ANDRES V. UNITED STATES, 333 U. S. 740 (1948)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Andres v. United States, 333 U.S. 740 (1948)

Andres v. United States

No. 431

Argued February 5, 1948

Decided April 26, 1948

333 U.S. 740


1. Whether a verdict of guilty in a prosecution in a federal court for murder in the first degree should be qualified by adding thereto "without capital punishment," as authorized by 18 U.S.C. § 567, is entirely within the discretion of the jury, and the instructions of the trial court on this point in the instant case were adequate. Pp. 333 U. S. 742-744.

2. There was no material error in the trial court's use, in its instructions in this case, of certain language objected to by the petitioner as indicating to the jury that the grand jury had found that he was probably guilty of murder in the first degree -- although the language was misleading when read out of context, and could well have been omitted. Pp. 333 U. S. 744-745.

3. In the provision of 18 U.S. C. § 542 that "The manner of inflicting the punishment of death shall be the manner prescribed by the laws of the State within which the sentence is imposed," the word "State" includes the Territory of Hawaii. P. 333 U. S. 745.

4. Where an accused in a prosecution in a federal court for murder in the first degree is found guilty, the verdict of the jury, under 18 U.S.C. § 567, must be unanimous both as to guilt and as to whether the death penalty should be imposed. Pp. 333 U. S. 746-749.

Page 333 U. S. 741

5. In a trial in a federal court for murder in the first degree, the instruction to the jury were such that the jury might reasonably conclude that, if they agreed unanimously upon a verdict of guilty but could not agree unanimously as to whether "without capital punishment" should be added, the verdict of guilty must stand unqualified. The jury returned an unqualified verdict of guilty.

Held: these instructions did not fully protect the accused, the judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded for a new trial. Pp. 333 U. S. 749-752.

163 F.2d 468, reversed.

Petitioner was convicted in the United States District Court for the Territory of Hawaii of murder in the first degree, and was sentenced to death by hanging. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. 163 F.2d 468. This Court granted certiorari. 332 U.S. 843. Reversed and remanded for a new trial, p. 333 U. S. 752.

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