Hotema v. United States - 186 U.S. 413 (1902)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hotema v. United States, 186 U.S. 413 (1902)
Hotema v. United States
Submitted April 28, 1902
Decided June 2, 1902
186 U.S. 413
In relation to the part of this charge in which the court speaks of an irresistible impulse to commit the murder, counsel for the defendant says that he made no claim that the defendant was actuated by an irresistible impulse, and that there is nothing in the evidence to show that he was; that what he did claim was that the defendant was laboring under an insane delusion, and that this charge did not bring that subject before the jury. As there is no portion of the evidence returned in the bill of exceptions, this Court is unable to judge whether there was any which would justify, or which did justify the court in submitting the question of irresistible impulse to the jury. If there had been evidence on that subject, the submission of the question was certainly as fair to the defendant as he could ask. The court decides nothing further than that.
Upon the other portion of the charge, as to the general liability of the defendant to the criminal law and to the obligation of the government to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt upon taking into consideration all the evidence, and in regard to every essential element of the crime, the charge of the court was undoubtedly correct.
Taking the whole charge together, the court properly laid down the law in regard to the responsibility of the defendant on account of his alleged mental condition.
The question whether, upon a consideration of the facts, the extreme penalty of the law should be carried out upon this defendant is not one over which this Court has jurisdiction.
The case is stated in the opinion of the court.