Hickman v. Jones - 76 U.S. 197 (1869)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hickman v. Jones, 76 U.S. 9 Wall. 197 197 (1869)
Hickman v. Jones
76 U.S. (9 Wall.) 197
1. A prosecution in a so-called "court of the Confederate States of America," for treason in aiding the troops of the United States in the prosecution of a military expedition against the said Confederate States is a nullity, and the fact that the tribunal had clothed itself in the garb of the law gives no protection to persons who, assuming to be its officers, were the instruments by which it acted.
2. Where there is evidence before the jury -- whether it be weak or strong -- which does so much as tend to prove the issue on the part of either side, it is error if the court wrest it from the exercise of their judgment. It should be submitted to them under instructions from the court.
3. The fact that a man was himself a traitor against the United States does not necessarily prevent his recovering damages against other traitors for having maliciously arrested and imprisoned him before a so-called court of the Confederate States, for being a traitor to these; the alleged treason having consisted in his giving aid to the troops of the United States while engaged in suppressing the rebellion.