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: 382
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382 BLACK V. THE STATE. [Term of
Opinion of the Court.
placed reliance in the report of the evidence which he read, in
order to have enabled him to have formed a conclusion at all,
and the fact that, as he says himself, that it would require
other and different evidence to change that opinion, shows, or
at least renders it probable, that it was with some considerable
attention to, and consideration of the facts reported, that he
had formed his conclusion. Under such circumstances we are
of opinion that the court below, in judging of the qualification
of the juror, should not have been satisfied that he was an impartial
The juror took his seat in the jury-box with a conclusion
formed, when the defendant had not been heard, and without
the benefit of the instruction of the court as to the law applicable
to the case. If his conclusion was in favor of the
prisoner's guilt, it was as a weight put in the scale of justice
before the trial commenced. Whatever of obstinacy of character
and pride of opinion he possessed had to be overcome
by other evidence. There are perhaps but few men who do
not lean in favor of a preconceived opinion, founded on what
they deem to be an authentic source. They look favorably
upon whatever will support it, and examine with increased
caution whatever will oppose it. The love of consistency in
the formation of their judgments requires this of them. No
authority has been found for holding that this juror was qualified,
and an abundance that is in opposition to it. (See Grayham
& Waterman, New Trials, p. 377, and American authorities
cited, 378, 379.) In the case of Monroe v. The State,
cited in support of the ruling of the court below, the judge, before
determining that the juror was qualified, satisfied himself
by the answers to his questions, that the juror had really formed
no conclusion as to the guilt or innocence of the prisoner. (23
Texas, 210.) Perhaps the general rule, as to the impartiality
of a juror under our code cannot be better laid down
than it was by Chief Justice Marshall, in the Burr case, which
is as follows: " Light impressions, which may be supposed to
"yield to the testimony offered, which may leave the mind
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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/m1/390/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .