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MILES V. UNITED STATES, 103 U. S. 304 (1880)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Miles v. United States, 103 U.S. 304 (1880)

Miles v. United States

103 U.S. 304


l. On an indictment for bigamy, the first marriage may be proved by the admissions of the prisoner, and it is for the jury to determine whether what he said was an admission that he was actually and legally married according to the laws of the country where the marriage was solemnized.

2. As long as the fact of his first marriage is contested, the second wife is an incompetent witness. Where it has by other evidence been duly established to the satisfaction of the court, she may be admitted to prove her marriage with him.

3. On the trial of such an indictment, the United States challenged a juror for "actual bias." Three triers, appointed by the court conformable to the law of Utah, where the indictment was found, tried the challenge, and declared it to be true. Held that their decision being by that law final, he was properly excluded from the panel.

4. Against the objection of the prisoner, jurors were interrogated by the United States as to their belief that the practice of polygamy is in obedience to the divine will and command. Held that the objection was properly overruled.

5. This court cannot reexamine questions of fact upon a writ of error.

6. In a criminal case, the evidence upon which the jury are justified in finding a verdict of guilty must be sufficient to satisfy them of the prisoner's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Held that the instruction by the court of original jurisdiction upon this point (infra, p. 103 U. S. 309) furnishes him no just ground of exception.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court. chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 103 U. S. 305

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