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"It will be noted that this resolution applies in all criminal prosecutions.' The proposition is to exclude confessions in all criminal prosecutions, unless it is shown that the confession was not only made voluntarily, but made in the presence of a third person, selected by the accused. In dealing with the specific evil of investigation by the police department or prosecuting attorney's office, the resolution goes too far, and would exclude confessions, voluntarily made, and which, under the rules of evidence, are admissible. The exact character of this third degree is so little known that it is difficult to lay down any rule concerning it. A due investigation to discover crime is proper; while recourse to methods set out in the preamble to the resolution are most reprehensible. Conditions differ in various police departments. The evil is local, and the remedy must be local."
The report of the committee was adverse to the adoption of the resolution, and the mover of the resolution, Mr. Thomas Mackenzie, of Maryland, offered as a substitute his resolution for the recommendation. This motion was lost, and the report of the committee was adopted. See Report, 1911, pp. 15 and 16.
Substantially the same resolution was again offered and referred to this committee, and again there was an adverse report. See Report, 1912, p. 430.
To this report Mr. Mackenzie excepted, and moved that it be "recommitted to the committee." Again it has been considered and the two previous judgments are affirmed, and, for the reason set out in the previous reports, which, in substance, is, that the law governing the admissibility of confessions affords a sufficient safeguard for the protection of the accused.
Your committee recommends that the resolution be not adopted.
The other matter referred to your committee was a resolution, in these words: "Upon creation and removal of United States judges and to abolish life tenure of office."
Judges of the United States Courts are appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and hold their offices during good behavior. Generally stated, judges may be selected in one of three ways: by popular election, legislative election or executive appointment. Election by the people brings the judges into active local politics, with all the attending evils; makes elevation to the Bench depend on the fickle favor of the
populace, and erroneously assumes that the average voter has sufficient information to decide intelligently upon the character, experience and fitness of a candidate for judicial office. Election by the legislature is less objectionable than by the direct vote of the people, but it has not proven satisfactory in certain states, because of political combinations, corruption and divided responsibility. There is no reason to suppose that election of judges by Congress would prove more satisfactory. The conclusion reached by your committee is that the present method of executive appointment is to be preferred, largely because it imposes a direct responsibility on the President, and for the further reason that, with few exceptions, the judges of the United States courts have measured up to the full stature of judicial dignity, ability and integrity.
Upon the subject of removal of federal judges, your committee is of the opinion that, where from among a learned profession a certain few are set apart as worthy to be vested with the large powers of the federal judiciary, that there should be no removal from the Bench, save for grave and weighty reasons. By no procedure less imposing than that of impeachment by the representatives of the nation, in the face of the nation and on a responsibility which is felt and reverenced by the nation, should a judge be degraded. This respect should be shown, not to the man, but to the judge, to him who personifies the law.
As to the tenure by which the federal judges hold their office, your committee is of the opinion that it should not be changed. Short tenures, and the uncertainty of tenure, together with the inadequacy of compensation, impair the efficiency of the Bench and breed disrespect for the law.
Your committee recommends that there be no change in the law providing for the creation and removal of United States judges, and further recommends that the life tenure of United States judges be not abolished.
P. W. MELDRIM, Chairman,
COMMITTEE ON JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION AND
To the American Bar Association:
At the last meeting of the Association there was referred to the Committee on Judicial Administration and Remedial Procedure a resolution offered by Joseph B. David, of Illinois, as follows:
WHEREAS, Every person indicted for a criminal offense or against whom is filed an information charging the commission of a crime should be entitled as matter of right to a copy of the accusation without cost and also the names and addresses of the witnesses on whose testimony the indictment was found, or information filed, and also to a list of the jury which may be called upon to try the accused; and,
WHEREAS, Section 1033 of the Revised Statutes of the United States provides:
"When any person is indicted of treason, a copy of the indictment and the list of the jury, and of the witnesses to be produced on the trial of the indictment, for proving the indictment, stating the place of abode of each juror and witness, shall be delivered to him at least three entire days before he is tried for the same. When any person is indicted of any other capital offence, such copy of the indictment and list of the jurors and witnesses shall be delivered to him at least two entire days before the trial."
Now, therefore, be and it is hereby resolved by the American Bar Association that said Section 1033 ought to be amended by adding thereto the following:
When any person is indicted for any criminal offence or against whom has been filed an information charging a crime or misdemeanor, a copy of the indictment or information shall be furnished him, without cost, at the time of or before his arraignment or before he is called on to plead to such indictment or information, and the names and addresses of the witnesses appearing before the Grand Jury, in case of an indictment, shall be endorsed
on the back of such indictment, and, in case of an information, the names and addresses of the witnesses, so far as known to the district attorney at the time of the filling of such information, shall be endorsed on the back thereof. Every person charged with a criminal offence other than capital shall be furnished with a list of the jury and witnesses to be produced on the trial, so far as the same may be known to the district attorney, at least one entire day before trial.
And be it further resolved, That a bill substantially embodying the foregoing amendments be presented to Congress by and through the proper committee of this Association at the earliest reasonable opportunity, and that such committee use all necessary and proper effort to secure the passage of such bill.
The foregoing resolution of Mr. David has been carefully considered by your committee and is recommended for adoption.
It is obvious that the purpose of the provisions of said Section 1033 of the U. S. Revised Statutes, as it stands, is to give to a person accused of treason or capital crimes a reasonable opportunity to consider the specifications of the charge, the sources from which the charge emanates and the vicinage of the jury list, in order that he may judge of the expediency of pleading guilty, or of standing trial prepared to meet the evidence which he has reason to believe will be presented, or to challenge jurors who may be prejudiced against him: and all this makes for open and enlightened justice.
But your committee can imagine no valid reason why these privileges should be monopolized by any particular class of criminals. We do not believe that the law itself should recognize an aristocracy of crime. We are rather of the opinion that the phrase "equality is equity" is something more than the maxim of a chancellor, and stands in this country for a political principle.
It may well be that persons charged with heinous offenses against society should be accorded ampler time to meet such issues; and this distinction or discrimination is already noted in the statute as it prevails. But the principle of the enactment, being a just one, should be extended to all who are charged as criminals. Such is our opinion and our recommendation; in
pursuance whereof we have prepared draft of a bill as called for by the resolutions and which accompanies this report: Respectfully submitted,
HENRY D. ESTABROOK, Chairman,
FREDERICK N. JUDSON,
WILLIAM A. BLOUNT,
TO AMEND SECTION TEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY-THREE OF THE REVISED STATUTES OF THE UNITED STATES.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Section Ten Hundred and Thirty-three of the Revised Statutes of the United States, be, and the same is hereby, amended by adding thereto the following:
When any person is indicted for any criminal offence or against whom has been filed an information charging a crime or misdemeanor, a copy of the indictment or information shall be furnished him without cost at the time of or before his arraignment or before he is called on to plead to such indictment or information, and the names and addresses of the witnesses appearing before the Grand Jury, in case of an indictment, shall be endorsed on the back of such indictment, and, in case of an information, the names and addresses of the witnesses, so far as known to the district attorney at the time of the filing of such information shall be endorsed on the back thereof. Every person charged with a criminal offence other than capital shall be furnished with a list of the jury and witnesses to be produced on the trial, so far as the same may be known to the district attorney, at least one entire day before trial.