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A similar form will be necessary in stating convictions for dueling, challenges to fight, unlawful marriages, incest, bribery, and many other offenses, particularly misdemeanors of all kinds, in which special averments are necessary to describe the offense.
There are some cases in which an abbreviated form may be adopted, of which the following are examples:
Murder. John Jackson, having been duly tried by a jury and found guilty of murder, for which he had been indicted, in feloniously killing Thomas Styles, on the
.... day of .. at the town of........, in the county of.... by feloniously shooting the said Styles with a pistol loaded with gunpowder and ball, he is sentenced, etc.
Arson in the first degree. James Jackson, having been duly tried by a jury, and found guilty of arson in the first degree, for which he had been indicted, in willfully and feloniously burning in the night-time, on the
day of at the town of
in the county of ....., the dwelling-house of John Styles, in which there was at the time a human being, to wit, Nancy Styles, he is sentenced to be imprisoned, etc.
Arson in the second degree.—John Jackson, having been duly tried by a jury, and found guilty of arson in the second degree, for which he had been indicted, in willfully burning the inhabited dwelling-house of Thomas Styles, the day of
at the town, etc., in which dwelling-house there was at the time a human being, to wit, William Jones, he is sentenced, etc.
Manslaughter, James Williams, having been duly tried by a jury, and found guilty of manslaughter in the first degree (or whatever degree was found by the jury), for which he had been indicted, in killing John Doe, ou the .... day of
at the town of .... in the county of ......, by stabbing him with a knife, while he, the said James Williams, was engaged in the perpetration of a burglary upon the house of the said John Doe, he is sentenced to imprisonment in the state prison at Sing Sing for and during his natural life.
The various degrees of manslaughter depend so much on the circumstances of each case, that as a general rule, the form of reciting the charging part of the indictment, as given before in the case of perjury, had better be adopted, as there will be much less liability to mistake.
Rape. James Jackson, having been duly tried by a jury, and found guilty of rape, for which he had been indicted, in carnally and unlawfully knowing Julia Jones, a female child under the age of ten years, on the........ day of....... at the town of ... ...., in the county of ........, he is sentenced to imprisonment in the state prison at Auburn for ten years. Or, in forcibly ravishing Eliza Stevens, on the
day of .... at the town, etc., he is sentenced, etc.
Assault with intent to kill. James Thomas, having been duly tried by a jury, and found guilty of shooting a tol loaded with gunpowder and ball at William Townsend, on the, etc., at the town, etc., with intent to kill the said Townsend, for which he had been indicted, he is sentenced, etc.
Larceny. John Jackson, having been duly tried by a jury, and found guilty of having on the, etc., at the town, etc., feloniously taken and carried away one gold watch of the value of the personal property of William Jones, for which offense he has been indicted, he is sentenced to imprisonment, etc.
Pocket picking. John Jackson, having been duly tried by a jury, and found guilty of having, on the, etc., at the town, etc., feloniously stolen, from the person of William Jones, one gold watch of the value of twenty-six dollars, for which offense he had been indicted, he is sentenced, etc.
Receiving stolen goods. John Jackson, having been duly tried by a jury, and found guilty of having, on the, etc. in the town, etc., received of and from one Thomas Wilson, one silver watch of the value of twenty dollars, the personal property of William Jones, which had been theretofore feloniously stolen by the said Thomas Wilson from the said William Jones, for which offense he had been indicted, he is sentenced, etc.
Assault and battery. John Jackson, having been indicted for unlawfully assaulting, striking and beating Thomas Jones, on the, etc., at the town of, etc., and having been duly tried by a jury on the said indictment, and found guilty, he is sentenced to six months imprisonment in the county jail.
When the conviction is founded on a plea of confession, the commencement of the forms should vary from those before given, and should be thus:
John Jackson, having been indicted for larceny, in having, on the .... ........, at the town of, etc., feloniously stolen, taken and carried away one gold watch of the value of twenty-six dollars the personal property of William Jones, and on being arraigned upon the said indictment having confessed the said offense, and pleaded guilty to said indictment, he is sentenced, etc.
Where there are several counts in an indictment, intended to describe the same offense, the statement of the crime need not be repeated according to the formal variations in the different counts, but should be stated once only, according to the count which was proved on the trial.
The foregoing instructions are addressed more particularly to district attorneys, although they will be useful to clerks of criminal courts, to enable them to prepare entries of judgments when that duty is neglected by the district attorney.
The following appear to be the only instructions necessary to be given to clerks of criminal courts:
They are instructed to report promptly every case of neglect, by a district attorney, to furnish them with the statements required by the statute to be prepared by him.
But the judgment must be entered in the minutes at the time of the sentence or before the court adjourns, and the transcript must be sent within twenty days after the adjournment; and if the district attorney has omitted to prepare the statements of the offenses upon which convictions have been had, the clerk must do it for his own protection, and submit them to the court before entering them in the minutes.
A transcript may and should contain all the convictions had at the same term or session of the court. The following will be the form of the caption:
Transcript of the entries in the minutes of the court of general sessions of the peace, held at the court house in the town of
in and for the county of on the
day of ...... one thousand eight hundred and by and before
esquires, justices of the sessions of the county, of all convictions for criminal offenses had at the said court, and of the sentences thereon.
It is important that the title of the court and the names of the judges should be given in full.
The minutes of the judgment or conviction and of the sentence are then to be copied, separately.
The minutes of the trial are not required by law, and are of no use, and the practice of some clerks of copying out those minutes containing the names of jurors and witnesses is altogether irregular and improper.
After entering all the convictions and sentences the following certificate should be added:
I, ..., clerk of the county of ........, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct transcript of all the convictions for criminal offenses had at the court of ... ....., held in and for the said county on the entered in the minutes of said court kept by me, as the clerk thereof, and of the clerk thereof, and of the sentences thereon.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name, and affixed the seal of my office, the ........ day of ....., 18...
In the city and county of New York, the clerk of the criminal courts will of course describe his official character according to the fact, and the clerks of all other criminal courts of record will also use their peculiar official titles in this certificate.
Under section 942 of the act, herewith transmitted, it is required of the clerk of the court to transmit within twenty days, to the office of the secretary of state, the statements which shall be furnished by the district attorney. They should be made under this caption:
Statement of the number of indictments tried at the court of ....., held at the court-house in the ....... in and for the county of
on the. day of ........ in the year one thousand eight hundred and
by and before .. esquire, justice of supreme court of the judicial circuit or county judge, and ... and
justices of the sessions of the said county; and also the number of indictments pending in the said court against persons who were discharged during the session of the said court without trial.
The whole number of indictments tried at the said court was .....
Three for grand larceny, in two of which the defendants were..... and in one he was...
Five for petit larceny, in which all the defendants were..
and the whole number in which the defendant was acquitted was.....
That the whole number of indictments on which persons were discharged without trial during the session of the said court was........
Of which........ was for assault and battery.
and clerk of the court of oyer and terminer, held in and for the county of....... on the........ day of...... 188. ., do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct statement of the number of indictments tried at the said court, and of the number of indictments against the persons who were discharged at the said court without trial.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name, and affixed the
seal of my office, this........day of....... 188.. This form will of course be varied according to the style and name of the court, whether of general sessions of the peace, oyer and terminer, mayor's court, recorder's court or otherwise, and according to the official title of the clerk.
In case of convictions on plea of guilty the following form may be used :
There were also two persons convicted at the said court upon their own confession and plea of guilty, one of whom was indicted for........, and the other for....
By section 944 of the act, herewith transmitted, county clerks are required to transmit to the secretary of state copies of all certificates of convictions by any court of special session filed with them. The following will be the form of such returns: A return of copies of all certificates of convictions made by courts of special
sessions in the county of.. filed with the county clerk of the said county, since the transmission by him of any transcripts of crimi
nal convictions. The certificates are then to be copied verbatim, to which the following certificate should be added: I,
county clerk of the county of........, do hereby certify that the preceding are true and correct copies of all certificates of convictions made by any court of special sessions, and filed in my office within the period above specified.
Given under my hand and seal of office, this .day of... ..., 18.. The reports of county clerks must be written in a plain hand, so that no mistakes may occur in the filing and recording thereof in the State Department. Any material informality in said reports will compel the Secretary to send them back at the expense of the county clerks for annendment, and the penalty will be enforced as if they never had been transmitted. Hereafter the criminal statistical year will end on the 30th October, so as to give the necessary time to make up the annual report to the legislature.
The transcript of convictions and the copies of certificates must be on separate sheets of paper, and should be inclosed in a strong envelope or wrapper, directed to the secretary of state, and sent by mail or by express.
It be will perceived by the provisions contained in the law that within twenty days after the adjournment of any criminal court of record, the sheriff in the county in which such court shall have been held, is required to transmit to the office of the secretary of state, certain statistics in relation to persons convicted of criminal offenses.
In section 945 it is provided that the sheriffs of the respective counties in which incorporated cities are situated shall also transmit a statement of the number of persons convicted in city courts, courts of special sessions and police courts in those cities, together with such specitications in each case as required by said section. Such returns must be regularly transmitted to the office of the secretary of state, on the first day of every month, in order that they may be fully entered in the annual report required from this office.
Section 949 of ihe law, herewith transmitted, imposes the duty upon the secretary of state to issue such forms of instructions as he may deem proper and requisite for the execution of the duties therein prescribed. Accordingly, the following instructions to sheriffs are given:
First. To all sheriffs trnnsmitting reports which relate only to persons convicted in courts of record, the following will be the form of caption.
Report of the sheriff of the county of........, to the secretary of state of the state of New York, respecting the persons convicted of the offenses at the court of general sessions of the peace (or at any other court of record), held in and for the said county, on ihe... ... ..day of........, made pursuant to the fourth section of section 945, of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The following will be the subjects of the report :
First. You will state the name of the convict, and if he or she has two more names, you will state them.
Second. The crime of which he or she was convicted, at the court held in your county, such as larceny, robbery, etc., in general terms.
Third. His on her occupation, whether a mariner, tradesman, blacksmith, merchant, lawyer, tailoress, and the like.
Fourth. Age at the time of conviction, and sex.
Seventh. The degree of instruction he or she had received; whether he or she can read and write, or can read only, or whether he or she be ignorant and entirely uneducated. What opportunities has he or she had of religious instruction.
Eighth. Whether his or her parents, or either of them, are living, and which of them.
Sinth, Whether he or she has formerly been imprisoned for any offense; if any state it.
Tenth. His or her habits in respect to the immoderate use of ardent spirits.
Eleventh. Any other fact or circumstance in his or her condition, habits or circumstances that you may deem useful to communicate.
This return must be made within twenty days after the adjournment of every criminal court of record held in the county, and according to the annexed tabular form marked A, and in no other form, and it should be signed by the sheriff in his official character, and dated at the time of signature.
The opportunities which the jailers and turnkeys have of conversing with the prisoners will always enable them to acquire the knowledge necessary to make out the statements; and the sheriff should instruct them accordingly, to enable them to do so. Surplus copies of this circular will be transmitted, which should be kept in the jails, for the information of their keepers. Constables who bring prisorers to the jail will often be able to communicate information upon many of the subjects. The friends and relatives, also, of the convict should have no objection to do the same; and during the trial of the cause, the witnesses will be able to inform the sheriffs generally on all the desired particulars.
With all these means of information, the results will, doubtless, sometimes be imperfect. Still they are ample, and if faithfully improved, the returns will be almost universally full and accurate.
Second. To the sheriffs named in section 945 of the act hereto profixed. This duty relates to convictions in city courts, courts of special session and police courts, held in the various cities of the State. The reports, which should transmitted to this office on the first day of every month, will be in tabular form, like the annexed, marked B. The form must be printed on ruled paper, the ruling directly opposite the printed matter on the left margin of the report, in order that a systematic report may be had from all the sheriffs alike.
held in and for the said county, on the ........, 18
made pursuant to the 945 section of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Name of convict.
Crime of which convicted.
James Edwards alias Passing counterfeit bank
New York State.
Cannot read or write. Never had religious in
struction. Sheriff of the County of..