Dowdell v. United States
221 U.S. 325 (1911)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Dowdell v. United States, 221 U.S. 325 (1911)

Dowdell v. United States

No. 131

Argued April 20, 1911

Decided May 15, 1911

221 U.S. 325

Syllabus

Under § 5 of the Act of July 1, 1902, c. 1369, 32 Stat. 691, unless action taken by the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands to supply omissions in the record violates the Constitution or a statute of the United States, this Court cannot disturb the judgment.

There is no valid objection based on the Constitution of the United States to the practice of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands adopted in this case for determining in what form it will accept the record of the court below.

The provision in § 5 of the Philippine act of July 1, 1902, c. 1369, 32 Stat. 691, that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall meet the witnesses face to face, is substantially the provision of the Sixth Amendment, is intended thereby that the charge shall be proved only by such witnesses as meet the accused at the trial face to face and give him an opportunity for cross-examination. It prevents conviction by ex parte affidavits.

The "face to face" provision of the Philippine Bill of Rights does not prevent the judge and clerk of the trial court from certifying as additional record to the appellate court what transpired on the trial of one convicted of a crime without the accused's being present when the order was made.

Although due process of law requires the accused to be present at every stage of the trial, it does not require accused to be present in an appellate court where he is represented by counsel and where the only function of the court is to determine whether there was prejudicial error below.

Objections as to form and verification of pleading must be taken by accused before pleading general issue.

The Bill of Rights of the Philippine Islands does not require convictions to be based on indictment, nor does due process of law require presentment of an indictment. Hurtado v. California,110 U. S. 516.

In the absence of legislation by Congress, there is no right in the Philippine Islands to require trial by jury in criminal cases. Dorr v. United States,195 U. S. 138.

11 Phil. 4 affirmed.

Page 221 U. S. 326

The facts are stated in the opinion.

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