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town, and would stop there and see him, and tell him the circumstances, and get him to go up and see Sam right away. I met Mr. Castles on the street, and stated the case to him, and he said he would go immediately to see Sam himself,—to his house on Canal street. This interview with Mr. Castles occurred about one o'clock on Canal street, about one square from the Hibernia Bank, near the Germania Bank."


The witness Castles testifies that on the 9th, after his turning the paying teller's cage over to Surgi as the acting paying teller, time went along until about 1 o'clock, -“When I started to the Boston Club for lunch. I met Mr. Menge on Canal street. He said, 'Have you seen Sam?' I said, 'Sam who?' He said, 'Sam Flower.' I said, 'No, what does he want?' He said, 'Don't you know he is short?' I said, 'No; how much is he short?' He said, 'He is short about thirty thousand dollars.' Mr. Menge gave me Mr. Flower's address, and I took the car and rode out to his house. I rang the bell and went in. Mr. Flower opened the door, and showed me into his parlor or sitting

I said, “Sam, sit down and tell me the whole truth now.' So he sat down. I didn't suggest to him that it would be better for him to make the statement. I made him no promise at this time of any kind. He said he was short $36,000; that the way he had covered it up was that he had changed the label on a 4,000-dollar government package to a 40,000-dollar package by taking off that label and pasting on an old label of $40,000, which made the exact figure of $36,000 which he was short. I said, 'Sam, is that all?' He said, 'Yes, that is all.' I said, 'How much of this money have you got?' He said, 'I haven't got any of it at all; it is all gone.' He took out two dollars, and said, "That is all I have got in the world. I said, 'Have you got any of this money anywhere?' He said, 'No.' I said, What did you do with it?' He answered, 'I sent it to a man in New York by the name of J. Overton Payne to speculate for me. I said, 'How did you send it?' He answered, 'I sent it by mail.' Then his mother and wife came in and said they wanted to know what I was going to do. I said I was going to do my duty,-report it to the board."

Further on in his examination this witness testified that:

"Flower stated that he was sending the money to J. Overton Payne. a stockbroker in New York; that Payne had led him to believe he could inake a large amount of money by so doing; that he had telegraphed Payne that day asking assistance, and that when he got the telegram he would send it to me. He said he got this money at various times and in different amounts, and that the last was $5,000, about two or three weeks before the 9th of May. This money was the property of the Hibernia National Bank, and it was in the custody of Mr. Flower, as paying teller of the bank."

From the time the package of bills referred to in the testimony left the possession of the plaintiff in error on the afternoon of May 8th, when he handed it to the witness Folger, its custody and care is fully shown by the testimony of the different persons into and through whose custody it passed, so as to exclude all doubt as to its having been kept in the exact condition that it was in when the plaintiff in error parted with it, up to the time, in the evening of May 9th, when the package was produced by Mr. Palfrey, and in his presence, and in the presence of Mr. Pool, the auditor of the bank, and of Mr. Druhan, the general bookkeeper, and of Mr. De Sassoure, the bank examiner, was examined as to its outside appearance, its seals and labels opened, and the contents counted, and in all respects its condition and contents corresponded to and attested the statements of the plaintiff in error made in his conversation with Mr. Casties at noon that day. On the next day Mr. Castles received from the plaintiff in error the following:

"May 10th. “Mr. Castles-Dear Sir: I enclose telegrain from Mr. Payne. I presume the telegraph company made mistake in names. It only come about 5 o'clock this morning. I am so sorry it does not contain better news, but possibly his letter will bring better news. I trust you may see fit to read the inclosed letter, and also read it to the board. I have been waiting for daylight so I could see to write it. Thanking you for your gentleness to me and my dear ones yesterday when you were here, I remain, very humbly, “[Signed]

Sam Flower." [Copy of Telegram.) "Received at New Orleans, La., S. W. Corner Gravier and St. Charles Sts., 2:39 a. m. “2-1. N. Y. IT. ON. 15 Collect.


"New York, May 9th, 1901. "Mrs. A. Flawet, 3938 Canal St., New Orleans, La.: Severely caught in the panic today on all long stock; will write fully to-night. "[Signed]

J. O. Paull. "2:39a."


"New Orleans, May 10th, 1901. “Mr. J. W. Castles, President, and Gentlemen of the Board of Directors: I write this humble plea, hoping that when you are about to decide my fate that the Almighty God above us may temper your decision with mercy and pity. If I were given a chance to redeem myself, I feel most confident that in time I could repay a large portion of the money I have taken, if not all. Of course, I don't know how exactly; but I think I have a few friends who might help me to a small extent, possibly three or four thousand dollars: iund, even if they did not, I would work, oh! so hard, to repay you. I am young, and only too glad to work; and who knows? Perhaps I may work it out in a few years. My mental suffering has been and is and will be a terrible punishment. But if you, gentlemen, decide that I am to be prosecuted (and God soften your hearts to prevent that) it would be awful. I lave, dear sirs, a devoted mother who is to a large extent dependent upon, and a loving wife who is entirely dependent upon, me. What could they do if I were taken from them? My God, gentlemen, be merciful, and give me the chance to redeem myself for the sake of my loved and loving ones, is my prayer to God and you. Very humbly, “[Signed]

Sam Flower.” We have detailed with probably more than necessary fullness the sequence of the transactions had on May 8th and 9th, because, in our view, they not only strongly corroborate the ample coniessions made by the plaintiff in error, but, apart from those confessions, and allowing them only the office of exciting inquiry, so as to produce the prompt dismission of the plaintiff from his active duties, the turning of his paying teller's cage, funds, and work over to another, and later in the day the examination of the package of bills involved in the transaction, the facts established by the direct proof of unimpeached and unimpeachable witnesses hardly leave room for a reasonable doubt as to the commission within not more than six months before May 8, 1901, of the offense charged and as to the person of the offender, and, when taken in connection with the confessions themselves, the whole proof illustrates the soundness and the propriety of the guarded and accurate instruction which the trial judge gave the jury.

The rule so strenuously urged on behalf of the plaintiff in error had its origin at a time when many offenses were punished capitally, and was first applied in cases where the offense charged was murder or other capitally punished felonious homicide, and was so established as a necessary caution against inflicting the last extreme of punishment upon one accused of a crime which had never been committed; and it took its first form in the expression that "the accused should not be convicted unless the death be first distinctly proved, cither by direct evidence of the fact or by inspection of the body," on which Mr. Starkie remarks that it is a rule warranted by melancholy experience of the conviction and execution of supposed offenders charged with the murder of persons who survived their alleged murders. Mr. Bishop says:

“This doctrine, requiring a special directness and clearness of the evidence to the fact of there having been a crime, was extended to larcenies from unknown persons, and to some and possibly all other indictable delinquencies. But the doctrine, at least in later times, has been regarded rather of caution than of absolute law."

Bish. Cr. Proc. § 1056.

Judge Samuel Nelson, then chief justice of the supreme court of judicature of New York, in delivering the opinion of the court in the case of People v. Badgley (October term, 1836), announced the doctrine on this subject to be "that full proof of the body of the crime,the corpus delicti,-independently of the confession, is not required by any of the cases, and in many of them slight corroborating facts were held sufficient.” The offense involved in that case was that of forgery. 16 Wend, 53.

16 Wend. 53. More than 20 years later this doctrine was largely discussed by Mr. Justice Clifford in U. S. v. Williams, in which the defendants were charged by indictment with murder on the high seas, and the conclusion reached that “all that can be required is that there should be corroborative evidence tending to prove the facts embraced in the confession; and where such evidence is introduced it belongs to the jury, under the instructions of the court, to determine upon its sufficiency." I Cliff. pp. 5-28, Fed. Cas. No. 16,707.

It is insisted by the counsel for the plaintiff in error that these decisions have been qualified by the language of Mr. Justice Brown in the opinion in the case of Isaacs v. U. S., 159 U. S. 487, 16 Sup. Ct. 51, 40 L. Ed. 229; but a careful examination of that case does not sustain this contention of the counsel.

After a pretty thorough, but by no means exhaustive, examination of the reported cases on this subject, we are satisfied that the rule in this country is correctly stated in 6 Am. & Eng. Enc. Law (2d Ed.) p. 582, namely:

"A conviction cannot be had on the extrajudicial confession of the defendant, unless corroborated by proof aliunde of the corpus delicti. Full, direct, and positive evidence, however, of the corpus delicti, is not indispensable. A confession will be sufficient if there be such extrinsic corroborative circumstances as will, when taken in connection with the confession, establish the prisoner's guilt in the minds of the jury beyond a reasonable doubt."

In this case the defendant offered no proof except as to his character, which is fully shown to have been all that it should have been up to the time when he was sifted by this temptation. The offense is pronounced by the statute to be a misdemeanor, for which the convicted offender shall be imprisoned not less than five nor more than ten years. The trial judge imposed the lowest penalty permitted by the statute. We discover in the proceedings no error of which the plaintiff in error can rightfully complain. He has been most ably represented by counsel, and cautiously guarded as to all his rights by the enlightened and humane magistrate who presided at his trial.

The judgment of the lower court is affirmed.


Proof of Corpus Delicti to Corroborate a Confession.

I. IN GENERAL. [a] (Fla. Sup. 1897) The court must decide in the first instance whether the evidence of the corpus delicti is prima facie sufficient to authorize the introduction of a confession by the accused in evidence.-Holland v. State, 22 South. 298, 39 Fla. 178.

[b] (Fla. Sup. 1897) While trial courts should not admit evidence of a defendant's confession until sufficient proof of the corpus delicti is first given, yet if the confession be admitted without such proof, and subsequently additional evidence of the corpus delicti sufficient to justify the admission of confessions is introduced, the error in prematurely admitting the confession will be cured.-Holland v. State, 22 South, 298, 39 Fla. 178.

[c] (Ga. Sup. 1898) Proof of the corpus delicti may be, but is not necessarily, sufficient corroboration of a confession of guilt.–Davis v. State, 32 S. E. 158, 105 Ga. 808.

II. NECESSITY OF PROOF. [a] A confession not corroborated by independent evidence of the corpus delicti is not sufficient to support a conviction of felony. -(Ala. Sup. 1876) Matthews v. State, 55 Ala. 187; (1877) Johnson v. Same,

59 Ala. 37; (1896) Harden v. Same, 19 South, 494; 109 Ala. 50; (Cal. Sup. 1875) People v. Thrall, 50 Cal. 415; (Del. Gen. Sess. 1894) State v. Hand, 2 Hardesty, 149; (Ill. Sup. 1882) Williams v. People, 101 Ill. 382; (Mich. Sup. 1882) People v. Lane, 13 N. W. 622. 49 Mich. 340; (Minn. Sup. 1860) State v. Laliyer, 4 Minn. 368 (Gil. 277); (Miss. Err. & App. 1853) Stringfellow v. State, 26 Miss. 157, 59 Am. Dec.

247; (1856) Brown v. Same, 32 Miss. 433; (Mo. Sup. 1819) Robinson v. State, 12 Mo. 592; (1867) State v. Scott, 39

Mo. 424; (N. Y. Sup. 1836) People v. Badgley, 16 Wend. 53; (Gen. Sess. 1816) In re

Hope, 1 City H. Rec. 150; (1820) In re Steel, 5 City H. Rec. 5;
(Pa. Sup. 1882) Gray v. Com., 101 Pa. 380, 47 Am. Rep. 733; (O. & T.

1870) Com. v. Hanlon, 8 Phila. 401;
(Tex. App. 1881) Hill v. State, 11 Tex. App. 132;

(Va. App. 1871) Smith v. Com., 21 Grat. 809. [b] A prisoner may be convicted on his own confession, although it is uncorroborated by any other evidence, provided the corpus delicti be proved. -(Ala. Sup. 1860) Mose v. State, 36 Ala. 211; (1891) Martin v. Same, 8

South. 858, 90 Ala. 602, 24 Am. St. Rep. 844;
(Del. O. & T. 1892) State v. Miller, 32 Atl. 137, 9 Houst. 564;

(Ga. Sup. 1872) Holsenbake v. State, 45 Ga. 43; (1879) Daniel v. Same,

63 Ga. 339; (1882) Williams v. Same, 69 Ga. 11; (Ill. Sup. 1895) Bartley v. People, 40 N. E. 831, 156 Ill. 234; (Ky. App. 1885) Brown v. Com., 7 Ky. Law Rep. 217; (1893) Mullins

v. Same, 20 S. W. 1035; (N. J. Sup. 1828) State v. Guild, 10 N. J. Law, 163, 18 Am. Dec. 404;

(Tex. Cr. App. 1896) Attaway v. State, 34 S. W. 112, 35 Tex. Cr. R. 403. [c] (U. S. C. C., La., 1893) A conviction of taking a letter from a letter box, and extracting money therefrom, cannot be sustained, when denied by a plea of not guilty, upon the mere confession of defendant to a police officer, unsupported by any evidence that such a letter was deposited in the box, or other corroborative evidence of the corpus delicti.-U. S. v. Mayfield, 59 Fed. 118.

[d] (U. S. D. C., Cal., 1891) A person cannot be convicted of mailing an obscene letter when the only evidence that it was deposited in the mail is his uncorroborated confession.-U. S. v. Boese, 46 Fed. 917.

[e] (Cal. Sup. 1895) A conviction cannot be had for obtaining property under false pretenses on the extrajudicial statements and admissions of defendant alone as to the falsity of the statements, such falsity being part of the corpus delicti, which must be proved otherwise.-People v. Simonsen, 40 Pac. 440, 107 Cal. 345.

[f, g] (Ill. Sup. 1881) One accused of a murder, where the fact of murder is not established, cannot be convicted upon his mere confession, made out of court, and uncorroborated by facts or circumstances.-South v. People, 98 Ill. 261.

[h] (Mich. Sup. 1858) A prisoner cannot be convicted of polygamy upon his own confession merely of his first marriage. Further evidence is required to prove affirmatively the first marriage and its legality.—People v. Lambert, 5 Mich. 349, 72 Am. Dec. 49.

[i] (Miss. Err. & App. 1867) In a prosecution for larceny the corpus delicti must be proved otherwise than by the confessions of the accused.—Jenkins v. State, 41 Miss. 582.

[j] (Mo. Sup. 1874) A conviction of murder is unwarranted when there is no other proof of the corpus delicti than the uncorroborated extrajudicial confession of the accused.—State v. German, 54 Mo. 526, 14 Am. Rep. 481.

[k] (N. Y. Sup. 1810) In a prosecution for bigamy the mere confession of the party is not sufficient evidence of the first marriage, but there must be proof of the marriage in fact.—People v. Humphrey, 7 Johns. 314.

[1] (N. Y. Sup. 1857) The unaided confession of the party charged with a crime, that a crime has been committed, and that he is the criminal, will not justify a conviction.--People v. Rulloff, 3 Parker, Cr. R. 401.

[m] (N. Y. O. & T. 1823) A prisoner cannot be convicted for blasphemy on his mere confession, made out of court, that he used the words charged in the indictment, but the prosecutor must show that the blasphemous words were actually uttered by him.-People v. Porter, 2 Parker, Cr. R. 14,

[n] (Tex. Cr. App. 1895) Although a conviction cannot be had where the corpus delicti rests alone upon the confession of defendant, yet when, in addition thereto, other facts tend to show that a crime was committed, and that defendant was connected therewith, the jury is justified in finding a verdict against him.-Dunn v. State, 30 S. W. 227, 34 Tex. Cr. R. 257, 53 Am. St. Rep. 714.

III. ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE. [a] (Cal. Sup. 1898) Under an information charging accused with burning a dwelling house, evidence that other buildings were also burned was admis. sible in proof of the corpus delicti, and also to corroborate accused's confession that the other buildings were burned.—People v. Jones, 55 Pac. 698, 123 Cal. 65.

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