Lascelles v. Georgia

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Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

148 U.S. 537

Lascelles  v.  Georgia

This case is brought here by writ of error to the supreme court of the state of Georgia. The single federal question presented by the record, and relied on to confer upon this court the jurisdiction to review the judgment of the supreme court of Georgia, complained of by the plaintiff in error, is whether a fugitive from justice, who has been surrendered by one state of the Union to another state thereof upon requisition charging him with the commission of a specific crime, has, under the constitution and laws of the United States, a right, privilege, or immunity to be exempt from indictment and trial in the state to which he is returned for any other or different offense than that designated and described in the requisition proceedings under which he was demanded by and restored to such state, without first having an opportunity to return to the state from which he was extradited.

The facts of the case on which this question is raised are briefly these: In July, 1891, two indictments were regularly found by the grand jury of the county of Floyd, state of Georgia, against the plaintiff in error, under the name of Walter S. Beresford, ford, which respectively charged him with the offense 'of being a common cheat and swindler,' and with the crime of 'larceny after trust delegated,' both being criminal acts by the laws of Georgia, and alleged to have been committed in the county of Floyd. At the time these indictments were found, the plaintiff in error was residing in the state of New York. In September, 1891, the governor of the state of Georgia made a requisition on the governor of the state of New York for the arrest and surrender of the plaintiff in error to designated officials of the former state, naming him, as he was named in the indictment, Walter S. Beresford. In the requisition, as well as in the warrant for his arrest, the offenses for which his rendition was demanded were stated and designated as charged in the indictment. After being arrested in pursuance of the warrant, he was duly delivered to the agent of the state of Georgia, was brought to the county of Floyd, in said state, and there delivered to the sheriff of the county, by whom he was detained in the county jail. While so held, and before trial upon either of the indictments on which the requisition proceedings were based, the grand jury of the county, on October 6, 1891, found a new indictment against him for the crime of forgery, naming him therein as Sidney Lascelles, which was his true and proper name. Thereafter he was put upon his trial in the superior court of the county of Floyd upon this last indictment. Before arraignment he moved the court to quash said indictment 'on the ground that he was being tried for a separate and different offense from that for which he was extradited from the state of New York to the state of Georgia, without first being allowed a reasonable opportunity to return to the state of New York.' This motion was overruled, and he was put upon trial. Thereupon he filed a special plea setting forth the foregoing facts, and averring that he could not be lawfully tried for a separate and different crime from that for which he was extradited. This plea was overruled, and, having been put upon his trial under the indictment, he was found guilty of the offense charged. His motion for a new trial being overruled and refused, he filed a bill of exceptions, and carried the case to the supreme court of Georgia, the court of highest and last resort in that state, before which he again asserted his exemption from trial upon the indictment upon the grounds stated in his motion to quash, and in his special plea; but the supreme court of Georgia sustained the action of the lower court therein, and in all respects affirmed the judgment of the superior court.

W. W. Vandiver, for plaintiff in error.

J. M. Terrell and D. B. Hamilton, for the State.

Mr. Justice JACKSON delivered the opinion of the court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).