Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of Texas, during the latter part of the Tyler term, 1874, and the first part of the Galveston term, 1875. Volume 42. Page: 274
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274 FARRER V. THE STATE. . [Term of
Opinion of the Court.
passions; the nature and character of the act done; the instrument
used, as well as the manner in which the murder is
committed; declarations indicating not only his state of mind,
but also the purpose and intent with which he acts, and the motives
by which he is actuated; and all such other matters and
things pertinent to the issue which may be suggested by the
facts of the case.
But if, on the other hand, there is nothing in the conduct and
declarations of the party killing, or the attendant circumstances
connected therewith, from which a sedate, deliberate mind is to
be inferred when the design was formed to do the act from
which death ensued, obviously the State will have failed to make
out a case of murder in the first degree. And though, in the
absence of explanatory circumstances, it might be inferred that
the killing was done with express malice, if it is clearly shown
that, owing to some pre-existing cause, the party killing was
wholly incapacitated to form a design with a sedate, deliberate
mind when the design to do the act from which death has
ensued was formed and executed, whatever may have been the
cause from which such want of capacity originated, it is equally
clear he can not be guilty of murder in this degree.
Whether the killing was done under the one state of fact or
the other, is a question for the jury, and should be submitted to
their consideration under instructions presenting the alternative
phases presented by the testimony, from which the proper
conclusion should be deduced.
An application of these general principles to the charge
given in this case by the court to the jury, shows that it may
have operated prejudicially to appellant. It presents a very
elaborate, and, in the main, correct exposition of the law held
applicable to murder in the first degree, as laid down in the
former decisions of this court. And, without charging upon
the weight of evidence, properly illustrates, with evident reference
to the testimony in the case, facts and circumstances tending
to prove that the killing was with express malice. But
there was an utter failure to present, with equal fullness and
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Texas. Supreme Court. Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of Texas, during the latter part of the Tyler term, 1874, and the first part of the Galveston term, 1875. Volume 42., book, 1881; St. Louis, Mo.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth28531/m1/282/?rotate=90: accessed July 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .