UNITED STATES fl. KEE.
:States prisoners in the jail of the state, by virtue of section 359 of the -Code, are "under like penalties, and subject to the same action, as prisouers committed under the authority of the state." This we concede entirely. 'Ve declare, however, that there is not, nor has there been at any time in the history of the state, any law of any character which will justify or condone the act of chaining for hours a prisoner by the neck, in a standing position, as a means of punishment for any offense whatever. Nor is the testimony of the jailer, and statement urged in .argument, that the grand juries and county commissioners of Bibb county approve this punishment, satisfactory. It does not appear that this practice was ever brought to the attention of the grand jury. Nor was any order or judgment of the county commissioners to such effect put in evidence. But if, as the jailer and his counsel insist, such was the action of these bodies, it was without warrant of law, and this is happily a government of law. Much has been said as to the character of the individual who was punished. This is not a question of individuals. If the jailer is intrusted with arbitrary power to chain prisoners in a standing position to punish them, what guaranty is there that he will not misuse it? Hundreds of citizens of this state are yearly consigned by the United States -courts to the custody of this and other jailers for offenses which are mala prohibita simply. If the jailer is judge, jury, and executioner, can it be predicted with certainty what will be the character or color of the next victim of the chain and padlock? It is a rule we are considering,-a rule for the protection of the unfortunate as well as of the vicious. The constitution forbids a cruel or unusual punishment, and there is no syllable relative to the character or color of the victim in that matchless charter for the preservation of right and the prohibition of wrong. In consideration of the premises, and to emphasize its judgment that an unwarrantable and illegal punishment has been inflicted on this prisoner, and to protect this and other prisoners, the court assesses a penalty of $50, with costs, against the jailer. In the anticipation, however, that this first offense will not be repeated, the court will not enforce payment by the respondent, but will suspend the sentence uutil further order.
UNI'l'ED STATES V. KEE
August 22, 1889.)
(District Court, D. South Carolina.
OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE-INTIMIDATING WITNESS.
Defendant is guilty of violating Rev. St. U. S. § 5399. providing a punishment for intimidating a witness by threats, etc.. when he beats one summoned as a witness before a United States commissioner for the purpose of intimidating or influencing him in giving his testimony. Where defendant, not knowing that one C. is a witness in a case in which defendant's father is summoned as a witness, threatens and beats C. on ac·
count of insulting language used by him concerning his father in connemion with the .case, the beating having no relation to the character of C, as awitness, he is not guilty of a violation of section 5399.
Information for Intimidating a Witness. C. M. Furman, Asst. Dist. AU]. J. K. Henry, for defendants. J., (charging fury.) You are trying an information against John Kee for violating section 5399, Rev. St.,-that is to say, for threatening, intimidating, impeding, and influencing one Ben Corder, a witness in a cause before a commissioner of this court. In reaching your conclusion you must be satisfied by the evidence that the defendant did threaten and beat Ben Corder in the manner stated by the witnesses for the government. N ext, that defendant knew or had reason to know that Corder was a witness for the United States in the case before the commissioner. Then, that he did threaten and beat him because he was such witness, and for the purpose ofintimidating, impeding, or influencing him in giving his testimony. The defense is that Corder had stated that the father of defendant, a very old man, who had professed during his whole life to be a" teetotaler," and of late years a prohibitionist, had secretly purchased whisky from a negro; that defendant had warned Corder if he ever repeated what he styled the "malicious falsehood," he would punish him; that his father had been summoned before the commissioner to testify to the fact of the sale in a case brought against the negro, and had been so summoned upon the information of Corder, given after the warning, defendant not knowing that Corder was himself a witness. If you are satisfied that the threats and consequent beating were uttered and inflicted because of this insulting charge against the old man, having no relation to the character of Corder as a witness, without knowledge that he was a witness, and induced entirely by the repetition of the insult, you may find the defendant not guilty. If the threats and violence were intended to prevent Corder from testifying, you may find defendant guilty.
(Dist1'ict Oourt, D. South Oarolina.
INTERNAL REVENUE-SALE OF SPIRITUOUS LIQUORS BY ApOTIIECARY.
An apothecary, who bona fide uses spirituous liquors in the preparation of a medicine, to be used as such, and not as a beverage, does not violate Rev. St. U, S. § 3242, by not paying the special tax required of a retail liquor dealer.
Indictment for Selling Liquor without Payment of Special Tax. Abiel Lathrop, Dist. Atty. A. H. Dean, for defendant.