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against public police and economy; the third treats of conspiracies ; and the fourth, of principals and accessaries,
I have now apprized the reader of what he is to expect in the following work. Trifing as it may appear, it has cost me much time and great labour. I have taken infinite pains to simplify my subject; to reject every thing redundant or irrelevant; to compress the whole into the smallest possible compass consistent with perspicuity; and to clothe it in language, plain, simple, and unadorned. In fact, my sole object has been, to make this a practically useful book; I neither anticipate nor desire for it a higher commendation,
J. F. A.
6, Symonds Inn.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Pleading and Evidence generally,
2. By Presumptions - -
Offences against individuals.
Offences of a public nature.
PLEADING AND EVIDENCE, GENERALLY.
Sect. 1. What, and in what cases it lies.
2. Form of it.
Indictment, what, and in what cases it lies.
AN Indictment is a written accusation of one or more per sons of a crime, preferred to, and presented upon oath by, & grand jury.
It lies for all treasons and felonies, for misprisions of treason and felony, and for all misdemeanors of a public nature at common law. If a statute prohibit a matter of public grievance, or command a matter of public convenience (such as the repairing of highways, or the like), all acts or omissions contrary to the prohibition or command of the statute, being misdemeanors at common law, are punishable by indictment, if the statute specify no other mode of proceeding. And if the statute specify a mode of proceeding different from that by indictment; then, if the matter were already an indictable offence at common law, and the statute introduced merely a different mode of prosecution and punishment, the prosecutor has still the option of proceeding by indictment at common law, or by the mode pointed out by the statute; 2 Bur. 799. 2 Salk. 460 ; or even if a statute prohibit, under a penalty, an act which was before lawful, and in a subsequent substantive clause ordain a mode of proceeding for the penalty different from that by indictment, the prosecutor may notwithstanding proceed by indictment upon the prohibitory clause, as for a misdemeanor at common law; or he may proceed in the manner pointed out by the statute, at his option; 2 Hale 171. and see 2 Str. 1146; but if the manner of proceeding for the penalty, be contained in the same clause which prohibits the act, the mode of proceeding given by the statute must be pursued, and no other. 2 Str. 679. Where a statute enabled the King in council to make certain orders relating to quarantine, a disobedience of these orders was holden to be a misdemeanor at common law, and indictable as such. 4 T. R. 202. So, where a corporation were authorised by a public statute to make & towing path on the side of a river, it was holden to be a misdemeanor at common law to obstruct the corporation in the execution of the powers given them by the statute, and of course indictable. 2 Doug. 441. See Com. Dig. Indictment, D.
But an indictment will not lie for a mere private injury against an individual: as for enticing away his apprentice; i Salk. 380; entering his close, digging the ground, erecting a shed thereon, expelling him and keeping him out of posses
3 Bur. 1698. 1731; pulling the thatch off a dwelling house of which he was in peaceable possession; 3 Bur. 1706. 1707 ; or the like ; the remedy for injuries of this description is by action only. So, an indictment will not lie for an act prohibited by a private statute, which tends merely to the damage of a particular individual ; 1 Sid. 208, 209; nor will it lie for a mere breach of the bye laws or customs of a corporation. 4 T. R. 777. 3 Salk. 188. See Com. Dig. Indictment, E.
The Form of an Indictment, An Indictment consists of three parts : the commencement, the statement, and the conclusion. We shall treat of each of these, in its order.
1. The Commencement. The commencement of every indictment, is thus :-" Middleses, to wet:-The Jurors for our Lord the King, upon their oath present that,” 8c. (so proceeding to state the offence, for which the defendant is to be prosecuted.]