THE UNITED STATES v. THE INSURGENTS OF PENNSYLVANIA - 2 U.S. 335 (1795)


U.S. Supreme Court

THE UNITED STATES v. THE INSURGENTS OF PENNSYLVANIA, 2 U.S. 335 (1795)

2 U.S. 335 (F.Cas.) 2 Dall. 335

The United States
v.
The Insurgents of Pennsylvania

Circuit Court, Pennsylvania District

April Term, 1795

Several indictments for high treason having been found against persons concerned in the insurrection in the four Western Counties of Pennsylvania, a Venire was issued in each case, for summoning a Jury returnable to the present Term; and to each writ the Marshall returned a separate pannel, containing the names of thirty-six Jurors, from the city of Philadelphia, fifteen from the county of Delaware, nine from the county of Chester and twelve from each county, in which the treason was charged to have been committed, making seventy-two Jurors on each pannel, and one hundred and eight Jurors summoned on the whole.

The act of Congress (1 Vol. p. 112. s. 29) having directed 'that any person who shall be accused and indicted of treason, shall have a copy of the indictment, and a list of the Jury and witnesses to be produced on the trial for proving the said indictment, mentioning the names and places of abodes of such witnesses and jurors, delivered unto him at least three entire days before he shall be tried for the same,' the Attorney of the District had, in due time, delivered to the several prisoners copies of the indictment, of the pannel of jurors, and of the list of witnesses; but he had omitted to deliver a copy of the caption of the indictment, and to specify the occupations, or the places of abode of the jurors and witnesses, otherwise that by mentioning the counties in which the jurors respectively resided.

Page 2 U.S. 335, 336

On this state of facts, Lewis suggested the following exceptions; which, he said, were not so much designed for the existing cases, as to prevent the introduction of precedents, injurious to the rights and safety of posterity. 1st. That the Marshall had returned a greater number of Jurors than the law authorised; and that he had returned a several pannel in each case, instead of one general pannel to try all the issues at this Court. By the act of Congress (1 Vol. p. 67. s. 29.) it is declared, that 'in cases punishable with death, the trial shall be had in the county where the offence is committed, or where that cannot be done, without great inconvenience, twelve pettit Jurors at least shall be summoned from thence. And jurors in all cases to serve in the Courts of the United States shall be designated by lot, or otherwise, in each state respectively, according to the mode of forming Juries therein now practised, so far as the laws of the same shall render such designation practicable by the Courts or Marshalls of the United States; and the Jurors shall have the same qualifications as are requisite for Jurors by the laws of the State of which they are citizens, to serve in the highest Courts of law of such State, and shall be returned as there shall be occasion for them, from such parts of the District, from time to time, as the Court shall direct, so as shall be most favorable to an impartial trial, and so as not to incur an unnecessary expence, or unduly to burthen the citizens of any part of the District with such services.' By the act of Pennsylvania, for the better regulation of Juries (2 Vol. p. 263. s. 4. Dallas's Edit.) it is declared 'that every sheriff, or any officer, to whom the return of Venire Facias Juratores or other process for the trial of causes before the Judges of Oyer & Terminer, general-goal-delivery, and Nisi Prius doth belong, shall, upon return thereof, unless in cases where a special Jury shall be struck by rule of Court, annex a pannel to the said writ containing the christian and sur- names, additions, and places of abode of a competent number of Jurors, the names of the same persons to be inserted in the pannel annexed to every such writ, for the trial of all issues in civil and criminal causes at the said Courts, in each respective county, which number of Jurors, in any County, shall not be less than forty-eight, nor more than sixty, without the direction of the Judge or Judges appointed to go the Circuit, and sit as Judge or Judges of Oyer & Terminer, general-goal-delivery, or Nisi Prius, in such county, who are hereby empowered and required, if he or they see cause, by order, under his hand, or their hands, to direct a greater number, not to exceed eighty, &c.' By the same act, (s. 5.) it is further declared, 'that the sheriff of the county of Philadelphia, or other county where the [2 U.S. 335, 337]




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