Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Opinion of the Court.

ing officer as to entrust it to a justice of the peace. Consequently, a preliminary investigation conducted by the prosecuting attorney of the City of Manila, under Act No. 612, and upon which he files a sworn information against the party accused, is a sufficient compliance with the requirement "that no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation."

The views above expressed render it unnecessary for us to consider whether the objections thus far dealt with were waived by the plaintiffs in error when they gave bond at the time of their arrest.

It is next insisted that the conviction of Ocampo was erroneous for want of evidence that he was a proprietor of the newspaper or participated in the publication of the libel. The law is to be found in Act No. 277 of the Philippine Commission (Phil. Pen. Code 1911, p. 167), of which two sections may be quoted:

234 U. S.

"SEC. 2. Every person who wilfully and with a malicious intent to injure another publishes or procures to be published any libel shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding two thousand dollars or imprisonment for not exceeding one year, or both."

"SEC. 6. Every author, editor, or proprietor of any book, newspaper, or serial publication is chargeable with the publication of any words contained in any part of such book or number of each newspaper or serial as fully as if he were the author of the same."

The evidence abundantly supports the conclusion of the courts below that Ocampo was the administrator, manager, and one of the owners of the newspaper known as "El Renacimiento," and there was no error in holding him to be a proprietor within the meaning of § 6.

Finally, it is contended that the Supreme Court of the Philippines had no jurisdiction to increase the punishment of Kalaw. The court was established by Act No. 136 of the Philippine Commission (June 11, 1901), with original

Opinion of the Court.

and appellate jurisdiction. By § 18 it was given appellate jurisdiction over the courts of first instance; and by § 39 it was enacted that "The existing Audiencia or Supreme Court is hereby abolished, and the Supreme Court provided by this Act is substituted in place thereof." It is in effect conceded that under the Spanish system the courts of first instance were deemed examining courts, having a sort of preliminary jurisdiction, and that their judgments of conviction or acquittal were not final until the case had been passed upon in the Audiencia or Supreme Court. But it is contended that this was so far changed by General Orders, No. 58, §§ 42, 43, 44, and 50, and by Act No. 194 of the Philippine Commission, § 4 (August 10, 1901), that the judgments of the court of first instance are final unless an appeal be taken. And so it was held, with respect to cases other than capital, in Kepner v. United States, 195 U. S. 100, 121. But this does not settle the question of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the Islands where an appeal is taken. In the acts referred to, the right of the Government, as well as of the defendant, to appeal from the judgment in a criminal case was recognized. In the Kepner Case it was held that § 5 of the act of Congress of July 1, 1902, in declaring that "no person for the same offense shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment," prevented an appeal by the Government from a judgment of acquittal in the court of first instance. But in Trono v. United States, 199 U. S. 521, where the defendants appealed from a judgment of the court of first instance, which upon an indictment for murder had found them guilty of the lower crime of homicide, it was held the Supreme Court of the Islands had power to reverse the judgment and find the accused guilty of the higher crime of murder; distinguishing the Kepner Case. In Flemister v. United States, 207 U. S. 372, a judgment of the insular Supreme Court, increasing the sentence imposed by the court of first instance, was affirmed. See,

234 U.S.

234 U.S.

Syllabus.

also, Dowdell v. United States, 221 U. S. 325, 327; Pico v. United States, 228 U. S. 225, 230. In short, the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands in criminal cases is not confined to mere errors of law, but extends to a review of the whole case. And such is the settled practice of that court. United States v. Abijan, 1 Phil. Rep. 83, 85; United States v. Atienza, 1 Phil. Rep. 736, 738.

Judgment affirmed.

CARLSON v: STATE OF WASHINGTON, ON THE RELATION OF CURTISS.

ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF

WASHINGTON.

No. 307. Submitted March 17, 1914.-Decided May 25, 1914.

Although plaintiff in error, after setting up a Federal defense in the trial court, may not have based any exceptions upon the failure of that court to recognize it, if the appellate court did recognize, and by its decision necessarily overruled, that defense, this court must deal with the Federal question. North Carolina R. R. v. Zachary, 232 U. S. 248.

While, in ordinary cases, this court is bound by the findings of the state court of last resort, that court cannot, by omitting to pass upon basic questions of fact, deprive a litigant of the benefit of a Federal right properly asserted; and it is the duty of this court, in the absence of adequate findings, to examine the record in order to determine whether there is evidence which furnishes a basis for such a Federal right. Southern Pacific Co. v. Schuyler, 227 U. S. 601.

After reviewing the congressional and state legislation in regard to the construction of the Lake Washington Waterway, held that Congress has refrained from authorizing any work on behalf of the Federal Government with reference to lowering the level of Lake Washington, and that all responsibility in that respect was assumed by the State and county; and, notwithstanding the contract was made by

Opinion of the Court.

234 U.S.

an officer of the United States Army, it was not on behalf of the United States, but as representing the State of Washington. Under the acts of Congress relative to the Lake Washington Waterway, no agency of the Federal Government could have arisen prior to the action involved in this case with respect to anything done in connection with the construction of the canal.

Orders given by an officer of the United States in connection with work not authorized by any act of Congress will not justify one violating the injunction of a state court as doing the act under the direction of officers of the United States in charge of Government work.

The fact that title to right of way for a canal has vested in the United States and after completion the Secretary of War is to take charge of the canal, does not make the United States responsible, prior to completion, where Congress has expressly declared that the canal will only be accepted after completion, and that the local authorities shall meanwhile assume all responsibility in connection therewith. 66 Washington, 639, affirmed.

THE facts, which involve a review of the legislation, state and Federal, in regard to the construction of the Lake Washington Waterway to Puget Sound, and the extent of the responsibility of the Federal Government therefor, are stated in the opinion.

Mr. Corwin S. Shank for plaintiff in error.

There was no appearance or brief filed for defendant in

error.

MR. JUSTICE PITNEY delivered the opinion of the court.

Plaintiff in error was adjudged by the Superior Court of Thurston County, in the State of Washington, to be in contempt of that court, in that, with notice of a decree made by it restraining and enjoining any further excavation of the Lake Washington Canal, or any lowering of the waters of Lake Washington, he proceeded to blow out an embankment at the head of the canal, which until that

Opinion of the Court.

time held the waters of the lake at their natural level, so as to permit these waters to flow into the canal and thereby lower the level of the lake. The Supreme Court of the State affirmed the judgment (66 Washington, 639), and the case comes here under § 237, Jud. Code, upon the ground that the acts done by plaintiff in error, and because of which he was held to be in contempt of court, were done under the direction and authorization of officers of the War Department of the United States, acting in the performance of their duties in constructing a public improvement consisting of a ship canal extending from Lake Washington to Salmon Bay, in pursuance of statutes of the United States.

234 U. S.

Our examination of the Federal question is somewhat embarrassed because the findings and statements of fact by the state courts contain no finding respecting some of the facts that are alleged as the basis of the present contention of plaintiff in error. The inadequacy is attributable, no doubt, to the mode in which the alleged Federal right was asserted. Plaintiff in error having been brought before the trial court upon an order to show cause, based upon a sworn complaint or information made by the relator setting forth circumstantially the blowing out of the embankment in question by one Erickson and by plaintiff in error as his foreman, the latter in his answer denied that he blew out the embankment upon the orders of Erickson, and on the contrary averred that he "did so by express orders of the engineering department of the United States Government." There was testimony tending to support this averment, but the trial court, while making no specific finding upon the subject, in effect held that the work was done in behalf of the State of Washington, one of the parties to the cause in which the restraining decree was made. To its findings numerous exceptions were taken, but in none of these was any Federal right asserted, nor was any deficiency in the findings suggested. The Su

« ПретходнаНастави »