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: 367
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1875.] WALKER v. THE STATE. 367
Opinion of the Court.
" to the fact of the presence and participation of Andrew J.
"Walker in the homicide, then you should acquit him."
And in the face of the general charge, and the foregoing
charges as asked by defendant, this court is asked to reverse
this cause on account of isolated parts of the general charge
on the same subjects I
ROBERTS, C. J. The appellant was indicted for the murder
of Green Butler in the county of Galveston, tried, convicted
of murder in the first degree, and adjudged to be hanged, as
the penalty awarded.
We are of opinion that there are several material errors in
the proceedings upon the trial, for which the judgment must
One of the highest and safest securities in the preservation
of rights is a substantial. adherence to the rules of law prescribed
for the judicial proceedings in ascertaining and adjudging
the legal consequences of their infraction. Whatever
may be the facts exhibited on the trial of a criminal cause, if
the rules of proceeding that have been adopted as necessary to
elicit and establish the truth of the issue, are broken down
and disregarded, there is no reliable certainty in the result.
Hence, without considering what, in our opinion, should have
been the verdict upon the facts, as presented in the record, it
is necessary to see how far such verdict might have been
tainted, by the infusion into its formation of errors of law, to
the prejudice of the defendant.
Our Code requires that in every ase of felony the judge
shall, whether asked to do so or not, "deliver to the jury a
' written charge, in which he shall distinctly set forth the law
" applicable to the case; but he shall not express any opinion
'" as to the weight of evidence, nor shall he sum up the testi"mony."
(Paschal's Digest, Article 3059.) It further provides
that new trials shall be granted in cases of felony,
"where the Court has misdirected the jur yas to the law, or
" has committed any other material error calculated to injure
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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/m1/375/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .