State v. Johnson

CourtSupreme Court of New Hampshire
Writing for the CourtKENISON
Citation69 A.2d 515,96 N.H. 4
PartiesSTATE v. JOHNSON.
Decision Date01 November 1949

Page 515

69 A.2d 515
96 N.H. 4
STATE

v.
JOHNSON.
Supreme Court of New Hampshire.
Nov. 1, 1949.
Rehearing Denied Dec. 6, 1949.

Raymond K. Perkins, County Solicitor, Concord, for the State, filed no brief.

Willoughby A. Colby, Concord (by brief and orally), for the defendant.

KENISON, Justice.

The single question presented is whether one who pleads not guilty by reason of mental derangement to a felony may be committed to the state prison. The pertinent statute, R.L. c. 429, § 3 provides: 'In either of the cases aforesaid the court, if it is of opinion that it will be dangerous that such person should go at large, may commit him to the prison or to the state hospital, there to remain until he is discharged by due course of law.' It is undisputed that aggravated assault is a felony and upon conviction the respondent may be sentenced to state prison. R.L. c. 455, § 23; Newell v. Moreau, 94 N.H. 439, 441, 55 A.2d 476. Nor is there any doubt that this defendant could be committed to the state hospital. Defendant maintains, however, that the phrase 'the prison' in the quoted statute refers only to a county jail or house of correction and not to the state prison and has submitted a comprehensive brief analyzing the prior legislation on crime and insanity

Page 516

in support of that contention. Stated otherwise defendant contends that there can be no commitment to state prison unless the statute specifically names the state prison.

Title 37 of the Revised Laws defining the majority of crimes and offenses in the state uses the verb 'imprisoned' throughout as applicable to felonies punishable by sentences to state prison as well as misdemeanors punishable by sentences to jail or house of correction. See R.L. c. 440, § 21; R.L. c. 455, § 16. Title 38 of the Revised Laws, Imprisonment, uses the term 'prisoners' throughout as applicable to common or county jails, R.L. c. 461, houses of correction, R.L. c. 462, § 4, and the state prison, R.L. c. 464. This indicates the generic nature of the word 'prison' and allied terms as used in our statutes even though there is a well defined distinction between the state prison on the one hand and county jails and houses of correction on the other hand. See Martin v. Martin, 47 N.H. 52, 53.

[96 N.H. 6] Now, as formerly, the legislation relating to confinement and imprisonment is not as perfect as it might be, State ex rel. Barnes v. Shattuck, 45 N.H. 205, but, when construed in accordance with popular...

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6 practice notes
  • Grooms v. Fervida, No. PS
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • November 5, 1979
    ...character than those for which a person is incarcerated in the county jail. Martin v. Martin (1866), 47 N.H. 52; State v. Johnson (1949), 96 N.H. 4, 69 A.2d 515; Denham v. Commonwealth (1905), 119 Ky. 508, 84 S.W. 538. Until the Legislature abolished the distinctions for sentencing purposes......
  • Moulton, In re
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • December 5, 1950
    ...their cure.' Merrimack County v. Concord, 39 N.H. 213, 216. Such commitment is not regarded as a sentence or punishment. State v. Johnson, 96 N.H. 4, 6, 69 A.2d 515; In re Kemmerer, 309 Mich. 313, 15 N.W.2d 652. The act now under attack provides for care, treatment, segregation and rehabili......
  • Cornwall Industries, Inc. v. Maine Dept. of Manpower Affairs, Employment Sec. Commission
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • January 30, 1976
    ...of most jurisdictions, 1221(5) does not expressly make any single factor controlling. E. g. Auclair Transportation, Inc. v. Riley, 96 N.H. 4, 69 A.2d 861 (1949). (The New Hampshire statute required a transfer of substantially all the assets. The Court concluded that this meant less than 100......
  • Toussaint v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • February 19, 1970
    ...sentenced, and was not limited to the state prison. Sturtevant v. Commonwealth, 1893, 158 Mass. 598, 33 N.E. 648; State v. Johnson, 1949, 96 N.H. 4, 69 A.2d 515, 516; State v. Rardon, 1943, 221 Ind. 154, 46 N.E.2d 605, The entry will be Appeal denied. DUFRESNE, J., did not sit. ------------......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Grooms v. Fervida, No. PS
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • November 5, 1979
    ...character than those for which a person is incarcerated in the county jail. Martin v. Martin (1866), 47 N.H. 52; State v. Johnson (1949), 96 N.H. 4, 69 A.2d 515; Denham v. Commonwealth (1905), 119 Ky. 508, 84 S.W. 538. Until the Legislature abolished the distinctions for sentencing purposes......
  • Moulton, In re
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • December 5, 1950
    ...their cure.' Merrimack County v. Concord, 39 N.H. 213, 216. Such commitment is not regarded as a sentence or punishment. State v. Johnson, 96 N.H. 4, 6, 69 A.2d 515; In re Kemmerer, 309 Mich. 313, 15 N.W.2d 652. The act now under attack provides for care, treatment, segregation and rehabili......
  • Cornwall Industries, Inc. v. Maine Dept. of Manpower Affairs, Employment Sec. Commission
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • January 30, 1976
    ...of most jurisdictions, 1221(5) does not expressly make any single factor controlling. E. g. Auclair Transportation, Inc. v. Riley, 96 N.H. 4, 69 A.2d 861 (1949). (The New Hampshire statute required a transfer of substantially all the assets. The Court concluded that this meant less than 100......
  • Toussaint v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • February 19, 1970
    ...sentenced, and was not limited to the state prison. Sturtevant v. Commonwealth, 1893, 158 Mass. 598, 33 N.E. 648; State v. Johnson, 1949, 96 N.H. 4, 69 A.2d 515, 516; State v. Rardon, 1943, 221 Ind. 154, 46 N.E.2d 605, The entry will be Appeal denied. DUFRESNE, J., did not sit. ------------......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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