JACOBI V. ALABAMA, 187 U. S. 133 (1902)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Jacobi v. Alabama, 187 U.S. 133 (1902)

Jacobi v. Alabama

No. 341

Argued November 7, 1902

Decided November 17, 1902

187 U.S. 133


Plaintiff in error was convicted of assault, and the judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Alabama; the conviction was the result of a second trial, and the alleged victim who testified at the first trial was not present at the second trial; the witness was permanently absent from the state, and there was no pretense of absence by procurement, but there was evidence of diligence in attempting to serve process on her.

Evidence of the former testimony of this witness was admitted against defendant's objections based on several grounds, one of which was that he had the constitutional right to be confronted by the witness, but as no reference to the Constitution of the United States was made in the objections, and the Constitution of Alabama provides that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused has a "right . . . to be confronted by witnesses against him;" held, that the constitutional right was asserted under the state, and not the federal, constitution.

In the state supreme court, error was assigned to the admission of the evidence as being in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, but as the court did not refer to that contention, and as the settled rule in Alabama in

Page 187 U. S. 134

criminal cases is that, when specific grounds of objection are assigned, all others are waived, the supreme court of the state was not called upon to revise the judgment of the lower court, and this Court will not interfere with its action, although if the supreme court of the state had passed upon that question, the jurisdiction of this Court might have been maintained.

Where objection to testimony on the ground that it is in violation of the Constitution of the United States is taken in the highest court of the state for the first time, and that court declines to consider such objection because it was not raised at the trial, the judgment of the state court is conclusive, so far as the right of review by this Court is concerned (following Spies v. Illinois, 123 U. S. 131).

The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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