Wiley v. State, 31303

Decision Date17 February 1960
Docket NumberNo. 31303,31303
PartiesRoosevelt WILEY, Appellant, v. STATE of Texas, Appellee.
CourtTexas Court of Criminal Appeals

William R. Shaver, Travis D. Shelton. Lubbock, for appellant.

Justin A. Kever, Dist. Atty., San Angelo, George E. Gilkerson, Dist. Atty., Lubbock and Leon B. Douglas, State's Atty., Austin, for the State.

MORRISON, Presiding Judge.

The offense is murder; the punishment, death.

We are met at the outset with two questions of jury misconduct. Nine members of the jury testified at the hearing on the motion. The only question before the jury at the time of the following occurrence was whether they should assess appellant's punishment at life imprisonment or death. Some of the jurors remembered that they stood six to six, while others remembered that the vote stood nine for death and three for life, and one juror remembered that the vote was eleven to one. Be this as it may, they all agreed that some members of the jury were holding out for life imprisonment when the question was raised whether or not appellant would ever be eligible for parole if they assessed his punishment at life imprisonment and the probability of appellant getting out of prison and killing someone else.

At this juncture, they sent this note to the judge: 'Is it possible for us to sentence the defendant so that he can not be pardoned or paroled?' The judge's answer properly was, 'I have your question and under the law I am not permitted to answer.' After some further discussion, another note was sent to the judge, which he also declined to answer. At this point, one of the jurors handed a newspaper to the foreman and asked him as foreman to read aloud the following news story:

'Houston (CP)--Tom Ainsworth, 40, convicted murdered from Cut 'n shoot, celebrated the end of his parole Thursday night by buying a jug of gin and then killing a man.

'Clarence Whitehead, 60, a Negro died early Friday after being stabbed 12 times in fight in a vacant lot.'

Following this, all twelve jurors voted for the death penalty.

Appellant in this case was a colored man, and the death was caused by cutting.

The State relies principally upon Henderson v. State, 132 Tex.Cr.R. 596, 106 S.W.2d 291, in which three opinions and one dissent were written. The majority of the Court seems to have relied ultimately upon the fact that one of the two jurors who was shown to have changed his vote from life to death testified at the hearing on the motion for new trial that he heard nothing concerning the excape of the convict and the murder of the guard, and the other of the two, Mueller, was not called as a witness, plus the fact that Mueller was not shown to have been in the separate room when Bleimeyer made the statement concerning the escape. In the case at bar, those jurors who testified at the hearing and who had changed their vote stated that the news story was read in their presence. We must necessarily treat as dicta that portion...

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9 cases
  • McGail v. Noble, Case No. 3:17-cv-251
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Ohio
    • February 20, 2018
    ...212 F.3d 940, 942-43 (6th Cir. 2000); or physical newsitems being brought into the jury room, e.g., Wiley v. State, 169 Tex. Crim. 256, 332 S.W.2d 725, 726 (Tex. Crim. App. 1960) (reversing death sentence where one juror brought in a local newspaper clipping containing a recent news story, ......
  • Thompson v. Parker, CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:11CV-31-R
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Kentucky
    • December 10, 2012
    ...and that jurors were "reading, commenting and circulating the article." Id. at 711. Thompson's reliance on Wiley v. State, 332 S.W.2d 725 (Tx. Crim. App. 1960), is also unpersuasive because the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals found that "one of the jurors handed a newspaper to the foreman a......
  • Thompson v. Parker
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit
    • August 14, 2017
    ...Stovall , 212 F.3d 940, 942–43 (6th Cir. 2000) ; or physical news items being brought into the jury room, e.g. , Wiley v. State , 169 Tex.Crim. 256, 332 S.W.2d 725, 726 (1960) (reversing death sentence where one juror brought in a local newspaper clipping containing a recent news story, whi......
  • Com. v. Hanscomb
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • May 12, 1975
    ...the assassination of President Kennedy. Cf. People v. Krueger, 99 Ill.App.2d 431, 444, 241 N.E.2d 707 (1968). In Wiley v. State, 169 Tex.Cr.R. 256, 332 S.W.2d 725, 726 (1960), however, a murder conviction was reversed because the jurors read a news story about other In the present case the ......
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