Sunday, June 30, 2013

"taken into custody, and held over for trial--with arms in their hands"

"A riot took place on the rail road from Baltimore to Washington, (about four miles from the latter), last week. Five or six Germans were wounded by muskets, and other deadly weapons; and 11 Germans and 1 Frenchman taken into custody, and held over for trial--with arms in their hands. The riot had commenced about a demand for higher wages. They had made an assault upon those who were content with the wages paid them."


"one party 300 strong, the other 250, mostly well armed...."

   "Irish riots in Indiana. The Fort Wayne Sentinel of the 18th July, gives the particulars of an outbreak among the Irish upon the Wabash and Erie canal. By this account, a regular had been for some time deliberately calculated on, to take place on the 12th of July, the anniversary of the battle of the Boyne. Arms and ammunition were liberally provided, and on the 10th they turned out, one party 300 strong, the other 250, mostly well armed. They were yet seven miles apart, and two days short of the time for the fight. Several houses were entered, the inmates abused, and the premises rifled of arms, &c. and Mr. P. Brady, a canal contractor, was fired upon, but missed. Most fortunately, some miles of the canal
were navigable; and expresses being sent to Fort Wayne and Logansport, sufficient volunteers were raised to suppress the disturbance. These were embarked in a canal boat and conveyed to the scene of misrule in time to secure about one hundred of the rioters, and to disperse the rest.

   "To prevent a recurrence of such lawless feuds, volunteer companies were being organized in all the villages along the line of the canal, to serve as minute men, in case of further need."


Preview of history repeating itself in the not to distant future perhaps?


   "We shall endeavor to give a connected narrative of events that have happened in our city, and deprived us of the lofty reputation that we had earned by twenty-three years of happy obedience to the law--Baltimore having been, from the time of the war-riots of 1812, remarkable for the peaceable demeanor of its inhabitants, and the safety and security, and perfect quiet, of all its population. We were not entirely exempt from excitements, on several occasions--but they "were few and far between," and never proceeded to extremities, to the best of our recollection; though some occasions had happened in which the public patience was severely and tried.* ...."

   * - "Such as the immense losses, sustained some time ago, by failure of the City bank, and the reduced value of the stock in others, as much as 25 per cent. In some cases; and within last year the bankruptcy of the Suequehannah bank, the bank of Maryland, the Maryland savings institution, with the United States insurance company, and two or three other rag-shops. Taking the whole together, the people have been plundered of more than two millions of dollars--perhaps, three millions; they bore all this with astonishing meekness." . . ." [Pg. 412]

"...And thus was the city yielded; and, in consequence, the prisoners made on Sunday morning, were released--as they, certainly, would have been on Sunday night, by their colleagues.

   "On Sunday, the people, without a head had nothing to do but to look on and tremble. No one felt himself safe--as every thing was given up. Anarchy prevailed. The law and its officers were away!

   "But Monday morning changed the aspect of things.--It now appeared that the people were called upon to defend, not only their property, but also their lives--and it was manifest that there was a general, but gloomy, resolution entertained to do both. Things had reverted to their original elements--there was no law, and a was wanted to bring order out of confusion. This was easily found in gen. Samuel Smith--who being elected chairman by a great assemblage, at the Exchange, accepted the trust reposed In him, and, with the alacrity of youth, though in his 83d year, took his seat, and told the assembly that the time for resolving had passed away, and that for action had arrived. The flag of the union had been previously raised, and, with it at their head, the people marched to the Park, when being addressed briefly by general Smith and others, and told what they ought to do, they speedily retired to prepare themselves instantly to obey. The orders were to arm, and to repair to the City Hall. The fire companies were also called out, and appeared on the ground in great force. In the mean time the
city councils had met and the following proceedings took place--

      Proceedings of the first branch, Monday, Aug. 10.
   "The first branch of the city council met pursuant to a summons from the mayor...."

"...The mayor having retired from his seat, (which he formally resigned next day), the president of the first branch of the council, gen. Anthony Miltenberger, ex officio, took his place; and, aided by gen. Smith, issued the necessary orders. Even the middle district watch, (through the scene of the riots) we believe, had not been set on the preceding night! Such was the confusion that prevailed.

   "On Monday evening a large display of citizens, in arms, attended at the mayor's office; they were stationed in different parts of the city, with the firemen, ready also for action, and peace prevailed during the night. The streets were as quiet as the grave--except in the heavy tread of detachments of armed men to reconnoitre its different parts..." [Pg. 416]


   Interesting, yes? Preview of history repeating itself in the not to distant future perhaps?

"There was and could have been no dispute about the defendant's right to carry a shotgun"

(122 Ala. 54)
(Supreme Court of Alabama. Jan. 11, 1899.)
    1. Where defendant, accused of homicide, claims that he acted in self-defense, and the testimony is irreconcilable as to who was the aggressor, and there is testimony that deceased had made threats against defendant's life, evidence of adulterous relations between deceased and defendant's sister is admissible to show a motive for deceased's being the aggressor, and the reasonableness of defendant's fear of bodily harm, if deceased was the aggressor.

    2. Where one arms himself with a deadly weapon, and goes onto a public road, with the design of killing another to avenge wrongs done by the latter to the former's family, or to avenge threats by the latter, the former cannot invoke self-defense, though the latter was the aggressor, the former not having abandoned his design.

    3. In a prosecution for homicide, an instruction that if, at the time of the killing, deceased was attacking, or about to attack, defendant with a deadly weapon, defendant was not bound to retreat, is properly excluded, as it assumes that defendant could not have retreated without endangering his safety, which was for the jury to determine.

    4. An instruction that unless the evidence excludes, to a moral certainty, every hypothesis but that of guilt, the jury must acquit, is incorrect, as exacting too high a measure of proof.

   5. Where deceased was shot by defendant with a shotgun on the public road, and there was no dispute as to defendant's right to carry a gun on the road, a charge that, if he had reason to apprehend an attack, he had a legal right to bear arms, was properly refused, as foreign to the issues.

    Tyson and Haralson, JJ., dissenting.
    Appeal from circuit court, Butler county; John R. Tyson, Judge.
    John A. Gafford was convicted of murder, and appeals. Reversed.

    The appellant, John A. Gafford, was indicted and tried for the murder of Francis Bartow Lloyd, was convicted of murder in the first degree, and sentenced to be hung. The material facts of the case, necessary to an understanding of the decision on the present appeal, are sufficiently stated in the opinion. Upon the introduction of all the evidence, the defendant requested the court to give to the jury the following written charges, and separately excepted to the court's refusal to give each of them as asked: (1) "The court charges the jury that if they believe from the evidence in this case, beyond all reasonable doubt, that deceased, at the time of the killing, was attacking, or in the act of attacking, the defendant with a deadly weapon, then the defendant was not bound to retreat, but had the right to stand and defend himself, provided he was without fault in bringing on the difficulty which resulted in the killing." (2) "The court charges the jury that, unless the evidence against the defendant should be such as to exclude to a moral certainty every hypothesis or supposition but that of his guilt of the offense imputed to him, the jury must not convict the defendant." (3) "The court charges the jury that, if the defendant had reason to apprehend an attack, he had a legal right to bear arms in defense of himself."

   Terry Richardson and James Weatherly, for appellant. William C. Fitts, Atty. Gen., for the State.

   SHARPE, J. The defendant was indicted, tried, and convicted on the charge of murder, and sentenced to capital punishment. The material questions reserved for review by this court arise from the rulings of the trial court upon the admissibility of testimony and the refusal of instructions requested by the defendant, We have, however, given to the entire record the careful scrutiny required by the vital importance of the case to the defendant, and the solemn duty imposed upon us by law, and, at the same time, impressed, on the one hand, with the necessity, for the repose and security of society, of sustaining all legal convictions in cases of this character, and. on the other, with our duty to see that the accused is not deprived of any right necessary or proper to the full presentation of his defense, and the enjoyment, to the fullest extent authorized by law, of bis constitutional right to a full, fair, and impartial trial by jury.

   There are certain facts bearing upon the homicide that are undisputed, and as to which there is no conflict in the testimony, a brief summary of which is necessary to be given in order to a clear statement of the conclusions we have reached upon the rulings of the circuit court upon the testimony. On the morning of Monday, August 25, 1897, deceased visited Greenville, in Butler county, Ala., riding there in his buggy, as had been his habit for some time. On the afternoon of the same day he was returning in his buggy, alone, from Greenville to his home. At about 6 o'clock of that afternoon he came upon defendant, who was on or near the public road, with his gun, at a point not far from defendant's home. At or near the time of this meeting two rapid reports of a gun were heard by several persons who were near the locality, and immediately thereafter the defendant was seen walking away with his gun, and, upon meeting two other persons near at hand, told them he had shot deceased, but did not know whether he was dead, and requesting them to do what they could for deceased. Deceased was found by these two parties, and others, lying dead in the road, with gunshot wounds on his body, and a pistol, which was recognized as belonging to deceased, lying on the ground about five or six feet away from the body. There were two eyewitnesses to the homicide besides the defendant himself, one testifying for the state and the other for the defendant, and their statements are altogether irreconcilable. The statement of the state's witness makes out a case of unprovoked, willful, premeditated, and deliberate murder by lying in wait with a deadly weapon; while the defendant's witness makes deceased the aggressor with a deadly weapon, and discloses a shooting in self-defense by the defendant. The testimony of this witness corresponds in all respects with that of defendant himself, except that the latter gives a conversation between him and deceased which his witness stated he (witness) could not hear. The state's witness was contradicted in some collateral statements made by her, and other witnesses testified she had told them she did not see the killing. The defendant's witness was shown to have resided, when the homicide occurred, on defendant's place. Numerous other witnesses were examined, both on behalf of the prosecution and the defense, but it is not necessary to refer in detail to their testimony. Among other things, their testimony shows threats, both recent and remote, on the part of deceased against defendant's life, and from some of said testimony it might be inferred that the defendant had made like threats against deceased, and that the threats of each were communicated to the other. It is also inferable, from unchallenged testimony, that these threats grew out of certain rumors connecting the names of defendant's widowed sister and deceased in an unfavorable light. The defendant offered to introduce proof of an adulterous relation between deceased and his sister at the time of and before the homicide, as well as specific acts of adultery on their part, but the court refused to admit the testimony so offered, and to this action of the court the defendant excepted. If the question of self defense were out of the case, it would be quite clear that all testimony of this character would be inadmissible for the purpose of justifying the murder, and would be equally unavailing to reduce the killing from murder to manslaughter, unless the circumstances of such provocation were of such a character as were reasonably calculated to provoke sudden passion and resentment, and the homicide was traceable solely to the influence of passion thus engendered. For example, if the defendant had discovered deceased and his sister in the act of adultery, and, under the influence of sudden passion thus aroused, had slain him, then the killing would not have been willful, malicious, deliberate, and premeditated, or murder in the first degree, but murder in the second degree, or, according to circumstances, manslaughter in the first degree. Ex parte Sloane, 95 Ala. 22, II South. 14; Watson v. State, 82 Ala. 12, 2 South. 455. It is not necessary, however, to consider the question of the admissibility of this testimony in this aspect, for the reason that it was not and could not have been offered for any such purpose, inasmuch as the defendant. in his own testimony, negatives the idea that he acted upon any such provocation, and rests his case entirely upon the right of self-defense.

    The real question, therefore, is, would the testimony offered to be introduced by defendant have any tendency, even though slight, to shed light on the main inquiry as to self defense, which was clouded by conflicting and hopelessly irreconcilable testimony? In Mattison v. State, 55 Ala. 224, we said: "in inquiries of fact, dependent on circumstantial evidence for their solution, no certain rule can be laid down which will define, with unerring accuracy, what collateral facts and circumstances are sufficiently proximate to justify their admission in evidence. • * • Whatever tends to shed light on the main inquiry, and does not withdraw attention from such main inquiry by obtruding upon the minds of the jury matters which are foreign, or of questionable pertinency, is, as a general rule, admissible evidence." In view of the conflicting testimony as to which of the two, deceased or the defendant, was the aggressor in the unfortunate tragedy, would the offered testimony shed any light on that question? Could the jury fairly determine that question without knowledge of facts which might have exerted an influence upon, or supplied the motive to, one or the other to become the aggressor? Or did the knowledge by the defendant of the facts sought to be proven reasonably exert any influence upon the mind of defendant in interpreting deceased's threats, motive, or conduct? Or, in other words, would knowledge of these facts by defendant authorize him to regard, as hostile and dangerous, threats, motive, or conduct on deceased's part which, in the absence of that knowledge, might not have justified that conclusion? In Ball v. State, 29 Tex. App. 125, 14 S. W. 1012, the court, upon a much similar question, says: "It was important to the defendant that the jury should be fully informed as to the true cause of the enmity entertained by the deceased against him and the character of that enmity. Such information would enable the jury, in determining the issue of self-defense, to view the acts of the deceased from the defendant's standpoint. Without this information, the jury could not know, as the defendant did, the settled, determined, and deadly character of the deceased's hatred towards him, and the true cause of that hatred. This testimony throws light, not only upon the motive actuating the deceased in attacking the defendant, but upon the conduct of the defendant upon that occasion, and the motive which actuated him to kill the deceased. It tends to show that he had reasonable ground to apprehend that the attack made upon him was intended by the deceased to be a deadly one. it gives character to the threats, motive, and conduct of deceased towards the defendant, and also to the motive and conduct of the defendant,"— citing Russell v. State, II Tex. App. 288. We would not be understood as indicating any opinion that the deceased made an attack upon the defendant, or was in any wise the aggressor, but there was evidence on the part of the defendant to that effect before the jury, which it was fully as much their duty to weigh and consider as the testimony on behalf of the prosecution showing the defendant to have been the aggressor.

    In Rutledge v. State, 88 Ala. 85, 7 South. 335, it was said by this court: "We understand the rule. in respect to the admission of evidence, on the part of a defendant on trial for murder, of previous threats by, or difficulties with, or ill feeling on the part of, deceased, to be this: That when any phase of the testimony would, if believed, present a case of self-defense, then the accused, using this aspect of the facts adduced as a predicate therefor, may go further, and strengthen it. by showing that the deceased had threatened him, or entertained ill feeling, towards him, or that there had been difficulties between them; * * * or, to state the principle in a more concrete form, the evidence adduced must have some tendency to establish the constituents of the right to destroy life that life may be preserved. * * * The theory of the rule is that a right to kill can never be the result of the violent, bloodthirsty disposition, revengeful feeling, or threats of the deceased; and hence, until there are facts offered which go in some measure to establish the necessity to strike, as the law defines that necessity, such evidence is patently irrelevant. These matters, in other words, are competent to give character to a necessity otherwise shown, and, no necessity being otherwise shown, there is an utter absence of the predicate upon which alone such qualifying evidence should be received." 1n Copeland v. State, Horr. & T. Cas. 41, the defendant killed a woman with whom her husband had adulterous relations, and the question was whether such killing was in self-defense. The court on this point says: "But it becomes highly important to investigate with care—First, the effect which this intercourse, notorious as it was, produced upon the feelings and vindictive passions of the prisoner and the deceased towards one another; and, second, the mode and manner in which these feelings and passions were brought to bear in producing the catastrophe so much deplored." And in Green v. State, 69 Ala. 9, this court said: "There being ground for argument, at least, that the deceased must have taken some action in the matter of drawing his pistol before the accused fired, this lets in the threat the witness testified the deceased made • * • shortly before the rencounter. If believed, it tended to show the animus of the deceased towards the accused so recently before the homicide as to authorize its consideration by the jury in ascertaining the conduct of the parties immediately before the firing."

    We cannot avoid the conclusion, in the light of the foregoing authorities, and that portion of the evidence tending to show that deceased was the aggressor, with a deadly weapon, that the exclusion of the testimony offered by defendant as to deceased's relations with defendant's sister deprived the jury of proof which, if admitted, might, in their opinion, have shed light upon the main inquiry in the case, and as to which the testimony before them was so hopelessly conflicting.

    It was proved, without contradiction, that defendant and deceased went, on Saturday before the Monday of the killing, in the presence of deceased's father; that a satisfactory interview was had between them as to the rumors affecting deceased and defendant's sister; and that the two parted with repeated friendly shaking of hands. Notwithstanding this, it is further shown, without conflict, that on the morning of the day of the killing deceased sent a hostile and deadly message to defendant, and the two met in the public road in the afternoon of that day, both armed with deadly weapons. Under these circumstances, and in the absence of the offered testimony, and with deceased's denial of his unlawful relations with defendant's sister before the jury, the jury would naturally look in vain for any motive that might have impelled the deceased to become the aggressor under such circumstances, and might have reasonably inferred that his pistol was drawn, if drawn at all. for defensive purposes against the defendant, who is shown to have had, at the time, a double-barrel shotgun in his hands. With no facts before them to illustrate the character of deceased's threats of that day, or furnishing an inference for a motive on his part to attack defendant, the jury could not, under such circumstances, have reached any other conclusion than that they did reach, viz. that the defendant was the aggressor. But if it had been shown to them that, notwithstanding deceased's denials to defendant of improper relations between deceased and defendant's sister, such relations in fact existed then, and had existed for a considerable length of time previously, it may well be that the jury, from their knowledge of human nature and the history of like cases, might, in the light of such testimony, have inferred a motive on deceased's part to remove a dangerous obstacle out of the way of his illicit enjoyment. However that may be, such testimony would have shown the cause of the enmity of the deceased towards the defendant, its intensity, and would have tended to show a reasonableness of defendant's apprehension of danger of death or serious bodily harm from the attack made upon him by deceased, if the jury should believe that such an attack was made. We are, at all events, persuaded that, with the testimony referred to before them, the jury would have been enabled to balance more justly the substantial merits of the question of self-defense by reason of a fuller and juster apprehension of the defendant's real position at the critical moment of the fatal encounter and the real state of feeling then existing on the part of each. It is proper, however, for us to observe that, with this testimony in, it would, nevertheless, still be the duty of the jury to inquire whether or not, in view of the provocation, and the state of feeling between the parties, and other attending circumstances, the words or conduct of deceased at the time of the rencounter were seized upon by defendant as a pretext to execute a previously formed design to take the life of deceased. While the defendant had the right to carry his gun, and, also, had the right to be upon the public road, at the time and place where he and deceased came together, yet if he went to such place at such time, and with his gun, with the formed design of taking the life of deceased to avenge the wrongs done his sister and family, or to wreak vengeance upon the deceased because of the latter's threats of that day, or previously, then the defendant was not free from fault, and cannot invoke self-defense, even if the jury should believe that deceased had drawn his pistol upon defendant before the latter fired and killed deceased, if the defendant at the time of the killing had not abandoned, but still entertained, such previously formed design. Our conclusion upon the question of the admissibility of the testimony offered by the defendant to show an adulterous relation between the deceased and defendant's sister, and defendant's knowledge thereof, is that the circuit court erred in excluding it, and that its exclusion is reversible error.

    We think there was no error in the refusal of the court to give the charge numbered 1, requested by the defendant. in the case of Springfield v. State, 96 Ala. 81, 11 South. 250, we said: "Charge No. 14 assumes, as matter of law, that, on the facts thereon postulated, the defendant could not have retreated without endangering his life. it was an inquiry for the jury to determine, on all the proof, whether the defendant could have retreated without endangering his safety, or increasing his peril, and not a matter to be decided by the court."

    Charge No. 2 exacts too high a measure of proof in order to a conviction, and was properly refused. A charge in identical words was condemned by us in the case of Baldwin v. State, 111 Ala. 12, 20 South. 528.

    There was and could have been no dispute about the defendant's right to carry a shotgun, the trial involving only his right to use it against the deceased, and therefore the court could not be required to charge, as requested by charge 3, upon a matter foreign to the issue.

    As supporting the case for the state, upon the question of evidence here under consideration, the case of Rogers v. State, 117 Ala. 9, 22 South. 666, has been cited, but it is wanting in analogy. There the proof showed that Rogers, being armed, sought Hale, who was unarmed, began the dispute with him, and shot him. The evidence he sought to introduce was that Hale had eloped with his daughter, promising to marry her, and had returned from the trip without fulfilling the promise. This showed not an infatuation for the daughter interfered with by Rogers, but rather an abandonment of the daughter, and a desire to get away from her; and, furnishing no motive for hostility on the part of Hale as against Rogers, it had no tendency to show that Hale was the aggressor. Moreover, the proof concerning hostile demonstrations on the part of Hale was insufficient to raise the question of self-defense. Rogers testified that Hale threw his hand to his hip pocket; but there was no proof that the pocket contained, or had contained, a weapon, or that Hale was making any present threat, or doing any act, to make the hip pocket movement significant of danger to Rogers, if Rogers was not then himself aggressing upon Hale, and, if he was so aggressing, he could not invoke the principle of self-defense. Under the circumstances in proof in that case, the evidence there offered was properly excluded, under the general rule declared in Robinson v. State, 108 Ala. 14, 18 South. 732, which was referred to in the opinion.

    The other rulings of the circuit court appear to be without error; but, for those pointed out herein, it results that the judgment of the court below must be reversed, and the cause remanded for further proceedings in conformity with this opinion. Reversed and remanded.

    NOTE. The foregoing opinion, down to what is said of charge 2, inclusive, was prepared by BRICKELL, O. J., before his retirement, and is adopted by a majority of the present court.

    TYSON, J. (dissenting). The writer of this opinion presided at the trial of the defendant in the court below, and for this reason he would have preferred not to participate in a discussion of this case in this court . The law, however, does not disqualify him from sitting, but, on the contrary, imposes upon him the duty and responsibility of declaring the law as he believes it to be. The importance of the question involved, and the conviction that there was no error committed on the trial, warrants him in expressing his views.

    The sole proposition upon which a majority of the court rest the decision for a reversal was the refusal to allow defendant to offer testimony tending to establish that illicit sexual relations existed between the deceased and defendant's sister, Mrs. Miller, for some months prior to the killing. 1n my opinion, some of the conclusions reached by the writer of the main opinion can be shown to be erroneous by a review of the testimony as disclosed by the record, and by keeping in view the order of its introduction in the trial court, bearing upon this question.

    I do not deem it necessary to state the evidence introduced in behalf of the state tending to establish the culpability of the defendant, nor all the evidence offered by him to prove his innocence, but will confine my statement of it, strictly, to such portions as tend to shed light upon the question under consideration. Before doing so, however, I desire to state what the record does not contain. It nowhere appears that the defendant's sister was a widow, as stated in the main opinion. All the witnesses who speak of her designate her as Mrs. Miller. This would authorize the presumption, and, indeed, we must presume, that she was a married woman, living at the time with her husband. Again, the evidence is entirely wanting to show as to where she resided,— presumably, in the absence of proof to the contrary, with her husband; and it is not shown that defendant resided with them, in the same house. On the contrary, it is disclosed affirmatively that the defendant, at the time and prior to the killing, was living at the home of his kinsman W. S. Hartley, assisting him in caring for and nursing his sick wife. It appears that the only threat ever communicated to defendant was the one made to W. S. Hartley, the first witness examined by the defendant. He testified to a conversation with the deceased on the day of the killing, in which deceased said to him; "Tell John Gafford, if he is at your house, that he [deceased] was going to kill him; that the country was not big enough for them both." To this statement witness asked, "What's the trouble?" to which deceased replied, "He knows what's the trouble; you tell him what I say." It nowhere appears in this conversation that any allusion was made to Mrs. Miller, or the alleged relations that existed between her and deceased; and the defendant in his testimony, in narrating what this witness told him as to this threat, does not intimate that he had been informed by Hartley that deceased made any reference to his sister. in fact, he says that Hartley simply told him that deceased said "that this country was not large enough for us both." For aught that appears from the above, this threat had reference to some other matter of controversy between deceased and defendant. The testimony offered by defendant to establish acts of adultery, and excluded by the court, is not shown to have been communicated by the witnesses to him before the killing. Indeed, the only facts disclosed by the evidence introduced by defendant , tending to show there was any controversy between deceased and defendant over Mrs. Miller, appears in defendant's testimony as occurring just before the killing, which is in the following language: "Lloyd said he had heard some talk in Greenville, and defendant said he was surprised that Lloyd had broken his agreement. Lloyd asked, Bow?' 'By lending her your buggy,' said defendant. Lloyd said he was not at home when she got the buggy; that his wife lent it to her. 'Well,' said defendant, 'that is all right, if you did not let her have 'it."* in offering the testimony of specific acts of adultery, there was no intimation by counsel, and it was not stated to the court, so far as appears in the record, that either of the witnesses who were called to testify to seeing specific acts of adultery between deceased and Mrs. Miller had ever informed defendant of what they had seen. it is upon the refusal of the court to permit this evidence to be introduced that defendant's counsel in their brief complain.

    Before entering upon a discussion of the question raised by this ruling of the court, I desire to dispose of the question propounded by defendant's counsel to him relating to this subject; and, in order to do so intelligently, the fact must not be overlooked that there was no evidence before the court tending to establish any illicit intercourse between deceased and Mrs. Miller, when the question was asked, and we must not be unmindful of the rule, so often announced by this court, that error will not be presumed, but must affirmatively appear from the record. Wilson v. State, 113 Ala. 104, 21 South. 487; Hurd v. State, 116 Ala. 440, 22 South. 993. The question propounded was: "Were you aware of any illicit intercourse between Lloyd and your sister? (The solicitor objected, and the court sustained the objection of the solicitor, and the defendant duly and legally excepted to the ruling of the court.)" I have quoted the exact language of the question asked and the objection and rulings of the court. It will be observed that only a general objection was made by the solicitor, and, if there existed any legal objection to the question, this court will be constrained to hold that the ruling of the court, in refusing to allow the question to be answered, was without error. Cobb v. State, 115 Ala. 18, 22 South. 508; Wilson v. State, supra; Hurd v. State, supra. The question was undoubtedly leading, and assumed as a fact that illicit intercourse between deceased and Mrs. Miller existed, when no such proof had been allowed to be introduced, and none had been offered, tending to establish such a relation of which defendant had been informed by the witnesses called to testify to it. Green v. State, 96 Ala. 29, 11 South. 478. "in order to reserve an available objection to the exclusion of evidence, a proper question must be asked." 8 Enc. Pi. & Prac. 236, and note 4. Besides, an offer must have been made showing what evidence would be given if the witness was permitted to answer the question and the purpose and object of the testimony sought to be introduced. 1d. 1n the case of Tolbert v. State, 87 Ala. 27, 6 South. 284, Judge Stone, in speaking on this subject, said: "Several objections were made and sustained to questions propounded to witnesses; but it is not shown what answers the witnesses were expected to give, nor, indeed, that they could have given any information on the subjects inquired about, affecting the defendant. We cannot consider these objections."

   There was other testimony introduced by defendant, after he was examined as a witness, but it contained no reference to threats, or the alleged relations between deceased and Mrs. Miller. It, however, does appear that, on rebuttal, the state introduced as a witness the father of the deceased, who testified to two distinct interviews between defendant and deceased,—one had at Hartley's house one week before the killing, and the other at the home of the deceased on Saturday night before the killing. 1n the first conversation the subject of discussion was whether there was any truth in the threats that each had been reported as making against the other, and a charge by defendant that deceased had been lending his buggy to Mrs. Miller, which was denied by deceased. In the second conversation defendant asked deceased "if there was any foundation in the rumor about you and my sister," to which deceased replied: "There is no truth in the rumor; I have always had the greatest respect for her." That defendant and deceased parted at the end of each of the interviews very friendly. I have alluded to this testimony for the purpose solely of showing that it cannot, in my opinion, affect the question under consideration, should it be construed, as it seems to be by the learned judge in his discussion of this question, that it showed that improper relations existed between deceased and Mrs. Miller, and, as a result, that an injustice was done defendant by reason of the rulings of the court in this respect. in that "the jury would naturally look in vain for any motive that might have impelled the defendant to become the aggressor" after a friendly separation between them. Upon whom should the blame rest? Trial courts are not clothed with the power or authority to direct the manner in which parties litigant try their causes. Neither can they compel the order in point of time in which testimony shall be offered, nor are they presumed to know what state of facts will be proven by any witness. To so bold, as is clearly held in the opinion of my Brothers, is to say that the trial judge must possess a mind capable of penetrating the future and foretelling future events. in other words, he must be capable of anticipating the character and nature of the testimony of every witness to be examined, when called upon to decide the admissibility of evidence which in his opinion at the time is improper.

    I feel confident that what 1 have said demonstrates that there was no error in the refusal of the court to allow the question to be propounded to defendant, and reduces the points of difference between myself and the majority of the court to a single inquiry. It is whether the specific acts of adultery between deceased and Mrs. Miller, uncommunicated to defendant, were admissible in evidence for any purpose. Leaving out of consideration for the present the element of self defense, and according to the defendant the same protection which the law accords to a husband who kills the adulterer of his wife,— which, however, under the circumstances of this case, 1 shall show, later on, that he is not entitled to,—let us inquire what were the husband's rights in such cases. The rule stated in 2 Bish. New Cr. Law, § 708, as follows: "if a husband finds his wife committing adultery, and, under the provocation, instantly takes her life or the adulterer's, the homicide is only manslaughter; but if, on merely hearing of the outrage, he pursues and kills the offender, he commits murder,"—seems to be, with one single exception, the universal rule of the courts of England and this country. In England this rule was so declared in the following cases and authorities: Reg. v. Mawgridge, Kel. J. 137, Fost . 296; Reg. v. Kelly, 2 Car. & K. 814; Manning's Case, T. Raym. 212; Fisher's Case, 8 Car. & P. 182; Maddy's Case, 1 Vent. 158. in America the following cases declare the same rule: Hill v. State, 64 Ga. 453, 1 Cr. Law Mag. & Rep. 355; Shufflin v. People, 62 N. Y. 229; People v. Osmond, 138 N. Y. 80, 33 N. E. 739; Sanchez v. People, 22 N. Y. 147; State v. Bulling, 105 Mo. 204, 15 S. W. 367, and 16 S. W. 830; State v. Holme, 54 Mo. 153; State v. France, 76 Mo. 681; State v. Pratt, 1 Houst . Cr. Cas. 249; People v. Hurtado, 63 Cal. 288; Reed v. State, 62 Miss. 405; Alfred v. State, 37 Miss. 296; Sawyer v. State, 35 1nd. 80; State v. Avery, 64 N. a 608; State v. Harman, 78 N. O. 515; State v. Samuel, 48 N. O. 74; State v. John, 30 N. a 330. in this state the rule seems to be that if the husband detects his wife in the act of adultery, and immediately slays her or her paramour, the law does not entirely justify or excuse him, but holds the provocation sufficient, as matter of law, to reduce the killing to manslaughter; and if he detects them, not in the act of adultery, but in a compromising position, under suspicious circumstances, and immediately kills one or both of them, it is a question for the jury whether the provocation was sufficient to reduce the grade of the offense, and whether he acted under the heat of sudden passion thereby excited, as in other cases of homicide under the heat of passion excited by great provocation. Hooks v. State, 99 Ala. 166, 13 South. 767; McNeill v. State, 102 Ala. 125, 15 South. 352; Dabney v. State, 113 Ala. 38, 21 South. 211. It will be observed that these three cases do not contravene the doctrine as laid down by Bishop, but simply do not require that it shall be necessary that the husband shall detect or discover them in the very act of adultery.

    I have examined all of the cases above cited, and many of the text-books, carefully, and have been unable to find any departure from that provision of the rule declaring that, if the husband, on merely hearing of the outrage, pursues and kills the offender, he commits murder, except the case of Copeland v. State, Horr. & T. Oas. 41, relied upon as authority in the main opinion, which I maintain stands alone in American and English jurisprudence, and of which I will later give a more extended notice. The reason underlying this rule in England is stated in the case of Reg. v. Mawgridge, supra, decided by the court of king's bench during the reign of Charles II., to be because the adultery of the wife is an invasion of the property rights of the husband. The language used by the court is in these words: "For jealousy is the rage of man, and adultery is the highest invasion of property."

    Pretermitting an extended discussion of the relations and rights of husband and wife under the old common law, I will content myself by showing, in a brief way, that this reason assigned by the courts of England was the only logical one upon which the doctrine could rest. He was her lord and master, and her will was subservient to his in all matters. So great was the matrimonial subjection of the wife to the husband that "for at least one thousand years," says Blackstone, in the kingdom of Great Britain, the command or coercion of the husband, either express or implied, "will privilege the wife from punishment, even for capital offenses." As civilization progressed, the marital rights of the wife, however, were enlarged, and her responsibility for crime increased; but even to this day, in England and this country, actual constraint imposed by the husband will relieve her from the guilt of any crime committed in his presence. 1 Bish. New Cr. Law, § 358 et seq. While the cases cited from the various courts of this country do not expressly assign any reason for the recognition of this rule, yet it may be fairly inferred from them that this right is accorded the husband on account of the jealousy and frenzy produced in his mind, incapable of being restrained by him, upon seeing or detecting an act so grossly violative of his sacred conjugal rights.

    The next question I will discuss is, did the defendant occupy such relation to Mrs. Miller as that he can be accorded the protection afforded her husband, had be, the defendant, detected or discovered her and deceased in an act of adultery, and slain him on the spot? We have heretofore shown that Mrs. Miller was a married woman, living, presumably, with her husband, and that defendant was not an inmate of their household. Therefore there could have been no relations between them which imposed upon him a legal right or natural duty to protect her chastity. She had surrendered those that existed between herself and her father's and mother's household when she made the allegiance by marriage with her husband. By this act of marriage, she formed new and different relations and obligations, which bound her to fulfill only to the satisfaction and gratification of her husband and their immediate household, and transferred to them alone this legal right and natural duty to protect her. These reasons, to my mind, are conclusive that the reason given by the courts which accorded to the husband this right has no application to this case. it is a maxim of the law that "reason is the soul of the law, and when the reason of any particular law ceases so does the law itself." Broom, Leg. Max. 159. 1n support of the correctness of my views, I quote the language as found in 1 Whart. Cr. Law, S 460, as follows: "A man cannot, indeed, thus avenge the adultery of his paramour; for the connection is not merely unauthorized by law, but in defiance of law. But where there is a legal right and natural duty to protect, there an assault on the chastity of a ward (using this term in its largest sense) will be sufficient provocation to make hot blood thus caused an element which will reduce the grade to manslaughter. * * • Supposing the injury to female chastity to be avenged in hot blood by a brother, a father, or other person having a right to protect the person injured, the offense is but manslaughter. But a brother cannot, after his sister has been ap[25 So.—2.] prehended in adultery, set up the provocation as a defense to an indictment against him for killing her paramour." In the case of Lynch v. Com., 77 Pa. St . 205, the supreme court of Pennsylvania held, where Lynch, the defendant, who lived with his sister, a married woman, whose husband was away from home and had been for five weeks, suspecting that she was in the act of adultery, listened at the door of her chamber, and, being confirmed in his suspicions, took his knife from his pocket, opened it, and forced the door in; he found her rising from the bed, undressed, and a man in bed; he stabbed the man three times with the knife; of one of the strokes the man died,—that the provocation was not sufficient to reduce the killing to manslaughter. The foregoing demonstrates, to my mind, conclusively, that deceased could not have regarded defendant as an obstacle to his illicit intercourse with Mrs. Miller, if it existed; and that the jury would not have had a right to infer, had the fact of such intercourse been proven, a motive on the part of deceased, as said by my Brothers, "to remove a dangerous obstacle out of the way of his illicit enjoyment."
    The opinion of my Brothers, in treating of the doctrine of self-defense, proceeds upon the assumption that the fact of sexual intercourse between deceased and Mrs. Miller was known to defendant. This I have shown to be erroneous. The testimony most favorable to this contention was that of the father of the deceased, which I have shown was introduced by the state on rebuttal. it nowhere appears in defendant's testimony. So, in dealing with the rulings of the court on this question in connection with the defense of self-defense, we are bound to do so upon the state of the proof before the court at the time of its rulings. The only theory, therefore, upon which the main opinion is defensible, is that this testimony stands upon the same footing with uncommunicated threats. in discussing the declarations of deceased other than threats, the supreme court of California, in the case of People v. McLaughlin, 44 Cal. 439, said: "We do not see that the deceased stood in any such relation towards the commonwealth as to render his declarations admissible as evidence. It cannot be properly said that, in prosecution of offenses mala in se, the commonwealth asserts a private right, or maintains an individual interest, in any such sense as may be affected or bound by hearsay statements of those who may have been the victims or objects of a criminal act on their property or person. There is no such legal identity or privity between them and the commonwealth as to render their statements admissible in behalf of those who are charged with the commission of the crime." This rule would, of course, govern as to the admissibility of acts of deceased of like import. The general rule is that the defendant charged with a crime is limited in the introduction 'of evidence to such acts and declarations as constitute a part of the res gestae; "in other words, they must stand in immediate causal relation to the act, and become a part either of the action immediately producing it or of action which it immediately produces. incidents that are thus immediately and unconsciously associated with an act, whether such incidents are doings or declarations, become in this way evidence of the character of the act." Whart. Cr. Ev. (8th Ed.) § 263, and note. The only exception to this rule that 1 have been able to find is that the acts or declarations of deceased, indicating a hostile condition of his mind towards the defendant, are admissible in cases of doubt as to who was the aggressor, and to explain the nature and character of the assault, if made by him. And this doctrine is treated by all the text writers upon the subject of evidence as an exception to the general rule, and the only one recognized by them. All of them treat of the law of self-defense and of threats, communicated and uncommunicated, and, if the law be as contended for by my Brothers, it is, indeed, passing strange that not one of these writers upon the subject of criminal law, nor any of the learned judges in the numerous cases which have been decided involving the doctrine of threats, ever intimated that the cause from which the threats made by deceased emanated was admissible. Mr. Rice, in his work on Criminal Evidence, limits the doctrine to threats, and, inferentially, excludes even acts indicating a hostile mind.

    Should I concede that the threats made by deceased emanated from a belief that the defendant was interfering with his relations with Mrs. Miller, 1 must confess I cannot see how the evidence of the acts of adultery would add any potency to their intensity or give them a deadlier hue of hostility. While this court has held in a number of cases that evidence of former difficulties between the defendant and the party slain by him may be introduced by the state for the purpose of showing malice or motive for doing the deed, yet the inquiry was limited strictly to the fact of the difficulty, refusing to inquire into its merits or the particulars, and this, too, upon cross-examination by the defendant for the purpose of showing that the deceased was at fault in the former difficulty. Many of these cases show that the party slain had made threats against the defendant . The reason given by the court was that "any evidence touching the merits would have multiplied the issues before the jury, and would have served no other purpose than to distract and divert their attention from the real issues they were to try." Commander v. State, 60 Ala. 1; McAnnally v. State, 74 Ala. 9; Gray v. State, 63 Ala. 66; Rutledge v. State, 88 Ala. 85, 7 South. 335; Hudson v. State, 61 Ala. 333; Lawrence v. State, 84 Ala. 424, 5 South. 33; Stitt v. State, 91 Ala. 10, 8 South. 669; Jones v. State, 116 Ala. 468, 23 South. 135. 1t certainly will not be denied that, if defendant had been permitted to introduce this evidence, the state would have had the right to contradict it, and to this end introduce testimony to disprove it . So the issue tried would practically have been the one of illicit sexual intercourse between deceased and Mrs. Miller, instead of the crime as preferred by the indictment against the defendant.

    The only case of this court cited by my Brothers upon which they rely for the latitude which they allow for the admissibility of this evidence is Mattison v. State, 55 Ala. 224. I have no controversy with the doctrine announced in that case, but insist that a proper application of it is an authority for my contention and in perfect harmony with the principles declared in Commander v. State and other cases cited supra. This court there said: "1n inquiries of fact, dependent on circumstantial evidence for their solution, no certain rule can be laid down which will define, with unerring accuracy, what collateral facts and circumstances are sufficiently proximate to justify their admission in evidence. Human transactions are too varied to admit of such clear declaration of the rule. Whatever tends to shed light on the main inquiry, and does not withdraw attention from this main inquiry, by obtruding upon the minds of the jury matters which are foreign or of questionable pertinency, is, as a general rule, admissible evidence. On the other hand, undue multiplication of the issues is to be steadily guarded against, as tending to divert the minds of jurors from the main issues." 1n the main opinion, while a portion of these qualifying words are quoted, still it is apparent that no importance is attached to them. in fact, they are entirely ignored, and the broad language, "whatever tends to shed light upon the main inquiry," is made the basis of authority to sustain their views.

    And these principles would be applicable if the defendant had known of the acts of adultery. in the case of State v. Neville, 51 N. C. 423, the evidence introduced by defendant tended to show that deceased was advancing upon him with a drawn knife, after hot words had passed between them, when he shot and killed him. The defendant offered to prove that . on the evening before the killing, the deceased came to his home, and tried to ravish his wife. The court below refused to permit him to do so. Justice Ruffin, in an able opinion, which is the leading authority in this country on this subject , speaking for the court, held that , "if admitted and believed, it could not change the character of the offense, and o tight to have been rejected." 1n the case of State v. Herrell, 97 Mo. 105, 10 S. W. 387, the defendant killed the paramour of his mother, who was a widow, in a sudden rencounter, and there was testimony tending to show he acted in self-defense, and this was one of his pleas. He offered to prove that the deceased and his mother had been living in adultery. The court said: "All this testimony as to deceased having lived in adultery with defendant's mother was wholly outside of the case, and constituted no palliation or mitigation of defendant's guilt of the homicide, and should not have been admitted." 1n the case of State r. Wilson, 88 Conn. 126, the defendant offered to prove that, while a prisoner confined in the state prison as a convict for a long time previous to the killing and at the time of the killing, the deceased, who was the warden of the prison, fed him on "putrid and stinking meat," and that, by reason thereof, he was compelled to kill deceased in self-defense, which was refused by the lower court . The supreme court of Connecticut affirmed this ruling, saving: "1f all the prisoner claimed to be able to prove had been proven or admitted to be true, the court would have been bound to instruct the jury that it furnished no justification for the killing. • • • The suggestion of counsel that the evidence might be admissible to mitigate the offense was without force; for the undoubted effect of the evidence was to show that the killing was intentional, deliberate, premeditated, and not occasioned by any sudden provocation." 1n Rogers v. State, 22 South. 666, 117 Ala. 9, the evidence of the defendant showed that he was the father of Emma Rogers, a girl about 13 years old; that the deceased carried her to church on Sunday night before the homicide, and had never brought her back; that he (defendant), who was away, returned to Gadsden Tuesday evening, and some of his children told him that deceased was back, and had a gun, and had said if he (defendant) asked him anything about Emma he was going to kill him; that on the morning of the killing he saw deceased at one Patterson's house, and that, upon going up to the crowd who were sitting on the front porch, he asked deceased where his daughter was, to which he made no reply, and he then asked him why he had carried her off, and that to this inquiry the deceased said he carried her off because he wanted to, and then threw his hand to his hip pocket, whereupon defendant shot him. The defendant then offered to prove, by other witnesses, that deceased had carried his daughter from the church on Sunday night next before the killing to the house of a kinswoman of his, and that during the night, between midnight and day, he induced the girl, under promise of marriage, to go with him to Ashville, Ala., and stopped at the house of a sister of deceased; that the two stayed at the house for a day and night, when the deceased left Tuesday, and returned to Gadsden, Ala., leaving the girl in Ashville, not having married her, or even offered to marry her; and that these facts were communicated to defendant a short time before the homicide. The circuit judge refused to permit the evidence to be introduced. On appeal to this court, Justice McClellan, delivering the opinion, said: "The facts that the deceased, a boy 16 years of age, carried the daughter of defendant, a girl of 13 or 14 years, from Gadsden to Ashville, three or four days before the homicide, under a promise of marriage; that he did not marry her; and that, leaving her at Ashville, he returned to Gadsden two days before the shooting,—can neither justify nor palliate the defendant's act in killing him, nor shed any legitimate light on the transaction. And this would be true, even had his wrong been more aggravated,— even had he debauched the girl, of which there is no pretense. in such case. if the mortal blow had been given by the father immediately upon hearing of the wrong to his daughter, and in the heat of passion engendered by the fact coming to his knowledge, all the facts would have been admissible to eliminate the element of malice from the act, by referring it to passion which had not had time to cool, and thus reducing the homicide to manslaughter. But there is no pretense that the homicide was committed under these circumstances. To the contrary, it affirmatively appears that the defendant came to a knowledge of all the facts—as full knowledge as he had at the time he shot deceased—two days before the shooting occurred. This court is firmly committed to this view, in consonance with long-established principles, and we take this occasion to utterly repudiate what is said in the case of Flanagan v. State, 46 Ala. 703, to the contrary, and on the point under consideration that case is overruled. The trial court did not err, therefore, in its rulings on the proposed evidence. The homicide involved here was either murder or justified on the ground of self-defense." This case, however, was reversed upon the refusal of the lower court to give a charge requested by defendant , On the second trial, the record shows that the evidence introduced by defendant tending to establish self-defense was substantially the same as upon the first . The defendant then offered to prove that deceased did have sexual intercourse with his daughter on their trip to Ashville, under promise of marriage. Upon a second appeal to this court (23 South. 1007), Justice McClellan, speaking for the court, said: "On this appeal, the court holds that the trial court in its rulings followed the ruling of this court on the former appeal, and there is no error in the record. Rogers v. State, 22 South. 666." The main opinion undertakes to distinguish this case from the one under consideration, and holds, as a matter of law, that the proof concerning hostile demonstration on the part of Hale, the deceased, was insufficient to raise the question of self-defense. With all due respect to the opinion of my Brothers, 1 submit that their reasoning is fallacious and indefensible. The facts in the two cases are practically the same, except that in the Rogers Case the defendant was the father and the natural guardian of the chastity of his 13 year old girl, and the outrage upon her was known to him at the time of the killing; while in the case under consideration, as we have shown, the defendant was not the guardian of Mrs. Miller's chastity, and did not know of any acts of adultery between her and deceased. 1t will be observed that in each there were threats made by deceased against the defendants. In the Rogers Case the threats of deceased were directly traceable to the act of adultery with defendant's daughter, whereas in this case they were, at best, merely inferably traceable to the acts of adultery between deceased and Mrs. Miller.

   If the specific acts of adultery offered to be proven between deceased and Mrs. Miller were unknown to defendant, as l contend they were, but he merely suspected the relation to exist, then the case of Robinson v. State, 108 Ala. 14, 18 South. 732, is directly in point. The evidence in this case for the defense tended to show that , when approached by defendant, the deceased was in a conversation with a 16 year old sister of the former; that defendant asked the deceased his intentions, and called his attention to the fact that he had told him to let his sister alone; and that, after some quarreling, the deceased drew his pistol, and fired twice upon the defendant, and that the latter returned the fire, killing the deceased. During the progress of the trial the defendant showed that a note from his sister was found on the body of the deceased, and offered to prove the contents of the note, stating that this would show that deceased had met the defendant's sister at the place of the killing by appointment, and for the purpose of having illicit intercourse with her. The court refused to allow the note in evidence. Again Justice McClellan delivered the opinion of the court, in which he said: "Neither the contents nor the existence of the note received by the deceased from the defendant's sister, and found on the person of the former after the homicide, nor the note from deceased to the sister to which this was a response, was known to' the defendant at the time of the killing. His conduct, therefore, could not possibly have been influenced in any degree by these notes; and, of course, they could not be looked to, to furnish a circumstance either of guilt or innocence, nor of aggravation or palliation, in respect of the offense for which he was tried and convicted. Had he known of this correspondence and its character, it, and his knowledge of it, would have been competent evidence of premeditation and malice on his part, unless he came by it for the first time to a knowledge of the illicit relations between deceased and his sister, and immediately, in the heat of passion engendered by it, and before cooling time, as the law wisely defines that period, he had shot and killed deceased. As he did not know of it at all, the court properly excluded it from the jury." This case is not only authority for the proposition for which l have cited it, but also for the doctrine laid down in the case of Rogers v. State. If dictum upon this last point, it is in harmony with every decision of the American courts except the decision in the case of Copeland v. State, Horr. & T. Cas. 41, heretofore referred to. In the case of People v. Osmond, 138 N. Y. 87, 33 N. E. 741, Justice Peckham said: "Again, counsel for the defendant claims evidence should have been permitted, even though the defendant was ignorant of it, which tends to show that his wife and Burchell were maintaining illicit relations. • • * The principle is not the same as that decided in Stokes v. People, 53 N. Y. 164. There the question was in regard to the character of the encounter which took place between the parties when the shooting was done. Was it done by Stokes in self-defense or was he the aggressor? It was held competent to prove the fact that the deceased had himself made violent threats against Stokes shortly before, even though those threats had not been communicated to defendant. This was upon the ground that the jury might consider the fact in determining the character of the encounter between the parties. But how can acts of infidelity, or acts which tend to prove infidelity on the part of the wife, in any degree tend to show the state of the mind of the defendant upon this subject, if such evidence had not been known or repeated to him? We entertain no doubt of the correctness of the ruling of the court below in this case."

    On account of the length of this opinion, l must content myself with only a short criticism of the opinion in the case of Copeland v. State, upon which the decision of the majority of the court in this case relies mainly for their conclusion. As a fair criticism of it, l adopt the language as used by the attorney general in his brief, as follows: "A casual reading of this case shows that Judge Turley was swept off his feet by the passion aroused in him by the testimony in the case. Not a single authority is quoted by him in support of his contention. And, furthermore, he does not confine himself to a review of the law of the case, but reviews, in detail, the testimony of all the witnesses examined in the court below, and assumes the province of the jury, and decides the facts." Besides, it does not go to the length of holding that, if the act of adultery had been unknown to defendant, it would have been considered by the court. In the main opinion it is said, "If the question of self-defense were out of this case, it would be quite clear that all testimony of this character would be inadmissible for the purpose of justifying the murder, and would be equally unavailing to reduce the killing from murder to manslaughter." The argument is, as self-defense is in the case, the defendant may introduce this testimony for the purpose of justification, which l have shown tends alone to establish that the killing was intentional, deliberate, and premeditated. if this is sound logic, he may take the sword of justice, and convert it into a shield to protect himself from the legal consequences of a deliberate murder. In my opinion, the judgment of the court should be affirmed.

    HARALSON, J., concurs in the conclusion reached in the foregoing dissenting opinion. (120 Ala. 415)


Friday, June 28, 2013

"the citizens made but little use of fire arms"

From a Tallahassee paper.

ANOTHER WAR. We have Just learned by an express from St. Marks, that one hundred and three Irish laborers arrived at that place yesterday from the St. Joseph's rail road, and in evening commenced a riot bidding defiance to the civil authority. A severe contest ensued with the citizens, amounting to about forty men, which terminated in the restoration of order. Fortunately, the citizens made but little use of fire arms many of the rioters are severely wounded. Fifty of them are lodged in jail. The masters and mates of vessels in port, rendered great assistance. The contest lasted about an hour.


"or discharges fire arms except in the just defence of person or property"

Sec. 1556. The goods or chattels of a debtor may be and sold on execution except the following articles, which shall be exempt from attachment and execution, unless turned out to the officer to be taken on the attachment or execution by the debtor: such suitable apparel, bedding, tools, arms, and articles of household furniture, as may be necessary for sustaining life, one sewing machine kept for use, one cow, the best swine or the meat of one swine, sheep not exceeding in number ten, and one year's product of said sheep, in wool, yarn, or cloth, forage sufficient for keeping not exceeding ten sheep and cow through one winter, ten cords of fire wood or five tons of coal, twenty bushels of potatoes, the pistols, side arms equipments used by a soldier in the service of the United States, and kept by him or his heirs as mementoes of his service, growing crops, ten bushels of grain, one barrel of flour, three swarms of bees and their hives with their produce in honey, two hundred pounds of sugar, lettered grave-stones, the bibles and other books used in a family, one pew or slip in a house or place of religious worship, live poultry not exceeding in value the sum of ten dollars; the professional books and instruments of physicians, and the professional books of clergy-men and attorneys at law, to the value of two hundred dollars; one yoke of oxen or steers, as the debtor may select, two horses kept and used for team work, and such as the debtor may select in lieu of oxen or steers, but not exceeding in value the sum of two hundred dollars, with sufficient forage for the keeping of the same through the winter; but the exemption of said horses and forage therefor is not to affect an attachment issued on a contract made on or before the first day of December, A.D. 1866, or an execution issued on a judgment founded on such contract. [Pg. 331-32] 


Sec. 4122. A person who intentionally without malice, points a fire arm toward another person shall be fined not more than fifty dollars and not less than five dollars. If he discharges such fire arm so pointed without injury to another person he shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars. or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.

Sec. 4123. If he maims or injures another person by the discharge of such fire arm so pointed he shall be fined not less than fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than two years, and the person maimed or wounded by the discharge of such fire arm or the heirs or representatives of a person killed by such discharge may have an action on the case against the offending and recover damages therefor.

Sec. 4124. The two preceding sections shall not apply where fire arms are used in self-defence or in the discharge official duty, or in case of justifiable homicide. [Pgs. 792-93]

Sec. 4316. A person who hunts, shoots or pursues, takes or kills wild game or other birds or animals, or discharges fire arms except in the just defence of person or property or in the performance of military or police duty, on Sunday, shall be fined ten dollars, one half to go to the person who makes the complaint and one-half to the state. [Pg. 826]


Thursday, June 27, 2013

"but modern Justice arms himself with pistols"

   "Justice Bloodgood*, we understand, further illustrated his notions of justice and the proper dignity of the bench, by interlarding his official charges and maledictions with the most profane and vulgar oaths. While thus fulminating the anathemas of justice from the bench, he had on the table before him a pair of enormous pistols, which he frequently flourished in illustration of his discourse. Justice of old carried a sword; but modern Justice arms himself with pistols, which Mr. Recorder Riker thinks a very proper sort of weapon for private citizens to carry, and of course much more so for a justice on the bench. Mr. Justice Bloodgood, among many other similar ferocities of speech, frequently expressed his regret that he had neglected to take his percussion caps with him into the Park, as he should have liked no better sport than to shoot a half dozen of the damned niggers. "Damn their souls!--" mildly and modestly exclaimed the white-robed Justice, the heroick Justice!--"damn their souls! I should have liked to send a few of the damned niggers to hell!" This account we have from a source that may be relied upon."

                                        "Oh justice! thou hast fled to brutish beasts."

[The Plaindealer, No. 1. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1836. Vol. I. Pg. 314]

* - Justice John M. Bloodgood was a magistrate of the New York City Police Court at 602 Broadway. His racism perhaps had stemmed from having been previously attacked by a black man and woman. And this while he was attempting to assist a sheriff. (Although this by no means offers any excuse or justification for such rabid racism).


"when ruffians, with arms upon them, insulted us with impunity"

   And here is a discovery which casts some more light on this previous post:

   "Is not he a "hectoring bully" who habitually rants and raves and threatens on the floor of the Senate--who tells that body "he will camp on his ground"--he, Thomas H. Benton--until other forty-nine senators, at least as honest as, and equal with, himself--are driven to the vote he requires--who habitually talks of "bank ruffians," and when opposed, foams at the mouth, and shatters the impassive mahogany around him, in furious denunciation and gesticulations--out of place everywhere--but most misplaced in such a body as the Senate of the United States once was? Is not the language of a "bully" conspicuous in this extract of Mr. Benton's outcry at the hisses in the gallery on the passing of the expunging resolution:

   "I hope the galleries will not be cleared, as many innocent persons will be excluded who have been guilty of no violation of order. Let the ruffians who have made the disturbance, alone be apprehended. I hope the Sergeant-at-Arms will be directed to enter the gallery, and seize the ruffians, ascertaining who they are in the best way he can. Let him apprehend them, and bring them to the bar of the Senate. Let him seize the bank ruffians. I hope that they will not now be suffered to insult the Senate, as they did when it was under the power of the Bank of the United States; when ruffians, with arms upon them, insulted us with impunity. Let them be taken and brought to the bar of the Senate. Here is one, just above me, that may easily be identified--the bank ruffians!

   "If this be a true representation--as we most sincerely believe it is--we call upon the Plaindealer to approve our plainness of speech.

   "If this representation be not true--concerning which, though entertaining no doubt, we are yet open to conviction--we will as promptly recall, as we have unhesitatingly used, the plain Dorick English objected to."--"THE AMERICAN AND MR BENTON", Pg. 146, The Plaindealer, No. 1. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1836. Vol. I.

Looks more like we need 'extended background checks' on our politicians....

List of American federal politicians convicted of crimes

[List covers up to the year 2009]

This list consists of American politicians convicted of crimes either committed or prosecuted while holding office in the federal government. It includes politicians who were convicted or pleaded guilty in a court of law; and does not include politicians involved in unprosecuted scandals (which may or may not have been illegal in nature), or politicians who have only been arrested or indicted. The list also does not include crimes which occur outside the politician’s tenure unless they specifically stem from acts while they were in office.

Although the convicted politicians are arranged by presidential terms starting with the most recent, many of the crimes have little or no connection to who is President.

2009– (Obama (D) presidency)

Judicial Branch

Samuel B. Kent (R) The Federal District Judge of Galveston, Texas was sentenced on May 11, 2009, to 33 months in prison for having lied about sexually harassing two female employees. He had been appointed to office by George H. W. Bush in 1990. (2009) [1][2]
Thomas Porteous (D) The Federal Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana was impeached, convicted and removed from office in December 8 2010 on charges of bribery and lying to Congress. He had been appointed to office by Bill Clinton in 1994. (2010)[3]

Legislative Branch

Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) pleaded guilty on February 20, 2013 to one count of wire and mail fraud in connection with his misuse of $750,000 of campaign funds. Jackson, Jr. agreed to plead guilty to charges of fraud, conspiracy, making false statements, mail fraud, wire fraud, and criminal forfeiture. Jackson, Jr. used about $750,000 in campaign money for personal expenses that included a Michael Jackson fedora and cashmere capes. Sentencing is scheduled for June 28, 2013.[4]

2001–2009 (George W. Bush (R) presidency)

Executive branch

Courtney Stadd, Chief of Staff to NASA, was sentenced to 41 months in prison for conspiracy. (2012)[5]
Scott Bloch was appointed by George W. Bush to head the United States Office of Special Counsel and was sentenced to one month in prison for Contempt of Congress and sentenced to one year of un-supervised probation. Bloch had hired Geeks on Call to scrub his computer of files before they could be examined by Congress. (2010)[6]
Lewis Libby (R) Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney (R). 'Scooter' was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the Plame Affair on March 6, 2007 and was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000. His sentence was commuted by George W. Bush (R) on July 1, 2007. The felony remains on Libby's record though the jail time and fine were commuted.[7]
Lester Crawford (R) Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, resigned after 2 months. Pleaded guilty to conflict of interest and received 3 years suspended sentence and fined $90,000. (2006) [8]
Claude Allen (R) Advisor to President Bush on Domestic Policy, Allen was arrested for a series of felony thefts in retail stores such as Target. (2006) He was convicted on one count and resigned soon after.[9]
Darleen Druyun (D) Principal Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Druyun pleaded guilty to inflating the price of the contract to favor her future employer and to passing information on the competing Airbus A330 MRTT bid (from EADS). In October 2004, she was sentenced to nine months in jail for corruption, fined $5,000, given three years of supervised release and 150 hours of community service. She began her prison term on January 5, 2005.[10]
Jack Abramoff CNMI scandal involves the efforts of Abramoff to influence Congress concerning U.S. immigration and minimum wage laws. See Legislative branch convictions. Convictions within the Bush administration include:

David Safavian GSA (General Services Administration) Chief of Staff,[11] found guilty of blocking justice and lying, [12] and sentenced to 18 months[13]
Roger Stillwell Staff in the Department of the Interior under George W. Bush. Pleaded guilty and received two years suspended sentence. [12]
Susan B. Ralston Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to Karl Rove, resigned October 6, 2006 after it became known that she accepted gifts and passed information to her former boss Jack Abramoff.[14]
J. Steven Griles Deputy Secretary of the Interior pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 10 months.[15]
Italia Federici staff to the Secretary of Interior, and President of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, pleaded guilty to tax evasion and obstruction of justice. She was sentenced to four years probation.[16][17][18]
Jared Carpenter Vice-President of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, was discovered during the Abramoff investigation and pleaded guilty to income tax evasion. He got 45 days, plus 4 years probation.[19]
Mark Zachares staff in the Department of Labor, bribed by Abramoff, guilty of conspiracy to defraud. [20]
Robert E. Coughlin Deputy Chief of Staff, Criminal Division of the Justice Department pleaded guilty to conflict of interest after accepting bribes from Jack Abramoff. (2008) [17]

Legislative branch

Jack Abramoff CNMI scandal involves the efforts of Abramoff to influence Congressional action concerning U.S. immigration and minimum wage laws. See Executive branch convictions. Congressmen convicted in the Abramoff scandal include:

Tom DeLay (R-TX) The House Majority Leader was reprimanded twice by the House Ethics Committee and DeLay resigned 9 June 2006.[21] Delay was found to have illegally channeled funds from Americans for a Republican Majority to Republican state legislator campaigns. He was convicted of two counts of money laundering and conspiracy in 2010 and sentenced to three years.[22][23][24]
Jim McDermott (D-WA) In December 2004, the House Ethics Committee investigated McDermott over the leaking of an illegally recorded telephone conversation during a 1997 committee investigation. On March 31, 2008, Chief Judge Thomas Hogan ordered McDermott to pay John Boehner (R-OH) $1.05 million in attorney's fees, costs and interest as well as $60,000 in fines.[25]
Michael Scanlon (R) former staff to Tom DeLay: working for Abramoff, pleaded guilty to bribery.
Tony Rudy (R) former staff to Tom DeLay, pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
James W. Ellis (R) executive director of Tom DeLay's political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC), was indicted by Texas for money laundering. [26]
John Colyandro (R) executive director of Tom DeLay's political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), was indicted by Texas for money laundering [26]
Bob Ney (R-OH) pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements as a result of his receiving trips from Abramoff in exchange for legislative favors. Ney received 30 months in prison.[27]
Neil Volz former staff to Robert Ney, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in 2006 charges stemming from his work for Bob Ney. In 2007 he was sentenced to two years probation, 100 hours community service, and a fine of $2,000.[28]
William Heaton,former chief of staff for Bob Ney (R), pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge involving a golf trip to Scotland, expensive meals, and tickets to sporting events between 2002 and 2004 as payoffs for helping Abramoff's clients.[29]
John Albaugh former chief of staff to Ernest Istook (R-OK) pleaded guilty to accepting bribes connected to the Federal Highway Bill. Istook was not charged. (2008) [30][31]
James Hirni, former staff to Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) was charged with wire fraud for giving a staffer, Don Young (R) of Alaska, a bribe in exchange for amendments to the Federal Highway Bill. (2008) [32]
Kevin A. Ring former staff to John Doolittle (R-CA) was convicted of five charges of corruption. Doolittle was not charged. [33][34]

Duke Cunningham (R-CA) pleaded guilty on November 28, 2005 to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion in what came to be called the Cunningham scandal. Sentenced to over eight years in prison.[35]

William J. Jefferson (D-LA) in August 2005 the FBI seized $90,000 in cash from Jefferson's home freezer. He was re-elected anyway, but lost in 2008. He was convicted of 11 counts of bribery and sentenced to 13 years in prison on November 13, 2009.[36] Jefferson's Chief of Staff Brett Pfeffer, was sentenced to 84 months for bribery. (2006) [37]

Bill Janklow (R-SD) convicted of second-degree manslaughter for running a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist. Resigned from the House and given 100 days in the county jail and three years probation. (2003)[38]

Jim Traficant (D-OH) found guilty on 10 felony counts of financial corruption, he was sentenced to 8 years in prison and expelled from the House (2002) [39]

Vito Fossella (R-NY) US Congressman convicted of drunken driving in 2008, later appealed but then pleaded guilty in 2009 to same charge.[40]

Larry Craig Senator (R-ID) – Married Senator and critic of Clinton's affair, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a Minneapolis airport men's room in June, after having been arrested on a charge of homosexual lewd conduct.(2007) [41]

Frank Ballance (D-NC) admitted to a federal charge of money laundering and mail fraud in October 2005 and sentenced to 4 years in prison. [42]

1993–2001 (Clinton (D) presidency)
Executive branch

Wade Sanders (D), Deputy Assistant United States Secretary of the Navy, for Reserve Affairs, was sentenced to 37 months in prison on one charge of possession of child pornography. (2009)[18][43][44]
Ronald H. Blackley, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy's Chief of Staff, was sentenced to 27 months for perjury. Espy was found innocent on all counts.(1998)[45]

Legislative branch

Mel Reynolds (D-IL) was convicted of 12 counts of bank fraud. See also [List of federal political sex scandals in the United States](1999) [46]

Walter R. Tucker III (D-CA) was sentenced to 27 months in prison in 1996 for extortion and tax evasion. (1995)

Barbara-Rose Collins (D-MI) found to have committed 11 violations of law and house rules stemming from use of campaign funds for personal use. (1997) [47]

Wes Cooley (R-OR), Cooley was convicted of having lied on the 1994 voter information pamphlet about his service in the Army. He was fined and sentenced to two years probation (1997)[48]

Austin Murphy (D-PA) convicted of one count of voter fraud for filling out absentee ballots for members of a nursing home. (1999) [49]

House banking scandal [50] The House of Representatives Bank found that 450 members had overdrawn their checking accounts, but not been penalized. Six were convicted of charges, most only tangentially related to the House Bank itself. Twenty two more of the most prolific over-drafters were singled out by the House Ethics Committee. (1992)

Buz Lukens (R-Ohio) convicted of bribery and conspiracy.[51]
Carl C. Perkins (D-Kentucky) pleaded guilty to a check kiting scheme involving several financial institutions (including the House Bank).[52]
Carroll Hubbard (D-Kentucky) convicted of illegally funneling money to his wife's 1992 campaign to succeed him in congress.[53]
Mary Rose Oakar (D-Ohio) pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance charge not related to the House Bank.[54]
Walter Fauntroy (D-District of Columbia) convicted of filing false disclosure forms in order to hide unauthorized income.[55]

Congressional Post Office scandal (1991–1995) A conspiracy to embezzle House Post Office money through stamps and postal vouchers to congressmen.[56]

Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) Rostenkowski was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison, in 1995.[57]
Joe Kolter (D-Pennsylvania) Convicted of one count of conspiracy [58] and sentenced to 6 months in prison.[59]

Jay Kim (R-CA) accepted $250,000 in illegal 1992 campaign contributions and was sentenced to two months house arrest (1992) [60]

1989–1993 (George H. W. Bush (R) presidency)
Judicial Branch

Robert Frederick Collins (D) Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Convicted of Bribery and sentence to 6 years and 10 months.[61]
Walter Nixon (D) US Judge (Mississippi) (appointed by Lyndon Johnson in 1968) Was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate for perjury on November 3, (1989) [62]

Executive branch

Alberto Coll, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict. Sentenced to one-year probation and fined him $5000 for lying about a visit to Cuba. (2005)[63]
Catalina Vasquez Villalpando, (R) Treasurer of the United States. Pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and tax evasion. (1992)[64]

Legislative branch

Nicholas Mavroules (D-Massachusetts) convicted of extortion, accepting illegal gifts and failing to report them on congressional disclosure and income tax forms. Mavroules pleaded guilty to fifteen counts in April 1993 and was sentenced to a fifteen-month prison term. (1993) [65][66][67]

Albert Bustamante (D-Texas) convicted of accepting bribes. (1993) [68]

David Durenberger Senator (R-Minnesota) denounced by Senate for unethical financial transactions and then disbarred (1990). He pleaded guilty to misuse of public funds and given one year probation (1995) [69]

1981–1989 (Reagan (R) presidency)

Executive branch

See also: Reagan administration scandals

Housing and Urban Development Scandal A controversy concerning bribery by selected contractors for low income housing projects.[70]

James G. Watt (R) United States Secretary of the Interior, 1981–1983, charged with 25 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice. Sentenced to five years probation, fined $5,000 and 500 hours of community service[71]
Deborah Gore Dean, (R) Executive Assistant to (Samuel Pierce, Secretary of HUD 1981–1987, and not charged). Dean was convicted of 12 counts of perjury, conspiracy, bribery. Sentenced to 21 months in prison (1987).[72]
Phillip D. Winn (R) Assistant Secretary of HUD, 1981–1982, pleaded guilty to bribery in 1994.[72]
Thomas Demery, (R) Assistant Secretary of HUD, pleaded guilty to bribery and obstruction.[72]
Joseph A. Strauss, (R) Special Assistant to the Secretary of HUD, convicted for accepting payments to favor Puerto Rican land developers in receiving HUD funding.[73]

Wedtech scandal Wedtech Corporation convicted of bribery for Defense Department contracts.[74]

Mario Biaggi (D-New York) sentenced to 2½ years. (1987)[75]
Robert Garcia (D-New York) sentenced to 2½ years.[76]

Iran-Contra Affair (1985–1986); A secret sale of arms to Iran, to secure the release of hostages and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras, in violation of the Boland Amendment.[77]

Caspar Weinberger (R) United States Secretary of Defense, was indicted on two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice on June 16, 1992. [13]
. Weinberger received a pardon before his trial from George H. W. Bush on December 24, 1992.[78]
Robert C. McFarlane (R) National Security Adviser, convicted of withholding evidence. Given 2 years probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush[79]
John Poindexter (R) National Security Advisor, was convicted on April 7, 1990 for his role in the Iran-Contra Affair. The convictions were reversed in 1991 on appeal .[80]
Oliver North (R) Member of the National Security Council, was fired by President Reagan on the same day Poindexter resigned.[81][82] North was found guilty of perjury and conspiracy, but the charges were overturned on appeal.
Elliott Abrams (R) Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, convicted of withholding evidence. Given 2 years probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush.[83]

Michael Deaver (R) White House Deputy Chief of Staff to Ronald Reagan 1981–85, pleaded guilty to perjury related to lobbying activities and was sentenced to 3 years probation and fined $100,000 [84]
Sewergate A scandal in which funds from the EPA were selectively used for projects which would aid politicians friendly to the Reagan administration.

Rita Lavelle (R), assistant EPA Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency misused ‘superfund' monies and was convicted of perjury. She served six months in prison, was fined $10,000 and given five years probation. (1984) [85]

Legislative branch

David Durenberger Senator (R-Minnesota), denounced by the Senate for unethical financial transactions (1990) and then disbarred as an attorney.[86] In 1995 he pleaded guilty to 5 misdemeanor counts of misuse of public funds and was given one years probation.[87]
Donald E. "Buz" Lukens (R-Ohio), Convicted of two counts of bribery and conspiracy. (1996) [88] See also Sex scandals.
Abscam FBI sting involving fake 'Arabs' trying to bribe 31 congressmen.(1980) [89] The following Congressmen were convicted:

Harrison A. Williams Senator (D-New Jersey) Convicted on 9 counts of bribery and conspiracy. Sentenced to 3 years in prison.[90]
John Jenrette Representative (D-South Carolina) sentenced to two years in prison for bribery and conspiracy.[91]
Richard Kelly (R-Florida) Accepted $25K and then claimed he was conducting his own investigation into corruption. Served 13 months.[92]
Raymond Lederer (D-Pennsylvania) "I can give you me" he said after accepting $50K. Sentenced to 3 years.[93]
Michael Myers (D-Pennsylvania) Accepted $50K saying, " talks and bullshit walks." Sentenced to 3 years and was expelled from the House.[94]
Frank Thompson (D-New Jersey) Sentenced to 3 years.[95]
John M. Murphy (D-New York) Served 20 months of a 3-year sentence.[96]

Mario Biaggi (D-New York), Convicted of obstruction of justice and accepting illegal gratuities he was sentenced to 2½ years in prison and fined $500K for his role in the Wedtech scandal, see above. Just before expulsion from the House, he resigned. The next year he was convicted of another 15 counts of obstruction and bribery. (1988) [97]
Pat Swindall (R-Georgia) convicted of 6 counts of perjury. (1989) [98][99]
George V. Hansen (R-Idaho) censured for failing to file out disclosure forms. Spent 15 months in prison.[100]
Frederick W. Richmond (D-New York),Convicted of tax evasion and possession of marijuana. Served 9 months (1982) [101]
Dan Flood (D-Pennsylvania) censured for bribery. After a trial ended in a deadlocked jury, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year's probation.[102][103]
Joshua Eilberg (D-Pennsylvania) pleaded guilty to conflict-of-interest charges. In addition, he convinced president Carter to fire the U.S. Attorney investigating his case.[104]

Judicial branch scandals

Alcee Hastings (D-Florida), Federal District court judge impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate of soliciting a bribe (1989).[105] Subsequently elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1992)
Harry Claiborne (D-Nebraska), Federal District court Judge impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate on two counts of tax evasion. He served over one year in prison.[106]

1977–1981 (Carter (D) presidency)
Legislative branch

Fred Richmond (D-New York) – Convicted of tax fraud and possession of marijuana. Served 9 months in prsion. Charges of soliciting sex from a 16-year-old boy were dropped after he submitted to counseling. (1978) [107]
Charles Diggs (D-Michigan), convicted on 29 charges of mail fraud and filing false payroll forms which formed a kickback scheme with his staff. Sentenced to 3 years (1978) [108]
Michael Myers (D-Pennsylvania) Received suspended six-month jail term after pleading no contest to disorderly conduct charged stemming from an incident at a Virginia bar in which he allegedly attacked a hotel security guard and a cashier.[109]
Frank M. Clark (D-Pennsylvania) pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion on June 12, 1979 and sentenced to two years in prison.[110]
Koreagate scandal involving alleged bribery of more than 30 members of Congress by the South Korean government represented by Tongsun Park.

Richard T. Hanna (D-California) was convicted and sentenced to 6 years in prison.[111]

Richard Tonry (D-Louisiana) pleaded guilty to receiving illegal campaign contributions.[112]

1974–1977 (Ford (R) presidency)

Legislative branch

James F. Hastings (R-New York), convicted of kickbacks and mail fraud, he also took money from his employees for personal use. Served 14 months at Allenwood penitentiary. (1976) [113]
John V. Dowdy (D-Texas), Allegedly tried to stop a federal invesitgation of a construction firm. He served 6 months in prison for perjury. (1973) [114][115]
Bertram Podell (D-New York), pleaded guilty to conspiracy and conflict of interest. He was fined $5,000 and served four months in prison. (1974)[116]
Frank Brasco (D-New York) Sentenced to three months in jail and fined $10,000 for conspiracy to accept bribes from a reputed Mafia figure who sought truck leasing contracts from the Post Office and loans to buy trucks.[104]
Richard T. Hanna (D-CA), convicted in an influence-buying scandal. (1974)[117]

1969–1974 (Nixon (R) presidency)

Executive branch

Watergate (1972–1973) Republican 'bugging' of the Democratic Party National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel led to a burglary which was discovered. The cover up of the affair by President Richard Nixon (R) and his staff resulted in 69 government officials being charged and 48 pleading guilty, including 7 for actual burglary. Eventually, Nixon resigned his position.[118]

John N. Mitchell (R) former Attorney General, convicted of perjury.[119]
Frederick C. LaRue (R) Advisor to John Mitchell, convicted of obstruction of justice.[120]
Richard Kleindienst (R) Attorney General, found guilty of "refusing to answer questions" given one month in jail.[121]
H. R. Haldeman (R) Chief of Staff for Nixon, convicted of perjury [122]
John Ehrlichman (R) Counsel to Nixon, convicted of perjury.[123]
Egil Krogh (R) Aide to John Ehrlichman, sentenced to 6 months.[120]
John W. Dean III (R) Counsel to Nixon, convicted of obstruction of justice.[120]
Dwight L. Chapin (R) Deputy Assistant to Nixon, convicted of perjury.[120]
Charles W. Colson (R) Special Consul to Nixon, convicted of obstruction of justice.[121]

Legislative branch

Cornelius Gallagher (D-New Jersey) pleaded guilty to tax evasion, and served two years in prison.[124]
J. Irving Whalley (R-Pennsylvania) Received suspended three-year sentence and fined $11,000 in 1973 for using mails to deposit staff salary kickbacks and threatening an employee to prevent her from giving information to the FBI.[104]
Martin B. McKneally (R-New York) Placed on one-year probation and fined $5,000 in 1971 for failing to file income tax return. He had not paid taxes for many years prior.[125]
New York US Representative James Fred Hastings (R-NY) was a delegate to the 1968 Republican National Convention and the 1972 Republican National Convention. He was elected to Congress in 1968 and served from January 3, 1969, until he resigned on January 20, 1976 after being convicted of kickbacks and mail fraud. He served 14 months at Allenwood penitentiary (1976).[126]

1963–1969 (Lyndon B. Johnson (D) presidency)
Legislative branch

Ted Kennedy Senator (D-Massachusetts) drove his car into the channel between Chappaquiddick Island and Martha's Vineyard, killing passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and received a suspended sentence of two months [127] (1969)
Daniel Brewster (D-Maryland) Senator pleaded no contest to accepting " an unlawful gratuity without corrupt intent ".[128]
Frank W. Boykin Congressman (D-AL) was convicted of conspiracy and conflict of interest in July 1963. [129]

1961–1963 (Kennedy (D) presidency)

Legislative branch

Thomas F. Johnson (D-Maryland) was convicted of conspiracy and conflict of interest regarding the receipt of illegal gratuities.[130]
Frank Boykin (D-Alabama) Was placed on probation and fined $40,000 following conviction in a case involving a conflict of interest and conspiracy to defraud the government. He was pardoned by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965.[131]

1953–1961 (Eisenhower (R) presidency)

Legislative branch

Thomas J. Lane (D-Massachusetts) convicted for evading taxes on his congressional income. Served 4 months in prison, but was re-elected three more times.[132] before his 1962 defeat due to re-districting. (1956) [133]
Ernest K. Bramblett (R-California) Received a suspended sentence and a $5,000 fine in 1955 for making false statements in connection with payroll padding and kickbacks from congressional employees.[134]

1945–1953 (Truman (D) presidency)

Legislative branch

Walter E. Brehm (R-Ohio) convicted of accepting contributions illegally from one of his employees. Received a 15 month suspended sentence and a $5,000 fine.[135]
J. Parnell Thomas (R-New Jersey): a member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), was convicted of salary fraud and given an 18-month sentence and a fine, resigning from Congress in 1950. He was imprisoned in Danbury Prison with two of the Hollywood Ten he had helped put there. After serving his 18 months he was pardoned by Truman (D) in 1952,[136]
Andrew J. May (D-Kentucky) Convicted of accepting bribes in 1947 from a war munitions manufacturer. Was sentenced to 9 months in prison, after which he was pardoned by Truman (D) in 1952.[137]
James M. Curley (D-Massachusetts) fined $1,000 and served six-months for fraud before Harry S. Truman commuted the rest of his sentence.[138]

1933–1945 (Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) presidency)

Legislative branch

John H. Hoeppel (D-California) convicted in 1936 of selling an appointment to the West Point Military Academy. He was fined $1,000 and sentenced to 4-12 months in jail.[139]

1921–1923 (Harding (R) presidency)

Executive branch

The Harding administration was marred by scandals stemming from his appointment of men in his administration whom he had known in Ohio. They came to be known as the Ohio Gang. They include;

Albert Fall (R) Secretary of the Interior who was bribed by Harry F. Sinclair for control of the Teapot Dome federal oil reserves in Wyoming. He was the first U.S. cabinet member to ever be convicted; he served two years in prison. (1922) [140]
Charles R. Forbes (R) appointed by Harding as the first director of the new Bureau of Veterans Affairs. After constructing and modernizing VA hospitals, he was convicted of bribery and corruption and sentenced to two years in jail.[141]
Thomas W. Miller (R), Head of the Office of Alien Property: convicted of fraud by selling valuable German patents seized after World War I for far below market price as well as bribery. Served 18 months.[142]

1901-1909 (Theodore Roosevelt (R) presidency)
Legislative Branch

Henry B. Cassel (R-Pennsylvania) was convicted of fraud related to the construction of the Pennsylvania State Capitol (1909).[143][144]

John Hipple Mitchell Senator (R-Oregon) was involved with the Oregon land fraud scandal, for which he was indicted and convicted while a sitting U.S. Senator. (1905) [145]

Joseph R. Burton Senator (R-Kansas) was convicted of accepting a $2500 bribe in 1904. [146]

1869–1877 (Grant (R) presidency)
Executive branch

Whiskey Ring: Massive corruption of Ulysses S. Grant's (R) administration involving whiskey taxes, bribery and kickbacks ending with 110 convictions. (1875) [147]

John J. McDonald (R) Supervisor of the Internal Revenue Service. Convicted and sentenced to three years.[147] [148]


Matthew Lyon (Democratic Republican-Kentucky). First Congressman to be recommended for censure after spitting on Roger Griswold (Federalist-Connecticut). The censure failed to pass.[149] Also found guilty of violating John Adams' Alien and Sedition Acts and sentenced to four months in jail, during which he was re-elected (1798) [150]

John Pickering, Federal Judge appointed by George Washington was impeached and convicted in absentia by the U.S. Senate for drunkenness and use of profanity on the bench in spite of the fact neither act was a high crime or misdemeanor. (1804)[151]

See also

List of federal political scandals in the United States
List of federal political sex scandals in the United States

Federal politicians:

List of United States senators expelled or censured
List of United States Representatives expelled, censured, or reprimanded

State and local politics:

List of American state and local politicians convicted of crimes
List of state and local political scandals in the United States
List of state and local political sex scandals in the United States

Notes – (Gives references to every claim made above).

    And these are the type of people that are seeking 'extended background checks' on We The People? The very same type that are presently disregarding our Constitution at will? Wonder how much the list will be expanded once 'Obama' is [finally] finished? We all know about the present and recent criminal acts of our federal government after all.

   No, it looks more like we need 'extended background checks' on our politicians. We would probably be far more secure in that event. It also appears, based upon recent events. That we need not only a House cleaning, but the senate could use a good vacuuming. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to scour out the agencies and bureaus as well....