The Life and

Trial

of

Frank James

 

Chapter 9

The final day of the trial:

The Court gave the jury the following instructions:

1. That if defendant either himself killed McMillan or was present aiding or abetting at the time of the homicide, he is guilty of murder in the first decree.

2. Defining the terms willfully, premeditatedly and malice aforethought.

3. That if defendant combined with others to assault the express messenger (Murray), and McMillan was killed in that connection, he is guilty of murder in the first degree.

4. That if McMillan was killed by defendant shooting recklessly into the car, and without specific intent to kill McMillan or any one else, or if defendant was present during such reckless shooting, aiding or abetting, he is guilty of murder in the second degree.

5. As to the defendant's testimony on his own behalf.

6. That the jury are sole judges of the evidence.

7. As to defendant's admissions against interest, which the law presumes to be true, while his admissions in interest are not necessarily true even if brought out by the State.

8. As to the testimony of accomplices being received with caution.

9. Reasonable doubt means real and substantial doubt, not a mere possibility of innocence.

10. As to punishment.

For the defense, instructions were given:

1. That defendant must be specifically connected with the killing of McMillan to justify a verdict of guilty on the first count for murder in the first degree.

2. That defendant must be specifically connected with the killing of McMillan in the robbery to justify a verdict of guilty of murder on the second count for murder committed in the perpetration of a felony.

3. That to convict on the second count it is not sufficient to show that defendant was present at the homicide if some other party killed McMillan not in pursuance of the common design, but of his own motion, without the concurrence or consent of the defendant.

4. As to the weight of evidence.

5. As to the testimony of accomplices.

6. As to the presumption of innocence.

7. Circumstantial evidence to warrant conviction must be absolutely inconsistent with the theory of innocence.

Three days were consumed in the argument of the counsel for State and defense when the jury returned the following verdict:

"State of Missouri vs. Frank James—murder: We, the jury in the above entitled cause, find the defendant not guilty as charged in the indictment.

(Signed,) WM. T. RICHARDSON, FOREMAN 

 

All the testimony is given in more detail in "The Trial of Frank James for Murder" by George Miller, Jr. Published 1898 - copies available at ABEBOOKS.com

 

Return to the Life and Trial of Frank James, Chapter 1

Return to the Life and Trial of Frank James, Chapter 2

Return to the Life and Trial of Frank James, Chapter 3

Return to the Life and Trial of Frank James, Chapter 4

Return to the Life and Trial of Frank James, Chapter 5

Return to the Life and Trial of Frank James, Chapter 6

Return to the Life and Trial of Frank James, Chapter 7

Return to the Life and Trial of Frank James, Chapter 8


 

 


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