Rufus Martin v. State of Texas, No. 170

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHarlan
Citation50 L.Ed. 497,26 S.Ct. 338,200 U.S. 316
Decision Date19 February 1906
Docket NumberNo. 170
PartiesRUFUS MARTIN, Plff. in Err. , v. STATE OF TEXAS

200 U.S. 316
26 S.Ct. 338
50 L.Ed. 497
RUFUS MARTIN, Plff. in Err.,

v.

STATE OF TEXAS.

No. 170.
Submitted January 25, 1906.
Decided February 19, 1906.

Page 317

Messrs. Watson E. Coleman, O. P. Easterwood, and O. E. Smith for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. C. K. Bell, Robert Vance Davidson, and Claude Pollard for defendant in error.

[Argument of Counsels from page 317 intentionally omitted]

Page 318

Mr. Justice Harlan delivered the opinion of the court:

By an indictment returned in the district court of Tarrant county, Texas, the plaintiff in error was charged with the crime of murder. Having been duly arraigned and pleaded not guilty, the accused (who is a negro) moved to quash the indictment, on the ground, stated in writing under oath, that all persons of the African race had been excluded from the grand jury, because of their race, although about one fourth of the inhabitants of the county, competent under the law to act as grand jurors, were of that race. The facts upon which the motion was based were set out, and the accused, in the written motion, prayed that testimony be heard in support of its grounds. The state's attorney, in writing, denied such discrimination, and offered to prove that only about one hundred and fifty persons of the African race in the county, as compared with twelve thousand whites, were competent under the law to act as grand jurors.

The accused then moved in writing, verified by his oath, to quash the panel of petit jurors, upon the ground that from the panel had been excluded all persons of the African race, because of their race, although about one fourth of the persons in the county competent under the law to serve as jurors were of that race. The facts set out in that motion were also denied in writing by the state's attorney.

Both motions were overruled by the court, the accused excepting. There was a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree, and the accused was sentenced to suffer death. The judgment of conviction was affirmed in the court of criminal appeals, the highest court of the state in which a decision of the case could be had. One of the assignments of error in that court was the overruling of the motion to quash the indictment; but no error was there assigned in respect of the overruling of the motion to quash the panel of petit jurors.

It is not contended that the Constitution or laws of Texas authorized any discrimination, on account of race merely, in the selection of grand or petit jurors. Nor is it contended that

Page 319

the prescribed qualifications for jurors were not appropriate in order to secure an impartial jury for the trial of an accused. Nevertheless, if, upon the hearing of the written motion to quash the indictment, the facts stated in the motion had been established by affirmative proof, or if the trial court had refused to admit evidence to prove them, we should not hesitate to reverse the judgment. For it is the settled doctrine of this court that 'whenever, by any action of a state, whether through its legislature, through its courts, or through its executive or administrative officers, all...

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150 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
    ...Norris v. Alabama, 294 U.S. 587, 55 S.Ct. 579, 79 L.Ed. 1074 (1935), reversing 229 Ala. 226, 156 So. 556 (1934). See also Martin v. Texas, 200 U.S. 316, 26 S.Ct. 338, 50 L.Ed. 497 (1906); Rogers v. Alabama, 192 U.S. 226, 24 S.Ct. 257, 48 L.Ed. 417 (1904); Carter v. Texas, 177 U.S. 442, 20 S......
  • Holloway v. Horn, CIVIL ACTION No. 00-CV-1757, CAPITAL CASE (E.D. Pa. 8/27/2001), CIVIL ACTION No. 00-CV-1757, CAPITAL CASE.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • August 27, 2001
    ...a jury whose members are selected pursuant to nondiscriminatory criteria." Batson, 476 U.S. 79, 85-86 (1986) (citing Martin v. Texas, 200 U.S. 316, 321 (1906)). In order to establish a race-based Equal Protection violation in the selection of his jury, a defendant must show that the pr......
  • Miller v. State
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • January 30, 1953
    ...unit from which the jury is summoned. Cassell v. State of Texas, 339 U.S. 282, 70 S.Ct. 629, 94 L.Ed. 839; Martin v. State of Texas, 200 U.S. 316, 26 S.Ct. 338, 50 L.Ed. 497; Carter v. State of Texas, 177 U.S. 442, 20 S.Ct. 687, 44 L.Ed. 839; Gibson v. State of Mississippi, 162 U.S. 565, 16......
  • Anderson v. Johnson, No. 16533.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • December 22, 1966
    ...In Thomas v. State of Texas, 212 U.S. 278, 282, 29 S.Ct. 393, 394, the Court stated that: "It was ruled in Martin v. State of Texas, 200 U.S. 316 26 S.Ct. 338, 50 L.Ed. 497, as in other cases, that discrimination in organizing a grand jury and impanelling a petit jury cannot be establi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
150 cases
  • Hollis v. Davis, No. 88-7477
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 18, 1991
    ...Norris v. Alabama, 294 U.S. 587, 55 S.Ct. 579, 79 L.Ed. 1074 (1935), reversing 229 Ala. 226, 156 So. 556 (1934). See also Martin v. Texas, 200 U.S. 316, 26 S.Ct. 338, 50 L.Ed. 497 (1906); Rogers v. Alabama, 192 U.S. 226, 24 S.Ct. 257, 48 L.Ed. 417 (1904); Carter v. Texas, 177 U.S. 442, 20 S......
  • Holloway v. Horn, CIVIL ACTION No. 00-CV-1757, CAPITAL CASE (E.D. Pa. 8/27/2001), CIVIL ACTION No. 00-CV-1757, CAPITAL CASE.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • August 27, 2001
    ...by a jury whose members are selected pursuant to nondiscriminatory criteria." Batson, 476 U.S. 79, 85-86 (1986) (citing Martin v. Texas, 200 U.S. 316, 321 (1906)). In order to establish a race-based Equal Protection violation in the selection of his jury, a defendant must show that the pros......
  • Miller v. State
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • January 30, 1953
    ...unit from which the jury is summoned. Cassell v. State of Texas, 339 U.S. 282, 70 S.Ct. 629, 94 L.Ed. 839; Martin v. State of Texas, 200 U.S. 316, 26 S.Ct. 338, 50 L.Ed. 497; Carter v. State of Texas, 177 U.S. 442, 20 S.Ct. 687, 44 L.Ed. 839; Gibson v. State of Mississippi, 162 U.S. 565, 16......
  • Anderson v. Johnson, No. 16533.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • December 22, 1966
    ...In Thomas v. State of Texas, 212 U.S. 278, 282, 29 S.Ct. 393, 394, the Court stated that: "It was ruled in Martin v. State of Texas, 200 U.S. 316 26 S.Ct. 338, 50 L.Ed. 497, as in other cases, that discrimination in organizing a grand jury and impanelling a petit jury cannot be established ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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