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Statement of the Case.
error was arraigned December 17, 1895, and filed a plea in abatement as follows:
“And the said Enoch W. Agnew in his own proper person comes into court here and, having heard the said indictment read, says that the grand jury which found said indictment was an illegal grand jury, in this, that after sixteen had failed to attend upon the regular venire the court ordered that a special venire issue for ten grand jurors to be drawn according to law; said grand jurors so ordered by the court were directed to be taken from the county of Duval; that the clerk and marshal in drawing said venire, whenever a name was legally drawn from the box, if said party so drawn was not from the county of Duval, laid aside said name and continued drawing until ten names from the county of Duval were obtained, and which illegal drawing of said venire tended to the prejudice of this defendant, and the court, on excusing three returned on the second venire, ordered that four names be drawn for jurors to complete the panel; that said jurors were ordered to be drawn from the box, and the clerk and marshal drawing the same were ordered to take those that were from Duval County as they came from the box, and the said clerk and marshal, as the names were drawn, rejected and did not place on the venire said names so drawn, but rejected and laid them aside until names came out of the box of parties resident of Duval County, which drawing was illegal and tended to the prejudice of the defendant; and, upon said venire being returned showing A. K. Leon and Julius Kaufman summoned and Alex. Sabel and Frank Robinson not found, the court ordered that four names be drawn from the box and in said order directed that said four names should be taken from the county of Duval; that the said United States marshal and clerk, in obedience to said order, drew from the box more than four names, and where the names were of persons not resident of Duval County rejected and laid them aside and continued drawing until Dennis A. Andreu, Benjamin F. Manier, John L. Marvin, and Samuel Morris were drawn, and so John L. Marvin, John E. Onley, Z. L. Anderson, Charles E. Bell, W. G. Candlish, A. R. Paxon,
Opinion of the Court.
and Dennis A. Andreu were drawn illegally by said marshal and clerk and not in accordance with the statute of the United States in such case made and provided, which requires that where less than sixteen attend the court shall order the marshal to summon from the body of the district, and not from the bystanders, a sufficient number of persons to complete the grand jury. And so the names of many persons who were duly drawn from the jury-box were not placed upon the venire, but were, in the pursuance of the aforesaid orders, after being drawn from the box, rejected and laid aside by the clerk and marshal drawing the same for the purpose of completing the grand jury from the residents of the county of Duval; and the defendant says that he was entitled to have the said grand jury completed according to law; and the said grand jury so empanelled and sworn as aforesaid was not drawn and empanelled in accordance with the statutes of the United States providing for the drawing and empanelling of grand juries, but was illegal; and this defendant says that such drawing tended to his injury and prejudice.
“Wherefore he prays judgment of the said indictment, and that the same may be quashed.”
To this plea the United States filed a demurrer, and issue being joined thereon, the court, after argument, held the plea insufficient, to which plaintiff in error excepted and pleaded not guilty. The cause was set for trial on January 3, on which day a jury was empanelled, the trial proceeded with, and a verdict of guilty returned January 7. Motions for new trial and in arrest of judgment were submitted and denied, and sentence thereupon pronounced and the cause brought here on writ of error.
Mr. Eleazer K. Foster for plaintiff in error.
Mr. Solicitor General for defendants in error.
Mr. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.
Opinion of the Court.
Nineteen errors were assigned, of which the third, fifth, ninth and fourteenth were abandoned, and the sixth and seventh, the twelfth, sixteenth and seventeenth, and the eleventh and fifteenth were argued by counsel for plaintiff in error together. We will examine these alleged errors in their order.
1. That the court erred in sustaining the demurrer to defendant's plea in abatement.
Section S02 of the Revised Statutes is as follows: “Jurors shall be returned from such parts of the district, from time to time, as the court shall direct, so as to be most favorable to an impartial trial, and so as not to incur an unnecessary expense, or unduly to burden the citizens of any part of the district with such services.”
Under section 803, writs of venire facias, when directed by the court, were to issue from the clerk's office and be served and returned by the marshal in person or by his deputy, or in case the marshal or his deputy were incapacitated, by some fit person specially appointed by the court.
By section 804, when, from challenges or otherwise, there was not a petit jury, it was provided that the marshal or his deputy should, by order of the court, return jurymen from the bystanders sufficient to complete the panel.
Section 809 reads thus: “Every grand jury empanelled before any district or circuit court shall consist of not less than sixteen nor more than twenty-three persons. If of the persons summoned less than sixteen attend, they shall be placed on the grand jury, and the court shall order the marshal to summon, either immediately or for a day fixed, from the body of the district, and not from the bystanders, a sufficient number of persons to complete the grand jury. And whenever a challenge to a grand juror is allowed, and there are not in attendance other jurors sufficient to complete the grand jury, the court shall make a like order to the marshal to summon a sufficient number of persons for that purpose.”
By the act of June 30, 1979, c. 52, 21 Stat. 43, it was provided that all jurors, grand and petit, “including those summoned during the session of the court, shall be publicly drawn
Opinion of the Court.
from a box containing, at the time of each drawing, the names of not less than three hundred persons, possessing the qualifications prescribed in section eight hundred of the Revised Statutes, which names shall have been placed therein by the clerk of such court and a commissioner, to be appointed by the judge thereof. ... The clerk and said commissioner each to place one name in said box alternately, without reference to party affiliations, until the whole number required shall be placed therein. But nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent any judge from ordering the names of jurors to be drawn from the boxes used by the state authorities, in selecting jurors in the highest courts of the State.”
The plea sets up as ground for abatement of the indictment that after the original venire had been exhausted without obtaining sixteen grand jurors, the court ordered a special venire to issue for ten grand jurors to be drawn according to law, “to be taken from the county of Duval; that the clerk and marshal in drawing said venire, whenever a name was legally drawn from the box, if said party so drawn was not from the county of Duval, laid aside said name and continued drawing until ten names from the county of Duval were obtained,” and that some of the ten returned on the second venire being excused, other names were drawn in the same way, and a third venire was issued, and still another, until the grand jury was completed with grand jurors from Duval County. The original venire showed that twenty-three persons were summoned from ten counties, not including the county of Duval, one or more from each, and the plea stated that when a deficiency appeared from the failure of some of those summoned to attend, the court directed the deficiency to be made up by obtaining jurors from Duval County in the manner pointed out. There are certain orders of court certified as part of the record, which directed the drawing according to law from the various counties exclusive of Duval County, and then from that county. It will be perceived then that the jurors were all drawn from the body of the district, and so distributed as not to incur unnecessary expense, or unduly burden the citizens of any part of the district with jury service.
Opinion of the Court.
Section 802 of the Revised Statutes was brought forward from a clause of section 29 of the judiciary act of September 24, 1789, which was regarded by Mr. Justice Curtis as applicable to grand as well as petit juries. United States v. Stowell, 2 Curtis, 153. In that view we are inclined to concur, but apart from this, and without considering how far, if at all, the section may have been modified by the act of June 30, 1879, we think the plea was properly adjudged insufficient.
Such a plea must be pleaded with strict exactness. United States v. Hammond, 2 Woods, 197; O'Connell v. Reg., 11 Cl. & Fin. 155; Dolan v. People, 64 N. Y. 485; Jenkins v. State, 35 Florida, 737; McClary v. State, 75 Indiana, 260; Whart. Cr. Pl. & Pr. $ 427; Bishop New Cr. Pro. SS 327, 745.
Dr. Wharton lays it down (Whart. Cr. Pl. & Pr. 88 344, 350) that “material irregularities in selecting and empanelling the grand jury, which do not relate to the competency of individual jurors, may usually be objected to by challenge to the array, or by motion to quash,” or by plea in abatement; that the question of the mode in which such objections are to be taken largely depends upon local statutes, but that certain rules may be regarded as generally applicable. One of these rules is that the defendant must take the first opportunity in his power to make the objection. Where he is notified that his case is to be brought before the grand jury, he should proceed at once to take exception to its competency, for if he lies by until a bill is found, the exception may be too late; but where he has had no opportunity of objecting before bill found, then he may take advantage of the objection by motion to quash or by plea in abatement, the latter in all cases of contested fact being the proper remedy. United States v. Gale, 109 U. S. 65. Another general rule is that for such irregularities as do not prejudice the defendant, he has no cause of complaint, and can take no exception. United States v. Richardson, 28 Fed. Rep. 61; United States v. Reed, 2 Blatchford, 435, 456; United States v. Tallman, 10 Blatchford, 21, 51; State v. Mellor, 13 R. I. 666; Cox v. People, 80 N. Y. 500; People v. Petrea, 92 N. Y. 128.
The original venire was issued November 18, the second