An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony, on the Charge of Illegal Voting eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 246 pages of information about An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony, on the Charge of Illegal Voting.

MR. VAN VOORHIS:  I ask that the jury be polled.

The clerk polled the jury, each juror answering in the affirmative to the question, “Is this your verdict?”

On the next day, June 19, 1873, the counsel for the defendants, Mr. John Van Voorhis, made a motion to the Court, for a new trial in behalf of Beverly W. Jones, Edwin T. Marsh and William B. Hall.  The argument was oral and is not given, but the following are the grounds of the motion: 

1.  The indictment contains no sufficient statement of any crime under the Acts of Congress, upon which it is framed.

2.  The Court has no jurisdiction of the subject matter of the offense.

3.  It was an error, for which a new trial should be granted, to refuse the defendants the fundamental right to address the jury, through their counsel.  This is a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution. (See Article VI. of the amendments to the U.S.  Constitution. 1 Graham & Waterman on New Trials, pages 682, 683 and 684.)

4.  The defendants were substantially deprived of the right of jury trial.  The instructions of the Court to the jury were imperative.  They were equivalent to a direction to find a verdict of guilty.  It was said by the Court in the hearing of the jury, that the case was submitted to the jury “as a matter of form.”  The jury was not at liberty to exercise its own judgment upon the evidence, and without committing a gross discourtesy to the Court, could render no verdict except that of guilty.

5.  Admitting that the defendants acted without malice, or any corrupt motive, and in accordance with their best judgments, and in perfect good faith, it was error to charge that that was no defense.

6.  The defendants are admitted to have acted in accordance with their duty as defined by the laws of New York (1 R.S., Edmond’s Ed., pp. 126-127, sections 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19) as construed by the Court of Appeals. (People vs.  Pease, 27 N.Y. 45.)

They are administrative officers and bound to regard only the evidence which the Statute prescribes.  They are not clothed with the power, to reject the vote of a person who has furnished the evidence, which the law requires, of right to vote, on what they or either of them might know, as to the truth or falsity of such evidences.  They have no discretion, and must perform their duty, as it is defined by the laws of New York and the decisions of her Courts.

7.  The defendant, William B. Hall, has been tried and convicted in his absence from the Court.  This is an error fatal to the conviction in his case.

The Court denied the motion.

The Court then asked the defendants if they had anything to say why sentence should not be pronounced, in response to which Beverly W. Jones said: 

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An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony, on the Charge of Illegal Voting from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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