Patterson v. Alabama - 294 U.S. 600 (1935)


U.S. Supreme Court

Patterson v. Alabama, 294 U.S. 600 (1935)

Patterson v. Alabama

No. 554

Argued February 15, 18, 1935

Decided April 1, 1935

294 U.S. 600

Syllabus

1. Upon review of a judgment of a state court disposing of the case on a point of local practice without adjudicating a claim of federal right, this Court must examine the record and determine whether the nonfederal ground is adequate to sustain the judgment. P. 294 U. S. 602.

2. In the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction over a judgment from a state court, this Court has power, not only to correct error in the judgment under review, but to make such disposition of the case as justice requires, and where any change, either in fact or in law, has supervened since the judgment was entered, which may affect the result, the judgment may be set aside and the cause remanded in order that the state court may be free to act. P. 294 U. S. 607.

3. Semble that, under § 6434 of the Code of Alabama, the fact that a bill of exceptions was not filed in time, though ground for striking it on motion to the Supreme Court, does not deprive that court of jurisdiction to entertain it. P. 294 U. S. 605.

4. The Supreme Court of Alabama affirmed death sentences in two cases in both of which, on the same evidence, it was contended that the defendants, who were negroes, were deprived of constitutional rights by intentional exclusion of all negroes from the grand and petit juries. In one of the cases, this defense was by that court overruled; in the other, it was not considered because the bill of exceptions, necessary for its presentation, was held to have been filed too late. Upon review here, this Court, having reversed the judgment in the first case because the constitutional objection was well taken, vacated the judgment in the second case also in order that the state court might be free to reconsider it. P. 294 U. S. 607.

229 Ala. 270; 156 So. 567, vacated.

Certiorari, 293 U.S. 554, to review a judgment affirming a conviction of rape. Cf. Norris v. Alabama, ante, p. 294 U. S. 587.

Page 294 U. S. 601



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