Shultz v. State

Decision Date10 March 1938
Citation179 So. 764,131 Fla. 757
CourtFlorida Supreme Court

Error to Circuit Court, Santa Rosa County; L. L. Fabisinski, Judge.

Compton Shultz was convicted of breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor, and he brings error.


COUNSEL Woodrow M. Melvin, of Milton, for plaintiff in error.

Cary D Landis, Atty. Gen., and Tyrus A. Norwood, Asst. Atty. Gen for the State.


BUFORD Justice.

The writ of error in this case brings for review judgment of conviction of the offense of breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor.

A motion for continuance alleges that the accused was brought into open court dressed in the garb of a convict and in chains and, in such condition, in the presence of the venire from which was to be drawn a jury to serve in his trial, was arraigned and required to plead to the information filed against him.

Motions though sworn to, are not self-proving and there is nothing else in the record to show that this condition existed.

Every person is presumed to be innocent of the commission of crime and that presumption follows them through every stage of the trial until they shall have been convicted. It is, therefore, highly improper to bring a person who has not been convicted of crime, clothed as a convict and bound in chains, into the presence of a venire or jury by whom he is to be tried for any criminal offense and, when such condition is shown by the record to have obtained, in many cases it might be sufficient ground for a reversal.

In this case the State relied upon circumstantial evidence for conviction and, without going into the evidence in detail, it is sufficient to say that the record fails to disclose evidence sufficient to satisfy the rule in such cases. In such cases the rule is:

'If the facts in proof are equally consistent with some other rational conclusion than that of guilt, or if the evidence leaves it indifferent which of several hypothesis is true, or merely establishes some finite probability in favor of one hypothesis rather than another, such evidence cannot amount to proof, however great the probability may be. Parish v. State, 98 Fla. 877, 124 So. 444; Gustine v. State, 86 Fla. 24, 97 So. 207.'

See, also, Lee v. State, 96 Fla. 59, 117 So. 699.

For the reasons stated, the judgment must be reversed, and it is so ordered.



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24 cases
  • State v. Long
    • United States
    • Oregon Supreme Court
    • 21 Mayo 1952
    ...held that there was no abuse of discretion in the order denying defendant's motion for the removal of the handcuffs. In Shultz v. State, 131 Fla. 757, 179 So. 764, 765, there is a dictum to the effect that it is improper to bring a person who has not been convicted of crime, clothed as a co......
  • Williams v. Estelle
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • 6 Septiembre 1974
    ...171 (1963); Eaddy v. People, 115 Colo. 488, 174 P.2d 717 (1946); Collins v. State, 70 Okl.Cr. 340, 106 P.2d 273 (1940); Shultz v. State, 131 Fla. 757, 179 So. 764 (1934).4 We find no discussion in any decision on the question whether this rule should be applied retroactively. Both the Ninth......
  • State v. Finch
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • 6 Mayo 1999
    ...Cir.1971); State v. Crawford, 99 Idaho 87, 95-96, 577 P.2d 1135 (1978); State v. Boyd, 256 S.W.2d 765, 766 (Mo.1953); Shultz v. State, 131 Fla. 757, 758, 179 So. 764 (1938); Blair v. Commonwealth, 171 Ky. 319, 327-29, 188 S.W. 390 (1916). Shackling or handcuffing a defendant has also been d......
  • State v. Tolley
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • 14 Julio 1976
    ...284 (1943); Anthony v. State, supra; People v. Harrington,42 Cal. 165, 10 Am.Rep. 296 (1871); Eaddy v. People, supra; Shultz v. State, 131 Fla. 757, 179 So. 764 (1938); People v. Boose, 33 Ill.App.3d 250, 337 N.E.2d 338 (1975); Blair v. Commonwealth, 171 Ky. 319, 188 S.W. 390 (1916); People......
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