 20, 1899
    ...v. Downs, 123 N.Y. 558, 25 N.E. 988; Tiffany v. Commonwealth, 121 Pa. St. 165, 6 Am. St. Rep. 775, 15 A. 219; Rudy v. Commonwealth, 128 Pa. St. 500, 18 A. 344; Commonwealth v. McKie, 1 Gray, 61, 61 Am. Dec. 410; People v. Coughlin, 65 Mich. 704, 32 N.W. 905; Lilienthal v. United States, 97 ......
  • State v. Ardoin, 18,584
    • United States
    • Louisiana Supreme Court
    • February 13, 1911
    ...455; People v. Downs, 123 N.Y. 558, 25 N.E. 988; Tiffany v. Com., 121 Pa. 165, 15 A. 462, 6 Am. St. Rep. 775; Rudy v. Com., 128 Pa. 500, 18 A. 344; Com. v. McKie, 1 Gray (Mass.) 61, 61 Am. Dec. 410; People v. Coughlin, 65 Mich. 704, 32 N.W. 905; Lilienthal v. U.S. 97 U.S. 237, 24 L.Ed. 901;......
  • Gravely v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • January 16, 1894
    ...117 N. Y. 71, 22 N. E. 455;People v. Downs, 123 N. Y. 558, 25 N. E. 988;Tiffany v. Com., 121 Pa. St. 165, 15 Atl. 462;Rudy v. Com., 128 Pa. St. 500, 18 Atl. 344;Com. v. McKie, 1 Gray, 61;People v. Coughlin, 65 Mich. 704, 32 N. W. 905;Lilienthal v. U. S., 97 U. S. 237;Howard v. State, 50 Ind......
  • State v. Zeigler.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • April 13, 1895
    ...17 S. E. Rep. 108; 8 W. Va. 766; 20 W. Va. 679; 37 W. Va. 813; 3 Greenl. Ev. § 5, note d; 117 N. Y. 71; 123 N. Y. 553; 121 Pa. St. 165; 128 Pa. St. 500; 1 Gray 61; 97 U. S. 237; 1 Bish. Crim. Pro. 1048. [40 W.Va. 595] Attorney-General Riley for the state, cited 33 W. Va. 370; 8 W. Va. 741; ......

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