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twenty cases were disposed of, and all the business performed which it was expedient to have done at that term. I would submit it as my opinion, that said court has fully answered the purposes of its establishment, and is advantageous for the defendants, for the people, and especially for the county. I would cite the following, as some of its benefits, to wit: Four terms a year are holden; by this means, defendants who are wrongfully accused, have more frequent opportunities of establishing their innocence; and if in prison, awaiting their trial, the great hardship of being immured for six months, to await a chance of a trial, is much lessened. If parties are guilty, this fact, too, is more frequently decided; and in both events, great expense is saved to the county. A prosecutor, too, can, during the session of a criminal court, devote his entire time to his official business, which he cannot do, when criminal and civil proceedings are held together. Without lengthening out this part of my report, I would say, that this court has already been the means of securing speedy trials, impartial justice, and great economy, whilst it is not attended with any peculiar evils, so far as I am at present aware of.
The causes which have been tried and disposed of, in said court, I will now enumerate, as follows, to wit:
Assaults and batteries, 17.-Of these, two were found not guilty; three were discontinued, on payment of costs, on settlement of difficulties between the parties; the remainder were, where the parties were either found guilty, or plead guilty, and have been sentenced to pay fines, ranging from two hundred and fifty dollars, down to five dollars, according to the circumstances which appeared to mark each case.
Larceny. Under this head I have to report, that there have been twenty-two cases where indictments have been presented, and the causes disposed of; that five persons so indicted, were found not guilty; that two of the most desperate of the accused, succeeded in breaking jail and escaping; that two forfeited their recognizances, that two were permitted to go at large, on payment of costs; and the remainder were disposed of as follows, viz: John Hill and William Jackson, on five indictments, five years hard labor in state prison; David Murdock, on two indictments, 18 months do.; Patrick Kelly, three years do.; Joseph Dubay, one year do.; Anthony Gray, two cases, two years do.; and William Wilder, two months imprisonment in the county jail, and a fine of five dollars.
Forgery. At the September term, 1840, Benjamin W. Hawkins was indicted, tried, and found guilty of the crime of forgery, and was sentenced to the state prison, at hard labor, for the term of five years.
Assault, with the intent to commit rape.-William Hill was indicted, tried, and found guilty of this offence, at the Septem
ber term, and was sentenced to two years imprisonment, at hard labor, in state prison, and to pay a fine of one hundred dollars and costs.
House breaking with intent to steal.-Anthony Gray, at the December term, was found guilty of this offence, and sentenced to five years hard labor, in state prison; he was found guilty, at the same term, of two larcenies, above noted, all under an aggravated state of facts.
Alvah Allison, at the September term, was found guilty of breaking the door of a store, with intent to steal, and sentenced to one year, at hard labor in state prison.
Counterfeiting.-Six cases of this offence. Two persons, each indicted twice, have succeeded in escaping, one from the jail, the other from the sheriff; one has been tried and found not guilty, and the others remain yet untried.
Illegal voting.-One prosecution for this offence eventuated at the present term, in the defendants being found guilty; but for some proper reasons, sentence remains unpassed.
Extortion. One cause was tried at the present term, but the jury could not agree, and the case remains on the docket.
Receiving goods, knowing them to have been stolen.—One cause under this head, was tried, and the party found not guilty.
Perjury. Two prosecutions for this crime have been had; one at the June term, where the party was found not guilty, and one at the December term, against Diamond Pearl, who was found guilty, and sentenced to the state prison for five years.
There yet remain for trial, some twenty cases for various offences, besides a large number of old cases, where parties have not been arrested, not having been found, where witnesses cannot be found, and which, for good reasons, have not, and cannot, in all probability, ever be tried.
In addition to the above, I would state, that I have drawn many bills for the action of the grand juries, which have been ignored; that the other business appertaining to the office of prosecuting attorney, has, I believe, been attended to in said. court, and that no serious complaints have been made against the mode of doing business in said court.
It is impossible to report the number of causes which have been tried in this county before the courts of special sessions, inasmuch as it has not been necessary, in most cases, to require any presence in behalf of the people, or to advise me of the pendency of cases. I have minutes of fifteen cases, where I have been required to attend, and both by personal observation, and by consulting with various justices of the peace, I have endeavored to ascertain how the law creating such courts has operated; and I would say, that so far, it appears to work well; to be for the furtherance of justice, and to be a cause of
great saving to our county, and of much time to parties and witnesses.
I have been required to attend to many preliminary_complaints before the justices of the peace of the county. It is a severe, but proper and necessary tax on the time of the prosecuting attorney. It has also been my duty to bring many suits in behalf of the state for the collection of licenses.
It is impossible to report strictly, a particular account of all the official business performed by a prosecuting attorney in the course of a year; notwithstanding the positive language of the statute, I can scarcely think it was the intention of the legis lature to require it. To report all the interviews had-all the advices given the questions arising with the thousand officers of the county, would alone swell a report to a large volume.
I will, therefore, only say, that I have faithfully endeavored to perform, in as beneficial a manner as possible, the official duties involved upon me; and that I have endeavored, so far as it was in my power, to supply the place of my able and experienced predecessor.
Should you require more detail, I shall be pleased to give it, on the slightest intimation to that effect from you.
I would beg leave further to say, that I would have made out a report in November, but as I had not yet been in office for one year, and as the December term of our district court was then so near at hand, I deemed it advisable to wait its termination, and close this report with the year.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
JAMES A. VAN DYKE,
To the honorable PETER MOREY, Attorney General for the state
The undersigned, prosecuting attorney for the county of Monroe, has the honor to submit, in accordance with the provisions of law, the following report of the official business done by him, in the year preceding this day, together with the number of persons prosecuted, and the crimes and misdemeanors for which such prosecutions were had, the result thereof, and the punishment awarded against the persons convicted thereon, report.
Since my last annual report, several indictments which had accumulated in court since the years 1837 and 1838, where the persons indicted had fled before arrest, or forfeited their recog nizances, have been discontinued by nolle prosequi. The same disposition has been made, in some instances, with the indict
ment, where the witnesses have fled and forfeited their recognizances. But as all the individuals accused and prosecuted, 00 with all the required particulars attending the prosecution, are fully mentioned in my last annual report, the only additional information of facts concerning them, therefore, which 1 now embrace in this report, are the terminations and nature of said prosecutions in their class.
Of these, of prosecutions commenced in June and December of the year 1838, there were four prosecutions for assault and battery, against two persons; four prosecutions for conspiracy, against Conlogue and others, against five persons; one prosecution for larceny; one for assault and battery, with intent to commit rape.
Of prosecutions commenced, in the June term of the circuit court, in the year 1839, two prosecutions for larceny, against two persons; one prosecution for assault with intent to commit rape, against one person; one prosecution for selling spirituous liquors without license, against two persons; one prosecution for selling spirituous liquors on Sunday, against two
On all of the above prosecutions, pending in the circuit court, as above, nolle prosequi was entered by leave of the court. The following will exhibit the requisite information of all other prosecutions:
People of the state of Michigan vs. Warren M. Rice, circuit court; embezzlement of gold watch from John Chamberlin; commenced June term, 1839, not in the state when indicted, and not arrested in New York.
People vs. Sherwood, circuit court; grand larceny; commenced June term, 1839, not found, not arrested.
People vs. Ebenezer Prentiss, John Prentiss and Peter D. Labady, circuit court; assault and battery on an officer; commenced June term, 1839, determined June term, 1840; the two Prentiss' were fined each ten dollars and costs; nolle as to Labady.
People vs. Daniel M. C. Ludlow, circuit court; one indictment for having, with intent to utter, counterfeit bank bills, and one for having, with intent to utter, counterfeit coin; both commenced June term, 1839; fled, not arrested.
People vs. Harlow Glass, having, with intent to utter, counterfeit coin; circuit court; commenced June term, 1839; fled, not arrested.
People vs. Alanson Briggs, having, with intent to utter, counterfeit bills; circuit court; commenced June term, 1839; not arrested, fled the country.
People vs. David A. Woodward, passing fraudulent bills, purporting to be of a bank; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839, determined June term, 1840; acquitted.
People vs. Sandborn Heth, petit larceny; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839, determined June term, 1840; acquitted.
People vs. David A. Woodward, not paying over to successor, school moneys; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839, determined June term, 1840; convicted and fined fifty dollars and costs; execution in hands of sheriff.
People vs. Donald McQueri and Hugh McQueri, grand larceny, stealing oxen; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839, determined December term, 1840; acquitted.
People vs. Patrick Conlisk, grand larceny, stealing three thousand three hundred dollars in bills, in Toledo, Ohio; theft continued into Monroe county, by carrying the money there; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839; in June term of 1840, the authority of Ohio having failed, after four months' notice, to produce a requisition, a nolle prosequi was entered, and Conlisk bound over before a magistrate to appear at December term, 1840, for attempting to break jail, and he was bailed in five hundred dollars, and is out on recognizance, but a requisition is now obtained from Ohio, and orders of the governor to deliver him up.
People vs. William Conlisk, grand larceny; commenced December term, 1839; not arrested.
People vs. Peter D. Labady, perjury; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839, determined December term, 1840; jury did not agree; continued."
People vs. Isaac Bennet, perjury; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839, determined December term, 1840; convicted and sentenced to five years' imprisonment in state penitentiary.
People vs. Arnold Bennet, petit larceny; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839; not arrested, fled.
People vs. Isaac Bennet, attempting to escape from jail; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839, determined December term, 1839; convicted and sentenced to six months' imprisonment in penitentiary.
People vs. William Conlisk, Michael, sen., Patrick, John and Mary, wife of Michael Conlisk, receiving and concealing stolen property; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839; none arrested but Mary Conlisk; she not tried, the rest fled.
People vs. Charles Neddeault, petit larceny; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839; entered into recognizance with surety, and has fled and forfeited the same; nolle prosequi entered.
People vs. John Mulholland, assault and battery; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839; determined December term, 1840; acquitted.
People vs. William O'Connell, petit larceny; circuit court;