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Judge Joslyn Again

Judge Joslyn Again image
Parent Issue
Day
7
Month
December
Year
1883
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

One of onr readers thought we were a little rough on Judge Joslyn in our issue last week, but what will " reader " have to say of the following artiole from The Monroe Democrat on the same subject: "There has not, within the memory of our oldest inhabitants, been so much ïndignation shown at the charge of any judge, as was exhibited by our citizéns at the charge of Judge Joslyn in the Couper case. It was decidedly one sided, and unwarranted either in fairness or in law, and was in no way what the people had a right to expeot the bench, and is looked upon as such by our lawyers and laity. As the judge waded through the testimony he blocked every avenue of the proseoution and opened up every way of escape for the prisoner. He handled the evidence in a larger proportion than he did the law. He not only reviewed and eommented upon the testimony but clearly indioated his own opinión upon certain parts of it. So glaring was his denunoiation of the people's attorneys and the people's witnesses, that many of his warmest friends left the court room in disgust before he had finished his charge which consisted largely of a re-argument of the case for the defense, and as such was far more of a success than any made by Couper's attorneys. Many would have not been surprised to have heard him instruct the jury to bring in a verdict of acquittnl. The list of requests for the defense was smuggled into court and the people's attorney were uuable to see thern and did not see them. Just at the close of the arf ument for the prosecution, Mr. Gilday was called out of the room by a lady, and he asked the court to wait a few moments until he returned which it promised to do. He was gone less than f our minutes, but upon his return fonivl the judge delivering his charge. The supreme court in reversing a judgement of his and ordering a new trial says: "Now while it may be highly probable that the testimony of these witnesses was in fact entitled to no consideration by the jury, yet the weight to be given to it was for the jury and not for the oourt. Standing alone, what the learned judge said he would do if in the situation of the jury, would be clearly unwarranted and could not be sustained, and what preceded it does not take away or destroy iis prejudicial effect. If it did aa well might the jury be dispensed with, as it would be but seldom indeed jurors could be obtained with sufficient strength of character to impartially weigh the lestimony under such instructions." It is evident that the lecture given him by the supreme court has not had the desired effect, and he has taken advantage of the side of the case that can not carry it there for reviewal. It is a well known fact that in civil or criminal oase the judge shall charge or instruct the jury only as to the law, and such charge or instruction shall be in writing. Both of these points of law have been clearly violated. With the people of this city and county the question is not that Mr. Couper has been acquitted- he has been tried by a jury of his peers and pronounoed not guilty, although they declare they believe him to be the man who stabbed Waite - but the question is how long, and in what cases is the judge going to show a flagrant disregard for the law and thereby lower the dignity of the court in the estimation of the masses." O. R Whitman of Ypsilanti, and a son-in-law of Judge Joslyn, was employed in the case by the defendant. The following is also taken from the Democrat: "Several of the witnesses in the Couper case are in the city again this week and are very bitter in their dennnciation of the judge for his pettifogging charge in favor of Couper, When the result of the trial and the means by which it had been brought about became known the excitement and indignation reached fever heat." A little more from the same paper on the "same subject: "Last week the Commercial announced in headlines that Couper had an "impartial trial." Does it make the announcement thus conspicuous because an "impartial trial" is a rarity in this court, or to counterbalance public opinión upon the charge of the judge? So far as the presentation of testimony is concerned, no one questions its fairness; but so far as the insult offered the prosecution by Whitman and re-echoed by his fathermü i from tlle. .Denon is concerned, the whole county joins us in denouncing it as dastardly."

Article

Subjects
Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat