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Page:United States Reports, Volume 2.djvu/349

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CIRCUIT COURT, Pemyjlvaniu Diltriél. 343 1 79;. L/wx: The Umrso Srrres myiu Srnwaar. The Sams •.·t·yiu Wmcrrr. HE Prifoners being brought to the bar, on feparate charges T of Hg,} Tmyén, Lnui: read their depo{itions, {tating the abfence of material witnefles in both cafes, and moved to poli- pone the trials ’till an opportunity was given, to procure the at- tendance of thofe witnelfes from the \'eltcrn Counties. lle urged, the general inconveniency of a commitment and trial at fo great a diltance, from the fcene of the criminal tranfaéiion; the friendlefs {ituation of the prifoners, and the poverty of the witncifes; and he alledged, that, under fuch circumltances, an · immediate trial would be a mere export: proceeding. To {hetv the lenity with which pcrfons thus charged have always been treated, he cited F (J.L.r, and to account for the delay in pro- curing the uitnelles, he obfcrved, that as the a£t of Congrcfs {1 Vol. p. 67. 29} declared, _ that “ in cafes punifhablc with death, the trial {hall be had inthe County where the offence was eommitzcd," if it could be done without greatzinconvenicnce, the prifoners might reafonably have expected that indulgence, until the motion for a Special Court had been refufed, on ac- count of the peculiar dilliculties of Jac cafe, in oppolition to the general inclination of the Judges. Nor could be any pre- paration for trial ’till the charge was known, and the names of the witucffes who were to prove the indiftments. By the prac- tice under the Conltitution and laws of Pt·:vL{i·i'rr.·:nin (and the cafe is the fame here) a defendant cannot have compulfory pro- cefs to bring in his witnelibs, before he has {`vrorn that they atc material; and he cannot fo {`wcar ’till he knows the charge and the witnelfes that fupport it. It is eilential to the adminillra- tion of juliice, and to the feelings of humanity, that the dr- {`endants {hould have time to inveliigate the characters of wit- nclfes, and to bring proofs in contradiéiion to the acculittion. - Hence, even in Enghiml, where the Counties are generally fmaller titan in this country, a period of ten days is allowed, between the time of furnilhing Lilts of thc witncllies and jurors, and the time of trial: 7 .4:1:1.:. 2r. 4 BI. Com. 345. and altho' the act of Congrcfs (t Va!.p. 112.jZ 29) only Eiys that copies of the indiflment and a lill of the jury and witne{Tes {hall be delivered to the ptiibner *¢ at lwy?,tb1·t·¢ m:im·day.r before hc {hall be tried," yet it mult certainly be the intention of the L·:giila· tutc to aiford an opportunity to caavafs the charaftcts of the · ‘ sviuxrllbz,