MAXWELL V. DOW, 176 U. S. 581 (1900)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Maxwell v. Dow, 176 U.S. 581 (1900)

Maxwell v. Dow

Argued December 4, 1899

Decided February 26, 1900

176 U.S. 581


The decision In Hurtado v. California, 110 U. S. 516, that the words "due process of law " in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States do not necessarily require an indictment by a grand jury in a prosecution by a State for murder, has been often affirmed, and is now reaffirmed and applied to this case.

The privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States do not necessarily include all the rights protected by the first eight amendments to the Federal Constitution against the powers of the Federal Government.

The trial of a person accused as a criminal by a jury of only eight persons instead of twelve, and his subsequent imprisonment after conviction, do not abridge his privileges and immunities under the Constitution as a citizen of the United States and do not deprive him of his liberty without due process of law.

Whether a trial in criminal cases not capital shall be by a jury composed of eight instead of twelve jurors, and whether, in case of an infamous crime, a person shall be only liable to be tried after presentment or indictment by a grand jury are proper to be determined by the citizens of each State for themselves, and do not come within the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution so long as all persons within the jurisdiction of the State are made liable to be proceeded against by the same kind of procedure, and to have the same kind of trial, and the equal protection of the law is secured to them.

Page 176 U. S. 582

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