State v. Bennett

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtMcGOWAN
Citation40 S.C. 308,18 S.E. 886
PartiesSTATE. v. BENNETT et al.
Decision Date30 January 1894

18 S.E. 886
40 S.C. 308

STATE.
v.
BENNETT et al.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Jan. 30, 1894.


Criminal Law—Instructions — Impeachment of Verdict—Recommendation to Mercy.

1. The court, after the usual charge on the credibility of witnesses, observed that the confessions were made to a detective working up the case, whose pay depended on the result of the trial; that his testimony should be received like another's, and weighed by all the circumstances. Held. that it was proper to refuse to charge that his testimony was to be received with great caution and distrust, his motives to secure a conviction being different from those of a good citizen acting unselfishly.

2. The trial court's denial of a new trial for insufficiency of evidence to sustain the verdict cannot be reviewed.

3. A recommendation to mercy is no impeachment of the verdict.

4. The affidavit of a juror that he was not satisfied of the prisoner's guilt, and only consented to the verdict in the belief that the recommendation to mercy would secure a pardon or commutation of sentence, cannot be considered to impeach the verdict.

Appeal from general sessions circuit court of Berkeley county; James F. Izlar, Judge.

Grant Bennett and Peter Burno, alias Dick Burno, were convicted of murder, and appeal. Affirmed.

B. Pressley Barron, for appellants.

Mr. Jersey, for the State.

[18 S.E. 887]

McGOWAN, J. The defendants were charged with the crime of murder, in wrecking a passenger train on the South Carolina Railroad at Lincolnville, in the county of Berkeley, of the state of South Carolina, on the night of November 2S, 1891, and thereby causing the death of one Mason Parker on the said passenger train. The cause came on to be heard before his honor, Judge Izlar, and a jury. There was much testimony, which is all printed in the record, including that of an employed detective. Under the charge of the judge, the jury found both the defendants guilty, with a recommendation to mercy. The trial judge refused a motion for a new trial, and thereupon the defendants appeal to this court to reverse the judgment below upon the following grounds: "First Because his honor erred in refusing to charge as requested, to wit: 'That the testimony of the detective is to be received with great caution and distrust, by reason of the motives and inducements to secure a conviction being different from those of the good citizen under unselfish influences.' Second. Because his honor erred in refusing the motion for a new trial on the ground that the verdict is not sustained by the evidence, there being no sufficient testimony to corroborate the incredible testimony of the detective, the witness Bob. Lee, who was evidently the tool of the other detective, Weinbush. Third. Because, had the defendant Bennett made the confession, as testified to by the detective Weinbush, it was incompetent evidence to affect the defendant Burno; and, eliminating this testimony, there was no evidence to support the verdict. Fourth. Because his honor erred in refusing the motion for a new trial, predicated on the verdict of the jury recommending the...

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11 practice notes
  • Robinson v. State, 609
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • January 10, 1910
    ...Snyder, (Kan. App.) 57 P. 135; State v. Keys, 45 P. 727; State v. Fullerton, 90 Mo.App. 411; State v. Hoxie, 15 R. I. 1; State v. Bennett, 40 S.C. 308.) The instructions upon reasonable doubt, giving as they do all the extreme definitions found in judicial decisions gathered together, have ......
  • State v. Worthy, No. 17865
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 30, 1962
    ...trial judge to heed it. Thus impotent was such a recommendation in State v. Gill (1880), 14 S.C. 410, and also in State v. Bennett (1893), 40 S.C. 308, 18 S.E. 886. The last mentioned case no doubt influenced passage by the legislature, in 1894, of the Act (21 Stat. at L. 785), now part of ......
  • State v. Ruzzo, No. 8071.
    • United States
    • Rhode Island Supreme Court
    • July 7, 1939
    ...Cal.App. 408, 10 P.2d 86; State v. Hancock, 151 N.C. 699, 66 S.E. 137; State v. Matthews, 191 N.C. 378, 131 S.E. 743; State v. Bennett, 40 S.C. 308, 18 S.E. 886; Estes v. State, 35 Okl.Cr. 335, 250 P. 809; State v. Arata, 56 Wash. 185, 105 P. 227, 21 Ann.Cas. 242; Commonwealth v. Zee, 262 P......
  • State v. Green, No. 16557
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • November 7, 1951
    ...17 A.L.R. 117, 1156. A recommendation of mercy, however, with us, constitutes as a rule no part of the verdict. State v. Bennett, 40 S.C. 308, 18 S.E. 886; it is regarded merely as advisory, and, of course, such recommendation, if made, accompanies the verdict and is not rendered later by p......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Robinson v. State, 609
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • January 10, 1910
    ...Snyder, (Kan. App.) 57 P. 135; State v. Keys, 45 P. 727; State v. Fullerton, 90 Mo.App. 411; State v. Hoxie, 15 R. I. 1; State v. Bennett, 40 S.C. 308.) The instructions upon reasonable doubt, giving as they do all the extreme definitions found in judicial decisions gathered together, have ......
  • State v. Worthy, No. 17865
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 30, 1962
    ...trial judge to heed it. Thus impotent was such a recommendation in State v. Gill (1880), 14 S.C. 410, and also in State v. Bennett (1893), 40 S.C. 308, 18 S.E. 886. The last mentioned case no doubt influenced passage by the legislature, in 1894, of the Act (21 Stat. at L. 785), now part of ......
  • State v. Ruzzo, No. 8071.
    • United States
    • Rhode Island Supreme Court
    • July 7, 1939
    ...Cal.App. 408, 10 P.2d 86; State v. Hancock, 151 N.C. 699, 66 S.E. 137; State v. Matthews, 191 N.C. 378, 131 S.E. 743; State v. Bennett, 40 S.C. 308, 18 S.E. 886; Estes v. State, 35 Okl.Cr. 335, 250 P. 809; State v. Arata, 56 Wash. 185, 105 P. 227, 21 Ann.Cas. 242; Commonwealth v. Zee, 262 P......
  • State v. Green, No. 16557
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • November 7, 1951
    ...17 A.L.R. 117, 1156. A recommendation of mercy, however, with us, constitutes as a rule no part of the verdict. State v. Bennett, 40 S.C. 308, 18 S.E. 886; it is regarded merely as advisory, and, of course, such recommendation, if made, accompanies the verdict and is not rendered later by p......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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