State v. Jones

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtALDRICH
Citation71 S.E. 291,89 S.C. 41
Decision Date17 May 1911
PartiesSTATE. v. JONES.

89 S.C. 41
71 S.E. 291

STATE.
v.
JONES.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

May 17, 1911.


1. Criminal Law (§ 958*)—New Trial—Newly Discovered Evidence—Counter Affidavits.

On motion for new trial for newly discovered evidence, the state may introduce counter affidavits disproving the grounds for new trial.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Cent. Dig. § 2402; Dec. Dig. § 958.*]

2. Criminal Law (§ 915*)—New Trial—Newly Discovered Evidence—Hearing Before Court.

The court, on motion for new trial for newly discovered evidence, may relax the rules of evidence applicable to trials, leaving it to its discretion to be governed in reaching its conclusions by such evidence as legitimately should have that effect.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Cent. Dig. §§ 2324-2327; Dec. Dig. § 945.*]

3. Criminal Law (§ 959*)—New Trial—Newly Discovered Evidence—Hearing Before Court.

The court, on motion for new trial for newly discovered evidence, is not restricted to a consideration only of the grounds brought to its attention by accused, but he must ascertain if injustice has been done, and exclude nothing which can legitimately aid it in guarding the rights of accused and the interests of the state.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Dec. Dig. § 959.*]

4. Criminal Law (§ 958*) — New Trial — Grounds—Opposing Affidavits.

Where accused, convicted of the murder of his wife by strychnine poisoning, sought a new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence, disclosing that his wife had been addicted to taking strychnine to allay nervousness, and for other specified purposes, affidavits offered by the state to the contrary were properly considered by the court.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Cent. Dig. § 2402; Dec. Dig. § 958.*]

5. Criminal Law (§ 958*)—New Trial—Newly Discovered Evidence—Diligence.

The act of the court, on motion for new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence, in admitting in evidence the recognizance of witnesses for accused, who will give the newly discovered evidence, is within its discretion, as bearing on accused's diligence in procuring the testimony of such witnesses at the trial.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Dec. Dig. § 958.*]

6. Criminal Law (§ 956*) — New Trial — Grounds—Affidavits.

Where, on a motion for new trial on the ground of prejudice of jurors, an affiant averred that he was in the courthouse at the time of the impaneling of the jury and heard a juror express his hostility to accused, an affidavit that the affiant was absent from the courthouse at the time was properly received by the court.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Cent. Dig. § 2375: Dec. Dig. § 956.*]

7. Criminal Law (§ 956*) —New Trial —

Grounds.

On motion for new trial on the grounds of newly discovered evidence and prejudice of jurors, evidence of what occurred prior to the trial, as to remarks of counsel protesting against delay and urging a speedy trial, was properly excluded.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Dec. Dig. § 956.*]

8. Criminal Law (§ 940*) —New Trial — Grounds—Affidavits.

Where accused, convicted of the murder of his wife by strychnine poisoning, sought a new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence that she had been addicted to taking strychnine for specified purposes, evidence of the wife's use of ergot and copperas was properly disregarded.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Dee. Dig. § 940.*]

9. Criminal Law (§ 939*)—New Trial—Newly Discovered Evidence — Diligence of Accused.

Where accused had witnesses present at the trial, but neglected to use them, he is not entitled to a new trial to have another opportunity to use such witnesses.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Cent. Dig. § 2318; Dec. Dig. § 939.*]

10. Criminal Law (§§ 938, 939, 945*)—New Trial—Newly Discovered Evidence.

To justify a new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence, accused must show that the newly discovered evidence would probably have changed the result, if it had been presented to the jury; that it was not known at the time of the trial; and that by due diligence it could not have been ascertained.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Cent. Dig. 2308, 2318, 2324; Dec. Dig. §§ 938, 939, 945.*]

11. Criminal Law (§ 923*) — New Trial — Bias of Jury.

One on trial will be deemed to know whether the jurors were prejudiced against him, because he has ample opportunity to test the impartiality of the jurors, and because he knows that under Civ. Code 1902, § 2946, all objections to jurors, if not made before the jury is impaneled, are waived, and hence cannot be made ground for a new trial.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Cent. Dig. § 2225; Dec. Dig. § 923.*]

[71 S.E. 292]

12. Criminal Law (§ 9122-*) — New Trial — Successive Applications.

A decision, denying a new trial on the ground of bias of jurors, is res judicata on a subsequent motion for new trial on such ground.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Cent. Dig. § 2135; Dec. Dig. § 912.*]

13. Criminal Law (§§ 938, 1156*)—New Trial —Discretion or Trial Court—Review.

A motion for new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence rests in the discretion of the circuit judge, and no appeal lies from his decision, except for abuse of discretion, or for a violation of rules of law.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Cent. Dig. §§ 2306, 3069; Dec. Dig. §§ 938, 1156.*]

14. Criminal Law (§ 1160*)—New Trial— Decision of Trial Court—Review.

Denial of a new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence, based on the fact that accused had not shown that the newly discovered evidence could not by due diligence have been discovered in time for use on the trial, and that the newly discovered evidence, if offered, could have changed the result, rests on conclusions of fact, and is not reviewable on appeal, unless the facts shown must necessarily lead any reasonable mind to an opposite conclusion.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Criminal Law, Cent. Dig. § 3084; Dec. Dig. § 1160.*]

Appeal from General Sessions Circuit Court of Union County; W. B. Gruber, Special Judge.

W. T. Jones was convicted of murder, and, from an order denying a new trial, he appeals. Affirmed.

George Johnstone, Townsend & Townsend, James Munro, Jno. K. Hamblin, and Stanyarne Wilson, for appellant.

Solicitor J. C. Otts, P. D. Barron, J. A. Sawyer, and F. Barron Grier, for the State.

ALDRICH, A. A. J. W. T. Jones, the defendant, appellant herein, was tried at the February term of the court of general sessions for Union county, in 1908, upon an indictment charging him with the murder of his wife, Marion E. Jones, by administering or causing to be administered to her strychnine poison. Upon his trial he was convicted of murder, with recommendation to mercy, and sentenced to imprisonment for life in the penitentiary. A motion for a new trial upon the minutes of the court was made before the trial judge, Hon. R. W. Memminger, and was by him refused.

An appeal from the judgment and sentence of the circuit court was taken to the Supreme Court, which affirmed the judgment of the circuit court (86 S. C. 17, 67 S. E. 160). A petition for a rehearing was made in the Supreme Court, and refused. Thereupon the execution of the judgment of the circuit court was stayed by an order of Hon. R. C. Watts, circuit judge, pending a motion for a new trial upon after-discovered evidence. This motion was heard at the summer term of the court of sessions for Union county, upon the petition set out in the brief, by the Honorable W. B. Gruber, special judge, and after a very full hearing the motion was refused. The defendant appeals from the decision of his honor, Judge Gruber, upon 63 exceptions to the decision of the circuit judge.

The first exception is: "That his honor erred in admitting affidavits submitted by respondent, claiming that the petitioner was entitled to have his motion heard and determined upon the evidence adduced at the trial, and upon the affidavits submitted by him. The appellant furnishes no authority for this position, and it is at variance with the universal practice and the spirit pervading all legal contests to give each side an equal showing. The respondent on the contrary, cites in support of the opposite view the rule as laid down in volume 14, Pleading and Practice, page 912, as follows: 'On the hearing of a motion for a new trial, the adverse party may introduce counter affidavits to disprove the grounds for a new trial' " —and numerous decisions of the highest courts of other states. The question seems never to have been made heretofore in this state.

Exceptions 2, 5, 11, 13, 16, 17, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 31, 33, 34, allege error to the ruling of the circuit judge in receiving affidavits of a "negative nature and incompetent because in reply to nothing contained in appellant's affidavits submitted on the motion." Upon the motion for a new trial, the defendant submitted a great number of affidavits going to prove that the deceased, Marion E. Jones was addicted to the taking of strychnine and other drugs, with the object of allaying nervousness, to produce abortion, or to prevent conception, and of taking of her life. The affidavits objected to in these exceptions are from near neighbors, close friends, and intimate associates of the deceased, and all go to the point that they never heard of such things, and knew of nothing justifying such belief.

It is recognized practice in cases of this sort to relax the rules of evidence as applied to trials in court, leaving it to the discretion of the judge hearing the motion to be governed and influenced in reaching his conclusions only by such evidence as legitimately should have that effect. We have the word of the circuit judge that such was the case in this instance, and we have every reason to believe it was so.

Exceptions 3, 7, 9, 21, 32, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48. 50, assign error to...

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20 practice notes
  • Powell v. State, 8 Div. 322.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • March 24, 1932
    ...910; 20 R. C. L. 241; 18 L. R. A. 475, Note; 68 L. R. A. 885, Note; 16 Corpus Juris 1156; Eastman v. Wight, 4 Ohio St. 156; State v. Jones, 89 S.C. 41, 71 S.E. 291, Ann. Cas. 1912 D, 1298; Ryan v. Riverside, 15 R.I. 436; 8 A. 246; Stewart v. Ewbank, 3 Iowa, 191; State v. Whiteside, 49 La. A......
  • Batson v. State, 6 Div. 798
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • May 26, 1927
    ...for grounds of challenge, and, not so doing, cannot complain on motion for a new trial. Eastman v. Wight, 4 Ohio St. 156; State v. Jones, 89 S.C. 41, 71 S.E. 291, Ann.Cas.1912D, 1298; Ryan v. Riverside, 15 R.I. 436, 8 A. 246; Stewart v. Ewbank, 3 Iowa, 191; State v. Whitesides, 49 La.Ann. 3......
  • State v. O'Neil
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • September 17, 1913
    ...the state of mind of the jurors or he cannot complain after the verdict (Aud v. State, 36 Tex. Cr. 76, 35 S.W. 671; State v. Jones, 89 S.C. 41, Ann. Cas. 1912D, 1298, 71 S.E. 291; State v. Jones, 90 S.C. 290, 73 S.E. 177; Speer v. State, 57 Tex. Cr. 297, 123 S.W. 415; State v. Mott, 29 Mont......
  • Rose v. Magro, 6 Div. 468.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 24, 1929
    ...for grounds of challenge, and, not so doing, cannot complain on motion for a new trial. Eastman v. Wight, 4 Ohio St. 156; State v. Jones, 89 S.C. 41, 71 S.E. 291, Ann. 1912D, 1298; Ryan v. Riverside [River Side & Oswego Mills] 15 R.I. 436, 8 A. 246; Stewart v. Ewbank, 3 Iowa, 191; State v. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
20 cases
  • Powell v. State, 8 Div. 322.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • March 24, 1932
    ...910; 20 R. C. L. 241; 18 L. R. A. 475, Note; 68 L. R. A. 885, Note; 16 Corpus Juris 1156; Eastman v. Wight, 4 Ohio St. 156; State v. Jones, 89 S.C. 41, 71 S.E. 291, Ann. Cas. 1912 D, 1298; Ryan v. Riverside, 15 R.I. 436; 8 A. 246; Stewart v. Ewbank, 3 Iowa, 191; State v. Whiteside, 49 La. A......
  • Batson v. State, 6 Div. 798
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • May 26, 1927
    ...for grounds of challenge, and, not so doing, cannot complain on motion for a new trial. Eastman v. Wight, 4 Ohio St. 156; State v. Jones, 89 S.C. 41, 71 S.E. 291, Ann.Cas.1912D, 1298; Ryan v. Riverside, 15 R.I. 436, 8 A. 246; Stewart v. Ewbank, 3 Iowa, 191; State v. Whitesides, 49 La.Ann. 3......
  • State v. O'Neil
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • September 17, 1913
    ...the state of mind of the jurors or he cannot complain after the verdict (Aud v. State, 36 Tex. Cr. 76, 35 S.W. 671; State v. Jones, 89 S.C. 41, Ann. Cas. 1912D, 1298, 71 S.E. 291; State v. Jones, 90 S.C. 290, 73 S.E. 177; Speer v. State, 57 Tex. Cr. 297, 123 S.W. 415; State v. Mott, 29 Mont......
  • Rose v. Magro, 6 Div. 468.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 24, 1929
    ...for grounds of challenge, and, not so doing, cannot complain on motion for a new trial. Eastman v. Wight, 4 Ohio St. 156; State v. Jones, 89 S.C. 41, 71 S.E. 291, Ann. 1912D, 1298; Ryan v. Riverside [River Side & Oswego Mills] 15 R.I. 436, 8 A. 246; Stewart v. Ewbank, 3 Iowa, 191; State v. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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