Wester v. State

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Writing for the CourtSIMPSON, J.
Citation38 So. 1010,142 Ala. 56
Decision Date01 February 1905

38 So. 1010

142 Ala. 56


Supreme Court of Alabama

February 1, 1905

Appeal from City Court of Gadsden; John H. Disque, Judge.

Tom Wester was convicted of abandoning his family and leaving them in danger of becoming a burden to the public, and appeals. Affirmed.

The state introduced Vandy Wester, the wife of the defendant. The defendant objected to the examination of his wife as a witness, upon the ground of incompetency. The court overruled the objection, and the defendant duly excepted. The witness testified that she was married to the defendant on July 21, 1901; that a baby was born to them on March 31, 1902; and that on April 20, 1902, the defendant carried her and her child to her father's and abandoned them, and had contributed nothing to her support or the support of her child. Jasper Roan, a witness for the state, testified that he had known the defendant's wife for eight or nine years; that during a part of that time he lived in the same community with her, and for a period of three years visited her; that during the last four or five years he had known very little of the defendant's wife. Whereupon the defendant asked the witness the following question: "Did you, during the time you visited her, take any liberties with her person?" The state objected to this question. The court sustained the objection, and the defendant duly excepted. A similar question was asked Luther Jolly, a witness for the defendant. The same objections and rulings were made to this question. Thereupon the court stated to the defendant's attorney, "You may ask the witness if he ever had adulterous intercourse with Vandy Wester." This question was asked, and the witness answered, "No."

Lee, Lee & Lee, for appellant.


There was no error in allowing the wife of the defendant to testify in this case. Acts 1903, p. 32. This act is not an ex post facto law, within the meaning of the constitutional provision. "A statute which simply enlarges the class of persons who may be competent to testify is not ex post facto in its application to offenses previously committed." Hopt v. People of Utah, 110 U.S. 575, 4 S.Ct. 202, 28 L.Ed. 262; Mrous v. State, 31 Tex. Cr. R. 597, 21 S.W. 764, 37 Am. St. Rep. 834.

The questions asked the witness Jasper Roan and Luther Jolly were leading, and, in addition, while the testimony sought to be elicited might possibly have been competent in connection with other circumstances tending to prove...

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8 cases
  • State v. Palmer, 84-733
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • December 29, 1986
    ...(1977); State v. Clevenger, 69 Wash.2d 136, 417 P.2d 626 (1966); Ritchey v. State, 407 S.W.2d 506 (Tex.Crim.1966); Wester v. The State, 142 Ala. 56, 38 So. 1010 As part of his "ex post facto" argument, defendant raises two other related issues. He maintains that, in any event, L.B. 696 is u......
  • Baker v. State, 7 Div. 309.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • February 10, 1923
    ...reference to a plea of insanity is outside of the issues on which the case was tried." [95 So. 470] Is this correct? In Jackson v. State, 142 Ala. 56, 37 So. 920, this court wrote: "While the record discloses a plea in abatement to affidavit, upon which the defendant was arrested and tried,......
  • Griggs v. State, 4 Div. 251
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Appeals
    • May 18, 1954
    ...right, and which the state, upon grounds of public policy, may regulate at pleasure.' To like effect is the doctrine of Wester v. State, 142 Ala. 56, 38 So. It is now well established that a legislative body may provide by statute that certain facts may be prima facie or presumptive evidenc......
  • State v. Clevenger, 38326
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • August 11, 1966
    ...prosecutions or trials thereafter had, without reference to the date of the commission of the offence charged. See, also, Wester v. State, 142 Ala. 56, 38 So. 1010 (statute making wife's testimony competent); Mrous v. State, 31 Tex.Cr.R. 597, 21 S.W. 764; Underwood v. State, 111 Tex.Cr.R. 1......
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