Woodford v. Com.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
Writing for the CourtMONTGOMERY
Citation376 S.W.2d 526
Decision Date06 March 1964
PartiesJimmie A. WOODFORD, Appellant, v. COMMONWEALTH of Kentucky, Appellee.

Page 526

376 S.W.2d 526
Jimmie A. WOODFORD, Appellant,
v.
COMMONWEALTH of Kentucky, Appellee.
Court of Appeals of Kentucky.
March 6, 1964.

Tom Garrett, Paducah, for appellant.

Robert F. Mattews, Atty. Gen., F. E. Wood, Asst. Atty. Gen., Frankfort, for appellee.

Page 527

MONTGOMERY, Judge.

Jimmie A. Woodford was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the death of Mildred Traughber. His punishment was fixed at three year' confinement in the penitentiary. On appeal he urges that the trial court erred: (1) In requiring the appellant on voir dire to examine the prospective jurors collectively instead of individually; (2) in permitting the Commonwealth's attorney to propound improper questions; (3) in failing to instruct on the whole law of the case; and (4) in refusing his counsel the right to discuss the failure to administer a degree of intoxication test.

On November 7, 1962, at approximately 11:15 p. m., two cars driven by appellant and Mildred Traughber, respectively, collied at the intersection of 17th and Jefferson Streets in Paducah. Mildred Traughber died from injuries suffered in the collision. Issues involved on the trial were whether appellant was under the influence of intoxicating liquor and whether he had run through a stop sign at the intersection.

After appellant's counsel had examined individually five prospective jurors on voir dire, the court refused to let him question individually each of the remaining prospective jurors. Thereafter, the questions were asked of the remaining seven prospective jurors and of two replacements collectively.

Appellant relies on the statement of purpose of voir dire made in Sizemore v. Commonwealth, Ky., 306 S.W.2d 832, and upon statements in Apkins v. Commonwealth, 148 Ky. 662, 147 S.W. 376; Olympic Realty Company v. Kamer, 283 Ky. 432, 141 S.W.2d 293; and Alexander v. Jones, Ky., 249 S.W.2d 35, to the effect that the accused through counsel is entitled 'to examine the jurors separately upon their voir dire.' See also Criminal Code, Section 213. Such was the old rule.

This case was tried after the adoption of the Criminal Rules of Procedure. RCr 9.38 provides:

'The court may permit the attorney for the Commonwealth and the defendant or his attorney to conduct the examination of prospective jurors or may itself conduct the examination. In the latter event the court shall permit the attorney for the Commonwealth and the defendant or his attorney to supplement the examination by such further inquiry as it deems proper. The court may itself submit to the prospective jurors such additional question submitted by the parties or their attorneys as it deems proper.'

This rule quite obviously places the manner of conducting the voir dire examination in the discretion of the trial judge. It is recognized that the trial court, in an effort to expedite the selection of a jury, may 'take over' the examination of the prospective jurors on voir dire. In a proper case, this could constitute an abuse of discretion. In the instant case, it has not been shown that there was an abuse of discretion. Webb v....

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12 practice notes
  • Bray v. Com., No. 2003-SC-0656-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • December 22, 2005
    ...Appellant insists that reversal is required pursuant to Coates v. Commonwealth, 469 S.W.2d 346 (Ky.1971), and Woodford v. Commonwealth, 376 S.W.2d 526 (Ky.1964). The defendant in Coates, an official with access to the State Reformatory, had been tried for possession of marijuana. During cro......
  • Bowler v. Com.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • October 28, 1977
    ...See, Coates v. Commonwealth, Ky., 469 S.W.2d 346 (1971) (one question plus comment in closing argument); Woodford v. Commonwealth, Ky., 376 S.W.2d 526 (1964) (seven questions); Rollyson v. Commonwealth, Ky., 320 S.W.2d 800 (1959) (two improper questions); Rowe v. Commonwealth, Ky., 269 S.W.......
  • Coates v. Com.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • July 2, 1971
    ...v. Com., 298 Ky. 366, 182 S.W.2d 948 and Jackson v. Com., 301 Ky. 562, 192 S.W.2d 480.' Similarly, in Woodford v. Commonwealth, Ky., 376 S.W.2d 526 (1964), the Commonwealth's attorney in asking questions on cross-examination injected into the case the question of whether or not the defendan......
  • McClellan v. Com., No. 82-SC-805-MR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 12, 1986
    ...that shall not be permitted to recur upon retrial. Coates v. Commonwealth, Ky., 469 S.W.2d 346 (1971), Woodford v. Commonwealth, Ky., 376 S.W.2d 526 (1964), Rowe v. Commonwealth, Ky., 269 S.W.2d 247 FIRST-DEGREE BURGLARY AS AN AGGRAVATING FACTOR Appellant contends first-degree burglary cann......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Bray v. Com., No. 2003-SC-0656-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • December 22, 2005
    ...Appellant insists that reversal is required pursuant to Coates v. Commonwealth, 469 S.W.2d 346 (Ky.1971), and Woodford v. Commonwealth, 376 S.W.2d 526 (Ky.1964). The defendant in Coates, an official with access to the State Reformatory, had been tried for possession of marijuana. During cro......
  • Bowler v. Com.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • October 28, 1977
    ...See, Coates v. Commonwealth, Ky., 469 S.W.2d 346 (1971) (one question plus comment in closing argument); Woodford v. Commonwealth, Ky., 376 S.W.2d 526 (1964) (seven questions); Rollyson v. Commonwealth, Ky., 320 S.W.2d 800 (1959) (two improper questions); Rowe v. Commonwealth, Ky., 269 S.W.......
  • Coates v. Com.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • July 2, 1971
    ...v. Com., 298 Ky. 366, 182 S.W.2d 948 and Jackson v. Com., 301 Ky. 562, 192 S.W.2d 480.' Similarly, in Woodford v. Commonwealth, Ky., 376 S.W.2d 526 (1964), the Commonwealth's attorney in asking questions on cross-examination injected into the case the question of whether or not the defendan......
  • McClellan v. Com., No. 82-SC-805-MR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 12, 1986
    ...that shall not be permitted to recur upon retrial. Coates v. Commonwealth, Ky., 469 S.W.2d 346 (1971), Woodford v. Commonwealth, Ky., 376 S.W.2d 526 (1964), Rowe v. Commonwealth, Ky., 269 S.W.2d 247 FIRST-DEGREE BURGLARY AS AN AGGRAVATING FACTOR Appellant contends first-degree burglary cann......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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