State v. Watts

Decision Date04 October 1892
Citation20 S.W. 237,111 Mo. 553
PartiesThe State v. Watts, Appellant
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

Appeal from Christian Circuit Court. -- Hon. W. D. Hubbard, Judge.


Travers Harrington & Pepperdine for appellant.

John M Wood, Attorney General, for the State.


Gantt, P. J.

The defendant was indicted by the grand jury of Greene county in the criminal court of said county, at the July term, 1890, for selling intoxicating liquor in violation of the local-option law.

He was arrested, entered into a recognizance for his appearance to the indictment, and, on his application, was awarded a change of venue to the circuit court of Christian county.

This appeal comes to this court because the defendant challenges the constitutionality of the criminal court of Greene county, and also the local-option law of this state under which he was convicted. He was convicted and fined $ 300.

I. The constitutionality of the criminal court of Greene county is not open to question on appeal from its decisions and judgments. State v. Wiley, 109 Mo. 439, 19 S.W. 197; State v. Rich, 20 Mo. 393.

II. Neither have we any doubt about the correctness of the former decisions of this court, affirming the constitutionality of the local-option law of this state. State v. Pond, 93 Mo. 606, 6 S.W. 469; Ex parte Swann, 96 Mo. 44, 9 S.W. 10; State v. Moore, 107 Mo. 78, 16 S.W. 937; State v. Searcy, ante, p. 236.

III. Not only have we no abstract of record, or brief in behalf of the appellant, but the clerk has not even indexed the record in this cause. We have endeavored to do our duty and examine the record, but we submit that it is at least a questionable policy that requires this court, burdened as it is with both civil and criminal causes of the gravest moment, to stop and make a microscopical examination, at the expense of the state, for errors that may possibly have been committed by the trial courts, in the prosecution of the most trivial misdemeanors, when the appellant is able, as in this case, to employ able counsel and furnish ample recognizance bonds. It would seem that justice would demand that appellants in these misdemeanor cases should be required to conform to the practice in civil causes in this court, in the interest of the general public.

The motion for a new trial assigns as error the action of the court in refusing to quash the indictment. As that motion only attacked the constitutionality of the court and the local-option law, it was correctly overruled. It is also urged that ...

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