Collins v. Johnston - 237 U.S. 502 (1915)


U.S. Supreme Court

Collins v. Johnston, 237 U.S. 502 (1915)

Collins v. Johnston

No. 594

Argued February 25, 1915

Decided May 17, 1915

237 U.S. 502

Syllabus

In habeas corpus proceedings, this Court is confined to the examination of fundamental and jurisdictional questions; the writ cannot be employed as a substitute for a writ of error.

Refusal of the trial court to permit a proffered defense, even if erroneous, does not ordinarily affect the jurisdiction or amount to more than error.

An averment of arbitrary action in judicial ruling merely states a conclusion of law, and has no effect in the absence of facts alleged sufficient to show that the ruling was actually arbitrary.

Even though the question whether the judgment was rendered by a properly constituted court were open here, this Court sees no reason to disagree with the meaning attributed by the state courts of California

Page 237 U. S. 503

to Art. VI, §§ 6 and 8 of the constitution of that state in regard to a judge of the superior court of one county holding a court in another county on the request of the governor of.the state.

An amendment of the constitution giving authority where it existed before may be adopted from abundant caution and not as recognizing and supplying a casus omissus.

A sentence of fourteen years' imprisonment for one duly convicted of perjury does not amount to a deprivation of liberty without due process of law where it does not exceed the limit authorized by the statute.

Comparative gravity of criminal offenses is a matter for the state itself to determine, and the fact that some offenses are punished with less severity than other does not amount to a denial of equal protection of the law.

The prohibition in the Eighth Amendment of cruel and unusual punishments is a limitation upon the federal government, and not on the states.

A person extradited from Great Britain is not protected by § 5275, Rev.Stat., from being tried and convicted for a crime committed in the state after extradition, and so held in this case as to perjury committed on the trial of the crime for which the party was extradited.

The facts, which involve questions raised under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and under an extradition treaty, as to the validity of the conviction and sentence of appellant in a criminal court of California, are stated in the opinion.



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