Duncan

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Duncan - clos Main who e a d phy- body Corner High Court...
clos Main who e a d phy- body Corner High Court to Get Jury Trial Issue WASHINGTON (AP) - Th«iHis appeal says trial by jury wife Supreme Court, back in business next month, faces a plea that it bind the states to another key provision of the Bill of Rights: the right to a jury trial in criminal cases. The appeal comes from Louisiana, where Gary Duncan, a Boothville Negro, was-tried by a judge on a charge of simple battery, convicted and sentenced to 60 days in prison and a $150 fine. The 21-year-old tugboat skipper's demand for a jury trial was turned down. He could have been sent to prison for two years and fined $300. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified by the states in December 1791 along with the rest of Bill of Rights, guarantees trial by an impartial jury "in all criminal prosecutions." · However, unlike most key provisions of the Bill of Rights--including all other ele- m e n t s of the sixth amendment--it is binding only on the federal level. Inch by inch, using the post- Civil War 14th Amendment as the device, the Supreme Court has applied Bill of Rights guarantees to the states, including free speech, the ban on unreasonable search and seizure and protection against self- incrimination. Last March it added the Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. Now, Duncan's attorney, Richard B. Sobol of New Or- eans, is asking the Court to include the right to a jury trial. GOP Women To Have Picnic criminal cases is ft right traceable to the earliest Saxon colonies and points out that It fundamental article of U* "Magna Carta. -^; Duncan was charg«T with simple battery in a bifi^f information filed by Leaner Perez Jr., district attorney of Pla- quwnines Parish. The.'Jnarge was based on an incident involving two young cousins of Duncan and four white boys. According to the appeal, the cousins were " p h y s i assaulted, threatened and otherwise harassed by white students" after they were-transferred to the previously^all- white Boothville Venice school. On Oct. 18, 1966, as Duncan was driving home near- the school, the appeal said,.he saw his cousins "confronted"; by a group of white boys, .stopped ind told the cousins to gef'hto his car. At trial, the white boys'lnd a white onlooker testified'Duncan slapped one of the white boys the elbow. Duncan and his'.tbus- ns testified he had touched the boy on the arm, as a manner expression, while telling"him it would be bestif : he went-home. ' Under Louisiana lawr v 'a" defendant charged with a misdemeanor is to be trfe'd by judge without a jury." A misdemeanor, defined as '-any crime other than a felony ^cannot result in a sentence -of* hard atoor or death. Some misdemeanors in; Louisiana can result in a two-year sentence. Aggravated baftery resulting from breach : of' the jeace, a misdemeanor, carries i maximum prison sentence of 10 years. In other states, the ury trial pattern is mixed. Thirty-eight provide trial^by a 12-man jury when an offense is punishable by more thai, six months in prison.

Clipped from
  1. Delaware County Daily Times,
  2. 18 Sep 1967, Mon,
  3. Page 4

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