State v. Vandemark

Decision Date12 August 1904
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court

Appeal from Superior Court, New Haven County; Ralph Wheeler, Judge.

Willis Vandemark was convicted of perjury, and appeals, Affirmed.

The accused, Willis Vandemark, with seven others, was prosecuted before the superior court for New Haven county in May, 1903, upon an information charging them with unlawfully conspiring to assault and wound certain employes of the Connecticut Railway & Lighting Company, a corporation then operating an electric railroad in the city of Waterbury, and with, in pursuance of said conspiracy, on February 26, 1903, assaulting and wounding William P. Merna and George Morrissette, then being employes of said railway company. They were tried upon this information, and were all acquitted. Upon the trial, said Vandemark was produced, and sworn as a witness in behalf of the defendants. The present information charges Vandemark with the crime of perjury, committed in giving his testimony in said prosecution for criminal conspiracy. The principal assignments of perjury are the following: That he testified falsely in stating that between the hours of 8 and 12 o'clock on the night of February 26, 1903, he (Vandemark) was not in a room called "Wolcott's Poolroom," and was not at the rear of a shop called "Hurlbert's Shop"; that during said hours on said night he was not at a place called "Faber's Switch"; that between said hours on said night he did not assault said Merna and said Morrissette, or either of them; that during all the time between said hours on said night he was at a place and places long distant from said Wolcott's poolroom and from said Hurlbert's shop and from said Faber's switch; and that on said night, between the hours aforesaid, he had no knowledge whatever of any assault being committed upon said Merna or Morrissette. To this information the accused filed a plea in bar, alleging that upon said former prosecution for criminal conspiracy the questions whether or not this defendant was present at the places during the time mentioned in the present information, and committed or had knowledge of the commission of the assault as therein mentioned, and was during all said time at places distant from those so mentioned, were all litigated and determined by the verdict and judgment in said former prosecution in favor of this defendant on the merits. To this plea the state's attorney demurred, and the court sustained the demurrer. The accused refusing to pleadfurther, a plea of not guilty was entered by order of court Upon this plea the accused was tried, found guilty by the jury, and duly sentenced by the court The appeal assigns error in sustaining the demurrer, in certain rulings on evidence, and in the charge of the court.

John O'Neill and William Kennedy, for appellant.

Charles G. Root and John P. Kellogg, for the State.

HAMERSLEY, J. (after stating the facts). The court did not err in sustaining the demurrer. If the plea is intended as a plea of former acquittal, it is plainly bad. Criminal conspiracy to commit an assault and perjury are offenses wholly distinct from each other. It is impossible that evidence sufficient to prove the former can be sufficient to prove the latter. If it is intended as a plea alleging facts deemed sufficient in law to operate as a bar, other than former acquittal, former conviction, and the statute of limitations, it is also clearly bad. 2 Swift's Digest, 425. But this technical defect is immaterial, as the defendant raises and properly presents his substantial contention through objections to evidence and requests to charge. That contention is this: Upon the trial of the prosecution for perjury, facts as falsely testified to by Vandemark in the trial of the prosecution against him for conspiracy are conclusively proved to be true by showing that his false testimony upon the conspiracy trial materially contributed to his acquittal in that prosecution.

In civil actions the fact of an adjudication in a suit between the same parties, upon a different and distinct cause of action, of a fact which is material in the suit on trial, is admissible in evidence, because public policy forbids parties litigant in civil actions to again contest before a court any right, title, or fact which has once been put in issue and tried by them, and determined by a final judgment. In criminal prosecutions, each fact relevant and admissible in each separate prosecution may be proved by testimony produced before' the jury in that trial, and it is immaterial what credence another jury, in another prosecution, for a different and distinct crime, may have given to the same or other testimony then produced in respect to the same fact, because public policy demands that, when the state charges...

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37 cases
  • State v. DeSchepper, 44769
    • United States
    • Minnesota Supreme Court
    • June 20, 1975
    ...(1946); People v. Niles, 300 Ill. 458, 133 N.E. 252 (1921); Teague v. Commonwealth, 172 Ky. 665, 189 S.W. 908 (1916); State v. Vandemark, 77 Conn. 201, 58 A. 715 (1904).4 See, e.g., Wheatley v. United States, 286 F.2d 519 (10 Cir. 1961); Ehrlich v. United States, 145 F.2d 693 (5 Cir. 1944);......
  • Fletcher v. State
    • United States
    • Wyoming Supreme Court
    • April 25, 1912
    ...840; Young v. People, (Ill.) 24 N.E. 1070; State v. Gibbs, Mont.) 10 L. R. A. 749; Wilkinson v. People, (Ill.) 80 N.E. 699; State v. Vandemark, (Conn.) 58 A. 715; People v. Collins, (Cal.) 92 P. 513; People Chadwick, (Cal.) 87 P. 384; Dickerson v. State, (Wyo.) 111 P. 857.) Where the allege......
  • State v. Heaton
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • January 31, 1928
    ...extent in criminal as in civil actions. See Jay v. State, 15 Ala. App. 255, 73 So. 137; Mitchell v. State, supra; State v. Vandemark, 77 Conn. 201, 58 A. 715, 1 Ann. Cas. 161;United States v. Butler (D. C.) 38 F. 498;Cooper v. Commonwealth, 106 Ky. 909, 51 S. W. 789, 59 S. W. 524, 45 L. R. ......
  • Ruocco v. Logiocco
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • July 3, 1926
    ... ... daughter was about 15 years old and was feeble-minded. At the ... time of the trial, she was [104 Conn. 588] an inmate of the ... State school for the feeble-minded ... Among ... the forty-six reasons of appeal now presented, are two of ... controlling importance: (1) Did ... Sargent & ... Co. v. New Haven Steamboat Co., 65 Conn. 116, 31 A. 543; ... Munson v. Munson, 30 Conn. 425; State v ... Vandemark, 77 Conn. 201, 58 A. 715, 1 Ann.Cas. 161; ... Huntley v. Holt, 59 Conn. 102, 22 A. 34, 21 ... Am.St.Rep. 71; Supples v. Cannon, 44 Conn. 424, with ... ...
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