« ForrigeFortsett »
against him. The respondent has prosecuted an appeal to this court, and has assigned as error in this court that the trial court wrongfully held that he was not lawfully appointed sheriff of Alexander county, and a cross-error has been assigned challenging the constitutionality of the statute under which the Governor removed Frank E. Davis as sheriff of Alexander county.
LANSDEN & LEEK, for appellant.
ALEXANDER Wilson, State's Attorney, Angus LEEK, and WILLIAM S. DEWEY, for appellee.
Mr. JUSTICE Hand delivered the opinion of the court:
The trial court held, by propositions of law submitted to it at the time it disposed of the demurrers to said pleas, that the act of 1905, entitled "An act to suppress mob violence,” (Hurd's Stat. 1909, p. 802,) was constitutional and that the relator was lawfully removed by the Governor from the office of sheriff of Alexander county, but that the vacancy caused by such removal occurred on the day upon which the Governor issued his proclamation of removal, which was on November 18, 1909, which date was more than one year prior to the expiration of the relator's term of office, and that said vacancy could not be legally filled by the board of supervisors of Alexander county, and that the attempted appointment of the respondent by said board was illegal and void.
Two questions have been argued in the briefs filed by the respective parties in this court: First, is the act of 1905, under which the relator was removed, a constitutional enactment? and secondly, did the vacancy caused by such removal take place on November 18, 1909, when the proclamation of removal was issued, or did it take place on December 6, 1909, the day the Governor denied the prayer of the petition of the relator to be re-instated sheriff of Alexander county?
The act involved was adopted by the legislature and approved by the Governor in 1905. Its title is, “An act to suppress mob violence.” The first section defines what constitutes a mob. The second section defines the meaning of the term "serious injury” to persons and property, as used in the act. The third section makes the persons who compose a mob with intent to inflict damage or injury upon the person or property of an individual charged with crime, guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine and imprisonment in the county jail. The fourth section makes it a felony for persons composing a mob to by violence inflict material damage upon the property or serious injury upon the person of another under pretense of exercising correctional powers over such person, and makes the penalty for said offense imprisonment in the penitentiary not exceeding five years. The last clause of said section provides that any person suffering material damage to property or injury to person by a mob shall have a right of action against the county or city in which the injury is inflicted for such damages as he may sustain, to an amount not exceeding $5000. The fifth section gives a right of action to the surviving spouse, lineal heirs or adopted children of a person who shall suffer death by lynching at the hands of a mob, against the county or city for damages in a sum not exceeding $5000. The sixth section is as follows:
“Sec. 6. If any person shall be taken from the hands of a sheriff, or his deputy, having such person in custody, and shall be lynched, it shall be prima facie evidence of failure on the part of such sheriff to do his duty, and upon the fact being made to appear to the Governor, he shall publish proclamation declaring the office of such sheriff vacant, and his office shall thereby and thereafter immediately be vacated, and the coroner shall immediately succeed to and perform the duties of sheriff until the successor of such sheriff shall have been duly elected or appointed, pursuant to the existing law providing for the filling of vacancies in such office, and such sheriff shall not thereafter be eligible to either election or re-appointment to the office of sheriff: Provided, however, that such former sheriff may, within ten days after such lynching occurs, file with the Governor his petition for re-instatement to the office of sheriff, and shall give ten days' notice of the filing of such petition to the prosecuting attorney of the county in which such lynching occurred, and also to the Attorney General. If the Governor, upon hearing the evidence and argument, if any presented, shall find that such sheriff has done all in his power to protect the life of such prisoner and performed the duties required of him by existing laws respecting the protection of prisoners, then such Governor may re-instate such sheriff in his office and shall issue to him a certificate of re-instatement, the same to be effective on the day of such order of re-instatement, and the decision of such Governor shall be final."
The first contention is that the act embraces numerous subjects which are not included in the title of the act, and that the entire act is in conflict with that part of section 13 of article 4 of the constitution which reads as follows: "No act hereafter passed shall embrace more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title," and is void. The basis of this contention is (1) that the fourth section of the act creates a new crime by making it a felony for persons composing a mob to violently inflict material damage upon the property or serious injury upon the person under pretense of exercising correctional powers, and said section also gives a right of action to the person injured, against the county or city in which the injury occurs, for damages; (2) the fifth section confers a right of action upon the surviving spouse, lineal heirs or adopted children of a person who suffers death by lynching, against the county or city, for the recovery of damages in a sum not exceeding $5000; (3) that the sixth section authorizes the Governor to remove a sheriff from cffice if any person is taken from his custody by a mob and lynched, and authorizes the Governor, by proclamation, to declare the office of sheriff vacant, and thereupon the coroner shall immediately succeed to and perform the duties of sheriff until a successor has been elected or appointed, -all of which, it is urged, are subjects which are not embodied within the title of the act.
The constitutional requirement that no act of the legislature shall embrace more than one subject and that shall be expressed in its title was not intended to hamper the legislature or to embarrass honest legislation, but was adopted with the view of preventing matters not related to the subject matter of legislation then under consideration from being incorporated into the act then being passed and not referred to in the title of the act. All provisions may be legitimately incorporated into an act which fairly tend to effectuate the object of the act as expressed in the title. (Town of Manchester v. People, 178 I11. 285; Meul v. People, 198 id. 258; People v. McBride, 234 id. 146.) The constitution is obeyed if all the provisions of the act relate to one subject indicated in the title, and are parts of it or incident to it or reasonably connected with it. (Burke v. Monroe County, 77 Ill. 610; People v. Nelson, 133 id. 565; Ritchie v. People, 155 id. 98; Hudnall v. Ham, 172 id. 76.) The title of the act now under consideration is, “An act to suppress mob violence,” and all provisions of that act are within that title which will reasonably contribute to the suppression of mob violence. It is, we think, too clear for argument that those provisions of said act which provide that persons engaging in mob violence shall be guilty of a felony and subject to imprisonment in the penitentiary will tend to prevent men from joining mobs when assembling and will tend to the suppression of mob violence, and it is, we think, equally clear that the imposing of a liability for damages upon the county or city in favor of the victim of
a mob whenever mobs are permitted to assemble, or, in case of his death, in favor of his widow or heirs or adopted children, will cause the tax-payers of such county or city to discourage the assembling of mobs within such municipalities and will cause all law abiding men residing in such communities to condemn and denounce mob violence, the result of which must be to create respect for the law and its enforcement and to discourage the assembling of mobs. The fact that the sheriffs of the several counties of the State are subject to removal from office in a summary manner for a neglect of duty and a failure on their part to protect prisoners in their custody from being taken from their custody and hanged by a mob will certainly tend to make the sheriffs of the several counties of the State 'more vigilant and cause them to make greater effort to protect persons in their custody than they would be were they not subject to removal from office and more earnest and courageous in dispersing riotous assemblies, which must have the direct effect to suppress mob violence. We are therefore impressed with the fact that each provision of the act in question will fairly tend to effectuate the object expressed in the title to said act, viz., the suppression of mob violence. While it is true that the title of the act is quite general, that is no objection to the title, as the more general the title the greater the number of particular or subordinate subjects that may be legitimately included within the act. (Rouse v. Thompson, 228 Ill. 522.) We are of the opinion that the provisions contained in the several sections of the act are germane to each other and are fairly included within the title of the act.
It is next contended that said act is void in that it attempts to authorize the Governor to remove elective officers and declare their offices vacant, in violation of section 12 of article 5 of the constitution, which limits the power of the Governor in removing officers and declaring their offices vacant, to officers whom he has appointed. That provision