state_v._hale_1 - State v Hale From Cumberland SUPREME...

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                                              State v. Hale. From Cumberland.                                           SUPREME COURT OF NORTH CAROLINA                                          9 N.C. 582; 1823 N.C. LEXIS 65; 2 Hawks 582  December, 1823, Decided  PRIOR HISTORY:  [**1]  This was an indictment charging the Defendant with having  The Jury, below, found that the Defendant committed personal violence on the slave, mentioned  in the indictment, by striking him, and whether thisamounted to the offence charged, they  referred it to the Court to decide. Whereupon, Daniel, Judge, rendered judgment for the  Defendant, and theState, by Mr. Solicitor Troy, appealed.  HEADNOTES: A battery committed on a slave, no justification, or circumstances attending it,  being shewn, is an indictable offence. But everybattery on a slave is not indictable, because the  person making it may have matter of excuse, or justification, which would be no defence  forcommitting a battery on a free person. Each case of this sort must, in a great degree, depend  on its own circumstances.   OPINION:  [*582]  TAYLOR, Chief-Justice.--The indictment, in this case, is for an inhuman  assault and battery, but the special verdict states, thatthe Defendant struck the slave. The  question, therefore, presented to the Court, is, whether a battery, committed on a slave, no  justification, orcircumstances attending it, being shewn, is an indictable offence.  As there is no positive law, decisive of the question, a solution of it must be deduced from  general principles, from reasonings founded on the commonlaw, adapted to the existing  condition and circumstances of our society, and indicating that result, which is best adapted to  general expedience.  [**2] Presumptive evidence of what this is, arises, in some degree, from  usage, of which the Legislature must have been long since apprised, by the repeated [*583]  conviction and punishment of persons charged with this offence.  It would be a subject of regret to every thinking person, if Courts of Justice were restrained, by  any austere rule of judicature, from keeping pace withthe march of benignant policy and  provident humanity, which for many years, has characterised every Legislative act, relative to  the protection ofslaves, and which christianity, by the mild diffusion of its light and influence,  has contributed to promote; and even domestic safety and interest equallyenjoin. 
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HIST 327 taught by Professor Hamm during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Albany.

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state_v._hale_1 - State v Hale From Cumberland SUPREME...

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