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Report of the Attorney-General of the State of California

  • Fester Einband
  • 148 Seiten
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Excerpt from Report of the Attorney-General of the State of California: 1891-1892Of the reversals 2 percent were occasioned by re... Weiterlesen
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Excerpt from Report of the Attorney-General of the State of California: 1891-1892

Of the reversals 2 percent were occasioned by reason of the Federal Census of 1890, which showed that the jurisdiction of the Superior Court had ceased in cases commenced therein, the Supreme Court reversing the cases on that ground.

On account of the small percentage of reversals by the Supreme Court, appeals in criminal cases diminished forty in number during the time covered by this report, relieving the Supreme Court of that amount of criminal work.

The case of People vs. McNulty, a murder case, pending when I took office, has occasioned the Supreme Court and this office a great deal of work and trouble. Four opinions have been rendered by the Supreme Court in the case since January 5, 1891.

It was first argued upon the theory that the instructions of the Court below, upon the subject of insanity as a defense, were erroneous - not in accordance with law. This point was easily overcome; the instructions were proper, and the Court affirmed the doctrine that when an accused murderer sets up insanity as a defense, the burden of the proof that he was insane at the time of the commission of the deed rests upon him.

Afterwards a rehearing was granted on defendant's contention that the new execution law, passed March 30, 1891, had the effect of increasing the punishment for murder, and that it repealed the former law, and that by reason of the increased punishment provided for by the new law the defendant could not be executed under that law, and the old law having been repealed, the defendant could not be executed at all. This point was fully discussed and briefed by me on part of the State, and the Court held that the execution law of 1891 was unconstitutional, and that the defendant should be executed under the law in existence at the time the deed was committed.

Another rehearing was granted. The matter was again discussed, and the Court's attention was called to Section 329, Political Code. It was finally held that the old statute was not repealed as to offenses committed while it was in force, and that the defendant should be executed in accordance with that statute.

A fourth opinion was afterwards rendered, which settles the proposition that the controversy involved in the third opinion was properly before the Court.

Defendant's counsel are now preparing an application to be made to the Supreme Court of the United States for a writ of error directed to the Supreme Court of this State to certify the record of the McNulty case in that Court, the defendant contending that he cannot be executed under the old law, and that the new execution law is in violation of the provisions of the Federal Constitution. If defendant's contention is sustained, the present laws providing for the execution of murderers would be wiped out, and the effect would be to liberate not only the defendant, but all convicted and unsentenced murderers who committed the crime of murder previous to the statute of March 30, 1891, and prevent the prosecution of all murderers whose crimes were committed prior to that date, and who are fugitives from the State of California. To obviate this the State should be represented at the hearing before the United States Supreme Court.

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Produktinformationen

Titel: Report of the Attorney-General of the State of California
Untertitel: 1891-1892 (Classic Reprint)
Autor:
EAN: 9780483819900
ISBN: 0483819905
Format: Fester Einband
Anzahl Seiten: 148
Gewicht: 356g
Größe: H229mm x B152mm x T12mm
Jahr: 2018

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