St Clair v. United States, No. 1,062

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHARLAN
PartiesST. CLAIR v. UNITED STATES
Docket NumberNo. 1,062
Decision Date26 May 1894

154 U.S. 134
14 S.Ct. 1002
38 L.Ed. 936
ST. CLAIR

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 1,062.
May 26, 1894.

Page 135

In February, 1893, the grand jury impaneled in the district court of the United States for the northern district of California returned into that court an indictment charging that Thomas St. Clair, Herman Sparf, and Hans Hansen, mariners, late of that district, on the 13th day of January, 1893, with force and arms, on the high seas, and within the jurisdiction of the court, and within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the Unites States, and out of the jurisdiction of any particular state of the United States, in and on board of an American vessel,—the bark Hesper,—belonging to a citizen or citizens of the United States, whose name or names are or were to the grand jurors unknown, did, with a certain instru-

Page 136

ment or weapon (the character and name of which were to the grand jury unknown), then and there held in the hands of one of the defendants (but of which particular one was to the grand jurors unknown), 'then and there, piratically, willfully, feloniously, and with malice aforethought, strike and beat the said Maurice Fitzgerald, then and there giving to the said Maurice Fitzgerald several grievous, dangerous, and mortal wounds, and did then and there, to wit, at the time and place last above mentioned, him, the said Maurice Fitzgerald, cast and throw from and out of the said vessel into the sea, and plunge, sink, and drown him, the said Maurice Fitzgerald, in the sea aforesaid, of which said mortal wounds, casting, throwing, plunging, sinking, and drowning, the said Maurice Fitzgerald, in and upon the high seas aforesaid, out of the jurisdiction of any particular state of the United States of America, then and there instantly died.

'And the grand jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do say that, by reason of the casting and throwing the said Maurice Fitzgerald in the sea as aforesaid, they cannot describe the said mortal wounds, or the character and nature of said weapon or instrument. And so the grand jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do say that the said Thomas St. Clair, Herman Sparf, and Hans Hansen, him, the said Maurice Fitzgerald, at the time and place as aforesaid, upon the high seas as aforesaid, out of the jurisdiction of any particular state of the United States of America, in and upon the said American vessel, within the jurisdiction of the United States of America, and of the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the said United States of America and of this court, in the manner and form aforesaid, piratically, willfully, feloniously, and with malice aforethought, did kill and murder, against the peace and dignity of the United States of America, and contrary to the form of the statute of the said United States of America in such case made and provided.'

It was also averred that the northern district of California was the district into which St. Clair, Sparf, and Hansen were first brought after committing said offense.

The indictment was based upon section 5339 of the Revised

Page 137

Statutes, providing, among other things, that: 'Every person who commits murder * * * upon the high seas or in any arm of the sea, or in any river, haven, creek, basin, or bay within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States, and out of the jurisdiction of any particular state; or who, upon any such waters, maliciously strikes, stabs, wounds, poisons, or shoots at any other person, of which striking, stabbing, wounding, poisoning, or shooting such other person dies, either on land or at sea, within or without the United States, shall suffer death.'

On motion of the district attorney the indictment was remitted for trial to the circuit court, where the defendants were arraigned, and severally pleaded not guilty. Rev. St. § 1039.

Subsequently, the pleas of not guilty were withdrawn, and the defendants jointly demurred to the indictment upon these grounds: (1) That it did not state facts constituting a public offense. (2) That it was uncertain, in not showing upon what portion of the high seas the alleged offense was committed, or which one of the defendants committed the alleged assault, or whether one or more of the defendants committed any of the acts alleged against them.

The demurrer was overruled, and the defendants, being again arraigned, pleaded not guilty.

A motion for a separate trial of the defendants was made and granted, and the trial of St. Clair was had separately.

At the beginning of the trial the accused challenged the panel of the trial jurors, and the challenge was denied.

The facts in reference to the challenging of jurors are as follows:

On the 1st day of February, 1893,—a day of the term of the circuit court commencing November 28, 1892,—an order was made and entered directing a venire to issue, summoning 50 persons to serve as trial jurors, returnable February 14, 1893. Pursuant to that order, a venire containing 50 names drawn from the regular jury box of the court was issued for those persons to act as petit or trial jurors. At the time of the drawing there were at least 300 names in the jury

Page 138

box; but of those a part were names remaining after previous drawings at former terms of the court, and the others were names placed therein by the proper officers, just previous to the drawing of said venire, to make the whole number of names, up to and including the full number of 300. The persons whose names were contained in that venire were duly summoned, and appeared on the 14th day of February, 1893, with the exception of three, who had in the mean time been excused by the court. Thereafter, on the 2d day of March, 1893,—a day of the term commencing on the first Monday of February, 1893,—the following order was made, and caused to be entered: 'There being no further business to be brought before them, it is ordered that the trial jury of said circuit court, for the present February term thereof, be discharged, and paid for their attendance.' On the 6th day of May, 1893, the indictment against St. Clair, Sparf, and Hansen was, as already stated, remitted to the circuit court from the district court.

On the 29th day of May, 1893,—a day of the February term, after the discharge of the regular jury for the term, the court entered an order directing a venire to issue for 50 persons to serve as trial jurors, and returnable on Wednesday, June 7, 1893. Pursuant to that order, a venire containing the names of 50 persons, drawn from the regular jury box of the court, was issued for those persons to serve as trial jurors in the circuit court, and to appear on the 7th day of June, 1893. At the time of the drawing last mentioned, there were at least 300 names in the jury box; but of those a part were names remaining after the last drawing, and the others were names placed therein by the proper officers, just previous to the drawing of the last-mentioned venire, to bring the whole number in the jury box up to 300. The persons whose names were contained in the last-mentioned venire (such as were summoned and not excused) appeared, and attended the court, in obedience to its summons. Thereafter, on June 14, 1893, a day in the February term,—the circuit judge presiding, the case against St. Clair was called for trial.

The defendant challenged and objected to the general

Page 139

venire and panel of jurors on the ground that the regular venire of jurors for the term had been discharged, and that the court had exhausted its powers to summon a jury to act during the term after the order for a jury of February 1, 1893, and the order discharging the jury of the 2d of March, 1893, and on the further ground that the statutes had not been complied with in summoning jurors, and that at the time of the drawing of the names of jurors the jury box had not been refilled with 300 new names, but a portion of the names therein were names remaining after previous drawings. The court overruled the objection and denied the challenge, to which rulings of the court the defendant objected.

Thereupon, 12 persons who had been drawn and summoned as aforesaid were regularly called into the jury box; but, before being sworn to answer questions touching their qualifications, the attorneys for the defendant objected to and challenged the panel thus called, on the ground urged against the general venire. The court overruled the objection and denied the challenge, to which the defendant excepted.

The jurors were then sworn to answer questions touching their qualifications to serve as jurors. After the first juror had been examined as to his qualifications, and passed by the United States and the defendant for cause, the court announced that the juror must be sworn to try the case, unless challenged by the United States or the defendant, and that this rule would be enforced as to each subsequent juror. The defendant claimed the right to examine all of the jurors as to their qualifications before exercising the peremptory challenge, and excepted to the ruling announced by the court.

The defendant challenged each separate juror after he entered the box on the grounds that the jury had not been properly drawn as hereinbefore stated, which challenge was denied by the court, and the several rulings of the court were excepted to by him.

The names of jurors summoned having become exhausted after only 8 had been examined, accepted, and sworn, the court ordered 25 talesmen to be summoned for June 15, 1893, to serve as trial jurors in the cause. On that day the defend-

Page 140

ant objected to the last-mentioned venire, and to the talesmen, on the grounds offered to the original general venire or panel. This objection and challenge were overruled by the court, and the defendant excepted.

The defendant also objected, and challenged the talesmen, on the ground that there was no jury regularly summoned, to be filled by talesmen, and...

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182 practice notes
  • Johnson v. Southern Railway Co., No. 38571.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 4, 1943
    ...Travelers Ins. Co., 305 Mo. 563, 267 S.W. 376; Roach v. Great Northern Ry. Co., 133 Minn. 257, 158 N.W. 232; St. Clair v. United States, 154 U.S. 134; Fourth Street Union Depot Co. v. Hillen, 119 Fed. (2d) 307; Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Kern-Bauer, 62 Fed. (2d) 477; Flannagan v. Provident Life......
  • Philadelphia & R. Ry. Co. v. Marland, 2112.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • January 22, 1917
    ...U.S. Comp. Stat. Ann. 1916, p. 2976, cases cited. Thus in ruling on the Conformity Act, the Supreme Court, in St. Claire v. United States, 154 U.S. 134, 153, 14 S.Ct. 1002, 1010, 38 L.Ed. 936, declined to entertain a review because of the absence of an exception in a case arising in a state......
  • United States v. Weber, No. 18251.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • December 30, 1970
    ...enough if evidence, other than that whose admissibility is under challenge, disclosed one a conspiracy. St. Clair v. United States, 1894, 154 U.S. 134, 149, 14 S.Ct. 1002, 38 L.Ed. 936; United States v. Pugliese, 2 Cir. 1945, 153 F.2d 497, 500; People v. Luciano, 1938, 277 N.Y. 348, 14 N.E.......
  • U.S. v. Barnes, Nos. 1045-1053
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 22, 1979
    ...accused of that right, must be condemned." Pointer v. United States, supra, 151 U.S. at 408, 14 S.Ct. at 414; St. Clair v. United States, 154 U.S. 134, 148, 14 S.Ct. 1002, 38 L.Ed. 936 (1894). Thus, a defendant has the right "to exercise his full right of peremptory challenge," United State......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
182 cases
  • Johnson v. Southern Railway Co., No. 38571.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 4, 1943
    ...Travelers Ins. Co., 305 Mo. 563, 267 S.W. 376; Roach v. Great Northern Ry. Co., 133 Minn. 257, 158 N.W. 232; St. Clair v. United States, 154 U.S. 134; Fourth Street Union Depot Co. v. Hillen, 119 Fed. (2d) 307; Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Kern-Bauer, 62 Fed. (2d) 477; Flannagan v. Provident Life......
  • Philadelphia & R. Ry. Co. v. Marland, 2112.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • January 22, 1917
    ...U.S. Comp. Stat. Ann. 1916, p. 2976, cases cited. Thus in ruling on the Conformity Act, the Supreme Court, in St. Claire v. United States, 154 U.S. 134, 153, 14 S.Ct. 1002, 1010, 38 L.Ed. 936, declined to entertain a review because of the absence of an exception in a case arising in a state......
  • United States v. Weber, No. 18251.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • December 30, 1970
    ...enough if evidence, other than that whose admissibility is under challenge, disclosed one a conspiracy. St. Clair v. United States, 1894, 154 U.S. 134, 149, 14 S.Ct. 1002, 38 L.Ed. 936; United States v. Pugliese, 2 Cir. 1945, 153 F.2d 497, 500; People v. Luciano, 1938, 277 N.Y. 348, 14 N.E.......
  • U.S. v. Barnes, Nos. 1045-1053
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 22, 1979
    ...accused of that right, must be condemned." Pointer v. United States, supra, 151 U.S. at 408, 14 S.Ct. at 414; St. Clair v. United States, 154 U.S. 134, 148, 14 S.Ct. 1002, 38 L.Ed. 936 (1894). Thus, a defendant has the right "to exercise his full right of peremptory challenge," United State......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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