The Trial of Col. Aaron Burr on an Indictment for Treason: Before the Circuit Court of the United States, Held in Richmond, (Virginia), May Term, 1807 : Including the Arguments and Decisions on All the Motions Made During the Examination and Trial, and on the Motion for an Attachment Against Gen. Wilkinson, Volumen1


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Página 44 - It follows necessarily then, from this statement of things, that if the question be of such a description that an answer to it may or may not criminate the witness, according to the purport of that answer, it must rest with himself, who alone can tell what it would be, to answer the question or not. If, in such a case, he say upon his oath, that his answer would criminate himself, the court can demand no other testimony of the fact.
Página 44 - ... which would be required for his conviction. That fact of itself might be unavailing, but all other facts without it would be insufficient. While that remains concealed within his own bosom he is safe; but draw it from thence, and he is exposed to a prosecution. The rule which declares that no man is compellable to accuse himself would most obviously be infringed by compelling a witness to disclose a fact of this description.
Página 43 - Wheti a question Is propounded, it belongs to the Court to consider and to decide, whether any direct answer to it, can implicate the witness. If this be 'decided in the negative^ then he may answer it, without violating the privilege which is secured to him by law. If a direct answer to it may criminate himself, then he must • be the sole judge what his answer would be. The...
Página 45 - It is the province of the court to judge whether any direct answer to the question which may be proposed will furnish evidence against the witness.
Página 128 - But it is apparent, that this demand is not unremitting; and, if it should exist at the time when his attendance on a court is required, it would be sworn on the return of the subpoena, and would rather constitute a reason for not obeying the process of the court, than a reason against its being issued.
Página 128 - States, the president is elected from the mass of the i>eople, and, on the expiration of the time for which he is elected, returns to the mass of the people again. How essentially this difference of circumstances must vary the policy of the laws of the two countries, in reference to the personal dignity of the executive chief, will be i>erceived by every person.
Página 133 - ... which would endanger the public safety. If it does contain such matter. the fact may appear before the disclosure is made. If it does contain any matter which it would be imprudent to disclose, which it is not the wish of the Executive to disclose, such matter, if it be not immediately and essentially applicable to the point, will, of course, be suppressed...
Página 44 - ... privilege which is secured to him by law. If a direct answer to it may criminate himself, then he must be the sole judge what his answer would be. The court cannot participate with him in this judgment, because they cannot decide on the effect of his answer without knowing what it would be; and a disclosure of that fact to the judges would strip him of the privilege which the law allows, and which he claims.
Página 44 - If the declaration be untrue, it is in conscience and in law as much a perjury as if he had declared any other untruth upon his oath; as it is one of those cases in which the rule of law must be abandoned, or the oath of the witness be received.
Página 129 - The guard, furnished to this high officer, to protect him from being harassed by vexatious and unnecessary subpoenas, is to be looked for in the conduct of a court after those subpoenas have issued; not in any circumstance which is to 534 precede their being issued.

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