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BERGEMANN V. BACKER, 157 U. S. 655 (1895)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bergemann v. Backer, 157 U.S. 655 (1895)

Bergemann v. Backer

No. 709

Submitted March 5, 1895

Decided April 1, 1895

157 U.S. 655


When a prisoner is indicted in a state court for murder, it is for the courts of the state to decide whether the indictment sufficiently charges that crime in the first degree.

In view of the decisions by the highest court of New Jersey, referred to in the opinion, declaring the meaning and scope of the statutes of that state under which the accused was prosecuted, it cannot be held that he was proceeded against under an indictment based upon statutes denying to him the equal protection of the laws, or that were inconsistent with due process of law, as prescribed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

The refusal by the state court to grant a writ of error to a person convicted of murder, or to stay the execution of a sentence, will not warrant a court of the United States in interfering in his behalf by writ of habeas corpus.

When a state court has jurisdiction of the offense and the accused under an indictment found under statutes of the state not void under the Constitution of the United States, and proceeds to judgment under such statutes, a circuit court of the United States has no authority to interfere with the execution of the sentence by means of a writ of habeas corpus.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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