State v. Hanlen

Citation193 Wash. 494,76 P.2d 316
Decision Date16 February 1938
Docket Number26905.
PartiesSTATE v. HANLEN.
CourtWashington Supreme Court

Department 1.

Appeal from Superior Court, King County; Calvin S. Hall, Judge.

Harry A. Hanlen was convicted of grand larceny, and he appeals.

Affirmed.

Philip Tworoger, of Seattle, for appellant.

B. Gray Warner, John M. Schermer, and Harry A. Bowen, all of Seattle for the State.

HOLCOMB Justice.

This appeal is from the judgment of the court below sentencing appellant to the state penitentiary for the crime of grand larceny.

Since this case has already been Before this court, it is unnecessary to recapitulate the facts herein. State v. Hanlen, 190 Wash. 563, 69 P.2d 806. It was held that since section 2, chapter 114, page 309, Laws of 1935, is ex post facto with respect to this case, that the penalty provided therein could not be imposed upon appellant. We concluded that Rem.Rev.Stat. § 2281, relating to indeterminate sentences, and Rem.Rev.Stat § 2605, were still valid and effective with respect to crimes of grand larceny committed prior to the effective date of chapter 114, Laws of 1935, by reason of the savings clause embodied in Rem.Rev.Stat. § 2006. This conclusion was reaffirmed by this court in State v. Ficklin, Wash., 74 P.2d 187.

Therefore we remanded the cause to the trial court and directed that a judgment be entered and a sentence imposed fixing both the minimum and maximum of the term to be served by appellant in accordance with Rem.Rev.Stat. §§ 2281 and 2605.

Thereupon, the trial court entered judgment and sentence for a 'term of not less than one year and not more than five years.'

The sole assignment of error presented in this appeal is that the trial court erred in imposing a sentence upon appellant because there is no law in existence under which he could be sentenced. This contention is predicated on the theory that the general savings clause, chapter 6, page 13, Laws of 1901, Ex.Sess., Rem.Rev.Stat. § 2006, is unconstitutional because it is in contravention of article 2, section 19, of the State Constitution, which provides: 'No bill shall embrace more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.'

The title of the act under consideration provides: 'An Act providing a general savings clause and savings provisions in case of the repeal or amendment of criminal or penal statutes and declaring an emergency.'

It is presumed that the statute in question is constitutional, and the burden rests upon appellant to establish clearly its invalidity. State ex rel. Hamilton v. Martin, 173 Wash. 249, 23 P.2d 1; Uhden, Inc. v. Greenough, 181 Wash. 412, 43 P.2d 983, 98 A.L.R. 1181; In re Peterson's Estate, 182 Wash. 29, 45 P.2d 45, 47; Northwestern Improvement Co. v. Henneford, 184 Wash. 502, 51 P.2d 1083.

It is conceded that in a number of cases the constitutionality of this savings statute has either been assumed or sustained in this court when its constitutionality was assailed on other grounds. It is contended, however, that the constitutionality of this statute has never been passed upon in the light of article 2, section 19, supra.

General savings clauses of the nature of that which we have Before us are merely declaratory of a rule of construction. 59 C.J. 1192, § 729. Such savings clauses have been enacted in virtually all of the states of the Union. 1 Lewis' Sutherland, Statutory Construction, 2d Ed., p. 557, § 287.

Rem.Rev.Stat. § 2006, reflects a legislative intent to preserve the integrity of criminal statutes and the penalties prescribed therein with respect to offenses committed and prosecutions pending under the previously-existing statute notwithstanding their repeal by subsequent legislative enactments in the absence of a legislative intention expressed to the contrary.

We find the title of the act under consideration is general and comprehensive with respect to savings provisions in the event of the repeal or amendment of penal statutes, and that the constitutional provision relied upon is not offended thereby.

In Re Peterson's Estate, supra, we said: 'It thus appears that the title is general and comprehensive. No elaborate statement of the subject of an act is necessary to meet the requirements of the constitutional provision. A few well-chosen words, suggestive of the general subject stated is all that is necessary. State ex rel. Seattle Electric Co. v. Superior Court, 28 Wash. 317, 68 P. 957, 92 Am.St. 831. Such a title to the act as this one should be liberally construed, and in deference to legislative...

To continue reading

Request your trial
26 cases
  • State v. Sears
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • June 5, 1940
    ... ... cases: Davis-Kaser Co. v. Colonial Fire Underwriters' ... Ins. Co., 91 Wash. 383, 157 P. 870; In re ... Peterson's [4 Wn.2d 208] Estate, 182 Wash. 29, 45 ... P.2d 45; Shea v. Olson, 185 Wash. 143, 53 P.2d 615, ... 111 A.L.R. 998; State v. Hanlen, 193 Wash. 494, 76 ... P.2d 316; State ex rel. Washington Toll Bridge Authority ... v. Yelle, 195 Wash. 636, 82 P.2d 120 ... 'The ... title of the act need not be an index to the body thereof, ... nor need it express in detail every phase of the subject ... ...
  • Gruen v. State Tax Commission
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • November 5, 1949
    ... ... the validity of the law, the presumption being 'that the ... statute in question is constitutional' and the burden ... rests upon the attacking party to clearly establish its ... invalidity. State v. Hanlen, 193 Wash. 494, 76 P.2d ... 316, 317 ... 'It ... is a well-settled rule that, where a statute is open to two ... constructions, one of which will render it constitutional and ... the other unconstitutional, the former construction, and not ... the ... ...
  • State v. Ross
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • August 12, 2004
    ...the incorporation of an individual saving clause in each statute which amends or repeals an existing penal statute." State v. Hanlen, 193 Wash. 494, 497, 76 P.2d 316 (1938). See also State v. Fenter, 89 Wash.2d 57, 61, 569 P.2d 67 (1977) (holding that the savings clause applied to former cr......
  • Gruen v. State Tax Commission, 31083.
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • November 5, 1949
    ...in question is constitutional' and the burden rests upon the attacking party to clearly establish its invalidity. State v. Hanlen, 193 Wash. 494, 76 P.2d 316, 317. 'It is a well-settled rule that, where a statute is open to two constructions, one of which will render it constitutional and t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT