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People v. Hyde

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division

February 16, 1912

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Respondent,
v.
CHARLES H. HYDE, Appellant.

APPEAL by the defendant, Charles H. Hyde, from an order of the Supreme Court, made at the New York Special Term and entered in the office of the clerk of the county of New York on the 8th day of January, 1912, denying the defendant's motion for a change of venue.

COUNSEL

John B. Stanchfield, for the appellant.

Robert C. Taylor of counsel [Robert S. Johnstone with him on the brief],Charles S. Whitman, District Attorney, for the respondent.

CLARKE, J.:

On May 11, 1911, a superseding indictment was found by the grand jury of the county of New York charging the defendant, then chamberlain of the city of New York, with the crime of bribery in two counts, and in two further counts with the offense of asking, receiving and agreeing to receive a gratuity

Page 132

for performing an official act. To this indictment he plead not guilty.

On June fifth the defendant made a motion before the April term, continued, of the Criminal Term of the Supreme Court to fix a day for trial, which was opposed by the district attorney on the ground that the ends of justice required that the cases of People v. Reichmann and People v. Cummins, in which indictments had been found prior to that against the defendant, should be tried in the order stated and prior to the trial of the case against the defendant. The presiding justice denied the motion, with leave to renew at the June Criminal Term. On June seventh the same motion was made before the June term of the Criminal Term of the Supreme Court and was opposed by the district attorney upon the same grounds and was also denied by the justice there presiding.

On June fifteenth the trial of People v. Reichmann began before the April term, continued, and said Reichmann was found guilty on the twenty-eighth day of June. On the twenty-ninth of June the defendant moved before the June term of the Criminal Term of the Supreme Court for an order transferring the indictment to the Court of General Sessions of the city and county of New York for trial. On the thirteenth of July the justice there presiding granted the motion. Thereafter the district attorney served a notice of appeal from said order, and on the fifteenth of July an order was granted by the presiding justice of the Appellate Division staying the trial of said action until after the hearing and determination of the said appeal. On the twenty-seventh of July a motion was argued before the presiding justice for an order vacating said stay, which was denied. The appeal was dismissed by an order of this court on November 3, 1911, and on November sixth an order was made by the Supreme Court transferring the case for trial from the General Sessions back to the Supreme Court.

On October seventeenth the case of People v. Cummins was brought on for trial in the Supreme Court, April term, continued, and was continued until November twentieth, on which day the jury found a verdict of guilty and Cummins was sentenced on said verdict on the twenty-fourth of November.

Page 133

On said day the district attorney made a motion to have the case of People v. Hyde set down for trial and fix a day therefor, and the court ordered that the case be set down for trial at the January term, and the 2d day of January, 1912, was fixed as the day therefor. On December 28, 1911, the district attorney served a notice of motion for a special jury, returnable at the Criminal Term of the Supreme Court on January 2, 1912.

On December 26, 1911, the defendant made a motion, returnable at Special Term, Part 1, on January 5, 1912, for an order of removal of said criminal action to a term of the Supreme Court held in and for some other county in the State of New York, upon the ground that a fair and impartial trial could not be had by said defendant in the county of New York. The said motion having been denied by the Special Term, the defendant appeals.

To sustain his claim that he cannot have a fair and impartial trial in the county of New York the appellant has submitted voluminous affidavits and a large mass of newspaper clippings. The claim is made that the extensive publications in the public prints of articles referring to him have created such a pre-judicial atmosphere in the community that a fairminded jury cannot be impaneled to try him upon the indictment found against him; that the members of any jury impaneled for that purpose will be so affected that they will not observe the fundamental rules of law in a criminal case, that the ...


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