Trono v. United States
The plaintiffs in error were proceeded against in the court of first instance of the province of Bulacan, Philippine Islands, upon a complaint accusing them of causing the death of Benito Perez 'with great cruelty and evident premeditation . . . by means of blows given with the butts of guns, they co-operating one with the other.' In other words, the accused were complained of as guilty of murder in the first degree.
They were tried in the court above mentioned, and were acquitted of the crime of murder, and convicted of the crime of assault, which is included in the crime of murder charged in the complaint, and they were therefore sentenced by the court to suffer a penalty of six months' imprisonment, and to pay a certain sum to the heirs of Perez, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.
All three of the accused appealed to the supreme court of the Philippine Islands from the judgment and sentence of the trial court. The supreme court, having heard the case, reversed the judgment of the court of first instance, and convicted the accused of the crime of homicide (in substance, murder in the second degree), which is included in, and is a lower degree of, the crime charged in the complaint, but is a higher degree of crime than that of which the accused were convicted in the court below. Two of them (Angeles and Trono) were sentenced to fourteen years, eight months, and one day, and Natividad to imprisonment for eight years and one day, and all three to the payment of an indemnity to the heirs of the deceased.
The accused have brought the case here by writ of error to the supreme court of the Philippine Islands, for the purpose of reviewing the judgment of that court.
Messrs. Aldis B. Browne, Alexander Britton, and Maurice Kelly for plaintiffs in error.
[Argument of Counsel from pages 522-525 intentionally omitted]
Solicitor General Hoyt for defendant in error.
Statement by Mr. Justice Peckham:
[Argument of Counsel from pages 525-528 intentionally omitted]
Mr. Justice Peckham, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court: