U.S. Supreme Court
Schwab v. Berggren, 143 U.S. 442 (1892)
Schwab v. Berggren
Argued January 21, 26, 1892
Decided February 29, 1892
143 U.S. 442
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
At common law, it was deemed essential in capital cases that inquiry be made of the defendant before judgment was passed whether he had anything to say why sentence of death should not be pronounced upon him, thus giving him an opportunity to allege any ground of arrest, or to plead a pardon if he had obtained one, or to urge any legal objection to further proceedings against him. And if the record did not show that such privilege was accorded to him, the judgment would be reversed.
This rule, however, does not apply to an appellate court, which, upon review of the proceedings in the trial court, merely affirms a final judgment, without rendering a new one. Due process of law does not require his presence in the latter court at the time the judgment sentencing him to death is affirmed.