Page images
PDF
EPUB

party receiving the confession should leave the prisoner at full liberty to act and judge for himself.

Though the law is as above stated, many Justices are in the habit of dissuading the culprit with more or less earnestness from disclosing any fact which may tend to establish his guilt. This practice, which is rather to be admired for romantic generosity than for wisdom, or for any beneficial consequences resulting therefrom to the public, has been very properly condemned by several able judges as an absurd and improper mode of shutting up one of the most valuable sources of justice and truth.*

When the Justice, after the close of the examination and commitment of defendant for trial, becomes informed that the defendant made admissions which do not appear in evidence, he should, without delay, write and communicate the facts to the Crown Attorney, that he may have time to determine as to whether or not it will be necessary to subpæna other witnesses than those examined before the Justice.

EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES. If the Justice believes that it will promote the discovery of truth that the witnesses be examined out of the hearing of each other, he should order that all or such of the witnesses as should be examined apart retire.

DISOBEDIENCE OF WITNESS.--If a witness disobeys the order to withdraw, he is guilty of a contempt of court; but the Judge or Justice has no right to reject the witness who disobeys the order to retire. If a person called as a witness refuses to be sworn, or if sworn refuses to give evidence, the Justice should not hesitate to commit him under the authority of Con. Stat. C. c. 103, s. 19, ante p. 77.

REFRESHING MEMORY.-A witness may refresh and assist his memory by the use of a written instrument, memorandum, or entry in a book, provided the writing was made at about the time of the fact in question by himself, or at or about the time made known by him to be correct.

LEADING QUESTIONS.—“As it is the general rule that the party who produces a witness cannot ask him questions which sugo

[ocr errors]

gest the answer desired, the Judge or Justice before whom . witness is examined may, in his discretion, allow leading questions to be put, whenever and under whatever circumstances and to whatever extent he may think that justice requires that a leading question should be put."*

“When the witness proves adverse to the party producing him, interested for the opposite party, or is a witness of tender years, leading questions may be allowed."*

ADVERSE WITNESS.—“A party producing a witness shall not be allowed to impeach his credit by general evidence of bad character; but in case the witness, in the opinion of the Judge, proves adverse, such party may contradict him by other evidence; or, by leave of the Judge, may prove that the witness made at other times a statement inconsistent with his present testimony. But before such last-mentioned proof can be given, the circumstances of the supposed statement, sufficient to designate the particular occasion, must be mentioned to the witness, and he must be asked whether or not he did make such statement.” (Con. Stat. U. C. c. 22, s. 214.) $ Cross-EXAMINATION.–Upon cross-examination, the witness may be asked leading questions. The questions on crossexamination need not be confined to the matters spoken of in the examination-in-chief.

No question respecting any fact irrelevant to the question at issue can be put to a witness, for the purpose of afterwards contradicting him; and if such a question is put and answered, the answer will be conclusive.

With the view of impeaching the character of a witness, he may, on cross-examination, be asked questions with regard to alleged crimes or other improper conduct on his part; and if the fact inquired into be relevant, it may, if desired, be proved by other evidence.t

In an action on a promissory note, the execution of which was disputed, it was held material to ask the subscribing witness whether she was not the plaintiff's kept mistress.

[ocr errors]

WHAT QUESTIONS WITNESS NOT COMPELLED TO ANSWER.A witness is not compelled to answer when the answer would have a tendency to expose the witness, or the husband or wife of the witness, to any kind of criminal charge, or to a penalty or forfeiture of any nature whatever.

When the witness declines to answer, the Judge or Justice should question the witness and decide as to whether or not he is to be required to answer. If the question touching which the witness is interrogated forms any material part of the issue, he will be obliged to give evidence, however strongly it may reflect on his conduct.*

IMPEACHING CREDIT OF WITNESS.-The credit of a witness may be impeached in any of several ways : 1st. Witnesses may be called to disprove such of the facts stated by him as are material to the issue; 2nd. Proof may be given of statements made by the witness inconsistent with his testimony at the trial; and, 3rd. Evidence may be given reflecting on his character for veracity. The evidence must be confined to his general reputation, and will not be permitted as to particular facts.

The regular mode of examining into the character of the person in question is to ask the witness whether he knows his general reputation among his neighbours; what that reputation is; and whether from such knowledge he would believe him upon his oath.t

When the general reputation of a witness has been impeached, the party calling the witness so impeached may reestablish his credit by cross-examining the witnesses who hare spoken against him as to their means of knowledge and the grounds of their opinion, or as to the hostile feelings towards the person whose testimony they have discredited, or as to their own character and conduct, or by calling other witnesses either to support the character of the first witness or to attack in their turn the general reputation of the impeaching witnesses. I

* Taylor, s. 1313.

Taylor, s. 1324.

Taylor, s. 1327.

INDEX.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

128

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

129

........ 128

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

PAGE
ABDUCTION .............

Of females under sixteen ...........

Of heiress ...............................
ABETTORS, &c., how punishable............

Accessories, &c. ............................ .....................
In misdemeanors .........

. 134
ABORTION, attempt to procure
ABSCONDING DEBTORS, duties of Justices in certain cases relating to .........

When Justice may issue attachment against.....

Warrant of attachment against, note...
ABUSE OF INFANTS..............................
ACCESSORIES AND ABETTORS................................................

. 131
To felony before the fact....................
To felony after the fact...............

.....
Generally.............................

......................................................
&c., to robbing a post-office ....................

............... 418
Aiders and abettors to samo ..........

419
Trial of offenders and, in cases of forgery ...........................
Trial of ..........................
To murder..................

...........................................
ACCOMPLICES..........................................................................
ACCOUNTS, aeglecting or refusing to render, by distillers, &c. ...................

Constables' .... .............................. ............ ..........................
Accused, notice of recognizance to be given to, and his bail...............

Admissioms of, may be used as evidence against him ....
Warrant to convey, before Justice in another county
Statement of the ........... ... ... ......... ................................
Justice to caution, as to any statements he may make...... .........
Power of Justice to remand ...........
May be admitted to bail............

May be brought up at an earlier day ...............
ACCUSATIONS, False, to extort. ..............
Actions, limitation of......................

..............
And prosecutions, where to be tried............ ..................
Notice of .........

......................... 857
ADDENDA ..

557

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

401

..................

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

PAGE
ADJOURNMENT of examination on recognizance of bail........................63, 87
ADJOURNMENT, warrant of committal during the hearing .........................
ADJUDICATE, refusal to .......................
ADMISSIONS of accused as evidence against him........

And confessions, see Evidence...............
ADVERSE WITNESS, see Evidence...........................
ADVERTISING for stolen property, see Larceny .........
AFFIDAVIT of attachment against absconding debtors........................
AFFIRMATION, Justices to administer oath or......

By Quakers, Menonists, Tunkers, &c. ...............
AFFRAYS ..................................................................................... 135
Agents selling liquor in contravention of law, punishment of .............506, 510
AGREEMENT with pound keeper by party im pounding cattle, &C... ... ... ... ... 498
ALIENS may become naturalized ...................................................... 558
Oath of residence to be taken by ..................

558
Oath of allegiance to be taken by ...........
Certificate of residence to be given to, by Justice ........................ 559
Oaths and certificates of, to be filed ............. ........................... 559
Certificate of naturalization of .......

n of ................................................. 560
Governor may order, to leave the province in certain cases.......... 574_6
Not leaving the province when ordered, may be imprisoned, &c...... 575
If, committed to gaol without bail, Judge may admit to bail in cer-
tain cases ..................

...........................
When, committed to gaol may be sent out of the province............ 577
When, committed to gaol may be discharged.

...............
Under fourteen years of age.......................... .......................... 577
ALLEGIANCE, oath of, to be taken by aliens wishing to become naturalized..
AMUSEMENTS AND GAMES on the Lord's Day probibited
ANIMALS, cruelty to ..........................

Stealing domestic, see Larceny.........
What, to be impounded ...................
Liability of owners of ...........
Sale of impounded ............
If impounded, are worth more than $10.......................
Notice of sale of impounded...................
Liability of pound-keeper for refusing to feed impounded .........

Sale of impounded, and how purchase money applied ............
APPEAL from order, decision or conviction of Justice........

Costs of, to whom payable............... ....................................
Costs of, how recoverable ............................
Against summary convictions under the criminal acts..... .......
Gaoler to receive costs of, and discharge prisoner...... ......... ......
In case an, against conviction, Justice may issue warrant..............
If costs of, be ordered to be paid............

.........
If costs not paid within a certain time.... ........
Certificate of Clerk of the Peace that costs of an, are not paid ......

[ocr errors]

577

[ocr errors]

.

*****...............

.............

« PreviousContinue »