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People v. Parsons

Supreme Court of California
Oct 1, 1856
6 Cal. 487 (Cal. 1856)


         Appeal from the Court of Sessions of Sacramento County.

         The defendant, Oscar Parsons, was indicted, tried and convicted of the crime of perjury. Motion was made in arrest of judgment in the Court below, on the ground of errors and defects in the indictment, which were overruled, and judgment and sentence entered against the prisoner, who appealed.

         The alleged defect in the indictment appears in the opinion of the Court.


         In all indictments for felony the offense must be charged to have been " feloniously" committed, a term of art which no circumlocution can supply. (Wharton's American Cr. Law, 143; Archbold's Pr. and Pleading, Title Indictment; Murdock v. The State , 9 Mo. 739; Statutes of Mo. p. 869, Sec. 17.)

          Smith and Hardy, for Appellant.

         William T. Wallace, Attorney-General, for the People.

         JUDGES: The opinion of the Court was delivered by Mr. Justice Terry. Mr. Justice Heydenfeldt concurred. Mr. Chief Justice Murray dissenting.


          TERRY, Judge

         The defendant was convicted in the Court below, of the crime of perjury. There is no bill of exceptions or statement of evidence, and the only question presented, is as to the sufficiency of the indictment.

         The indictment charges that defendant in a certain proceeding, describing it, " did willfully, corruptly, and falsely swear," etc.

         It is contended that the indictment is fatally defective, because it is not alleged that the offense of perjury was committed feloniously. Such an allegation was necessary at common law, but our statute has in many respects altered the rules of pleading in criminal cases.

         The indictment in this cause, charged the offense in the words of the statute defining it, and fully complies with the requirements of Section 246 of the Act regulating proceedings in criminal cases. Time, place and circumstance are stated with certainty, and every information is given to the defendant, which is necessary to enable him to answer the charge.

         The judgment of the Court below is affirmed.



         Mr. Chief Justice Murray. I dissent.

Summaries of

People v. Parsons

Supreme Court of California
Oct 1, 1856
6 Cal. 487 (Cal. 1856)
Case details for

People v. Parsons

Case Details


Court:Supreme Court of California

Date published: Oct 1, 1856


6 Cal. 487 (Cal. 1856)

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