State v. Young

Decision Date19 May 1891
Citation105 Mo. 634,16 S.W. 408
PartiesSTATE v. YOUNG.
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

Appeal from La Fayette criminal court; JOHN E. RYLAND, Judge.

John S. Blackwell, for appellant. The Attorney General, for the State.


The defendant was indicted in the La Fayette criminal court March term, 1888, for murder in the first degree, for the alleged stabbing and killing of one Stephen Ferguson, at Corder, La Fayette county, Mo., on the night of December 10, 1887. He was tried at the March term, 1889, convicted of murder in the first degree, and sentenced to be hung. From that conviction an appeal was prosecuted to this court, and upon a hearing the judgment was reversed, and the cause remanded. State v. Young, 99 Mo. 666, 12 S. W. Rep. 879. At the adjourned March term, 1890, of the criminal court of La Fayette county, defendant was again tried on the said indictment, and was again convicted of murder in the first degree. From this second conviction and sentence the present appeal is taken. The evidence is substantially the same as in the first trial. The learned counsel for the defendant urges that the trial court committed error in instructing the jury that the defendant could be convicted of murder in the first degree under the evidence. We think it was the province of the jury to fix the grade of the offense. They alone could say that defendant stabbed the deceased, and when they found that fact we think there was evidence from which they could find that the killing was willful, deliberate, and premeditated, and of malice aforethought. Two juries have found against defendant on these same facts, and when there is evidence sufficient to authorize the verdict, and the jury are properly instructed, we think it is our duty to affirm the sentence. The learned counsel renews his attack upon the instructions numbered 16 and 17, given by the trial court. They are the same instructions that were discussed and condemned by Judge SHERWOOD in the fourth paragraph of his opinion, when this cause was here before, but, as stated by him, no other member of the court concurred in that paragraph. The propriety of giving such an instruction as this was fully considered in State v. Cook, 84 Mo. 40; the opinion of the majority of the court by Hon. Alexander MARTIN, Commissioner, approved the instruction, and the opinion of the minority, by Judge DE ARMOND, Commissioner, condemned it. Cogent and plausible as the separate opinions of Judge SHERWOOD in this case, and of Judge DE ARMOND in the Cook Case, are, we think the rule, as announced by the majority, ought to be regarded as settled; and while we regard it as salutary to follow decisions when they have been fully considered and agreed upon, and might well content ourselves with affirming these instructions on the authority of these two decisions, yet we are of opinion that Judge MARTIN in State v. Cook answered the objections to these instructions, and sustained them upon principle. It was competent for the state, when it removed the common law disability of a defendant to testify in his own behalf, to restrict this right, and, in our opinion, this was the intention of the legislature when it provided that "any such fact [viz., the fact that he was the defendant on trial] may be shown for the purpose of affecting the credibility of the witness." It seems clear to us that the legislature did not intend to place the defendant on the plane of a disinterested witness, against whom there was no charge. While the defendant may testify, still the consideration of self-interest, the motive to preserve himself, is so great that no thoughtful person would think of attaching...

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  • State v. Flory
    • United States
    • Wyoming Supreme Court
    • April 3, 1929
    ... ... 271; State v. Zellers, 7 N. J ... L. 220; Messer v. State, 63 S.W. 643; Amos v ... State, (Ala.) 11 So. 424; People v. Webster, (N ... Y.) 34 N.E. 730; Shipp v. Com. (Ky.) 99 S.W ... 945; Martin v. State, 51 S.W. 912; Massie v ... Com. (Ky.) 24 S.W. 611; State v. Young, (Mo.) ... 24 S.W. 1038; State v. Welch, (Mont.) 55 P. 927; ... Gardom v. Woodard, (Kan.) 25 P. 199. Defendant ... should have been permitted to state his belief, and the ... reasons for his belief, in the truth of his wife's ... statements with reference to the criminal misconduct of the ... ...
  • State v. Fairlamb
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • March 13, 1894
    ...S.W. 617; State v. Howell, 23 S.W. 263. (6) Nor do the remarks complained of by state's attorney as improper require a reversal. State v. Young, 105 Mo. 634. The indictment was sufficient. Revised Statutes, 1889, sec. 3459. The mere misspelling of words does not vitiate it. (7) This court w......
  • The State v. Finkelstein
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • January 29, 1917
    ...v. Brooks, 99 Mo. 137, 12 S.W. 633; State v. Brown, 104 Mo. 365, 16 S.W. 406; State v. Morrison, 104 Mo. 638, 16 S.W. 492; State v. Young, 105 Mo. 634, 16 S.W. 408; State v. Mounce, 106 Mo. 226; State Ihrig, 106 Mo. 267, 17 S.W. 300; State v. Noeninger, 108 Mo. 166, 18 S.W. 990; State v. Tu......
  • State v. Boyles
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • August 4, 1921
    ...refusal so to do is not error. (People v. Fisher, 16 Cal.App. 271, 116 P. 688; State v. Coleman, 17 S.D. 594, 98 N.W. 175; State v. Young, 105 Mo. 634, 16 S.W. 408; v. Penney, 113 Iowa 691, 84 N.W. 509; Ayers v. State, 62 Fla. 14, 57 So. 349.) A juror must realize that his oath as a juror b......
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