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: 318
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818 BUSTER V. THE STATE. [Term of
Opinion of the Court.
in connection with the record will not clearly show the offense
of which they found the defendant, by their general verdict,
"guilty " or " not guilty." For, says Article 630, " When a
"prosecution is for an offense consisting of different degrees,
"the jury may find the defendant not guilty of the higher de"gree
(naming it), but guilty of any degree inferior to that
"charged in the indictment." And the succeeding article
mentions the various offenses which include different degrees.
As it will be remembered, these articles were in the Code
of Criminal Procedure v hen it was adopted in 1856. But by
Act of February 12, 18, 8, it was further provided : "If the
"jury shall find any person guilty of murder, they shall also
" find by their verdict whether it is of the first or second de"gree;
and if any person shall plead guilty to an indictment
"for murder, a jury shall be summoned to find of what degree
"of murder he is guilty, and in either case if they shall find the
"offense of murder to be of the second degree, they shall also
"find the punishment."
The indictment against Slaughter charged him with murder
in the usual forms, and the jury returned the following verdict:
" We, the jury, find the defendant guilty, and assess the pun"ishment
at confinenrent in the State penitentiary for the term
" of twelve months." And this verdict the court held insufficient
to support a judgment under the articles of the Code of
Criminal Procedure to which we have referred; no notice
being taken of the Act of 1858, cited above, either because it
was enacted subsequently to the trial of the case in the District
Court, or, as is more probable, because it was unnecessary
to do so, as it was insisted that, in effect, the jury found the
defendant guilty of manslaughter.
The duty of thle jury with us, as says the code, is twofold.
First. To speak the truth between the State and the defendant
by their verdict of "guilty," or " not guilty" of any one of
the offenses of which he may be convicted, under the indictment.
Second. If they find defendant guilty of any offense included
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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/m1/326/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .