Message of Gov. O. M. Roberts on appropriations and expenditures under the control of the governor to the seventeenth legislature of the state of of Texas, convened at the city of Austin, in regular session, January 11, 1881. Page: 10 of 23
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Very few applications were afterwards made to renew the rewards upon
the terms proposed.
In order to inaugurate a policy, in which the proper officers, to wit,
the district and county attorneys, should take the lead in, and give direction
to the arrest of criminals through the means of requisitions and
rewards, I issued the following circular to district and county attorneys,
who, having acted in accordance with it, have rendered effective aid in
reducing it to a system of action, promotive of both practical efficiency
"EXECUTIVE OFFICE, 1
"AUSTIN, TEXAS, Nov. 15, 1879.
"To the District and County Attorneys of the State of Texas:
"The constitution, in requiring the chief executive to see that the laws
shall be executed, contemplates that it should be done through the instru'mentality
and aid of the officers of the State in the discharge of their
"I respectfully ask your aid and co-operation in bringing criminals to
justice, in the manner hereinafter pointed out, in relation to requisitions,
rewards and arrests.
"The Code of Criminal Procedure provides that whenever the governor
may think proper to demand a person who has committed an offense
in this State and has fled to another State or territory, he may commission
any suitable person to take such requisition, etc. (Art. 1035.)
"Under this authority the executive, before issuing requisitions, will
require the application therefor to be made by the officer whose duty it
is to prosecute offenders. It must show that there are reasonable grounds
to believe that the evidence necessary to secure a conviction can be had
at the trial; give the name of some suitable person who will act as agent in
conveying the requisition; state the place where the refugee is supposed
to be; and be accompanied with a certified copy of the indictment, or
charge under oath, of the offense against him. It must affirmatively
appear from the application, or the papers accompanying it, that the
prosecution is bona fide, and not for the purpose of collecting a pecuniary
"It is provided by the laws of this State that the governor may, whenever
he deems it proper, offer a reward for the apprehension of any person
accused of felony in this State, and who is evading arrest. (C. P.,
"Under this authority suitable rewards will be offered, in the discretion
of the executive, whenever, from the facts of the case, he deems it
"Applications, when made, must be accompanied with a certified copy
of the indictment or affidavit charging the party with a felony. They
must show that the officer, whose duty it is to prosecute offenses, has a
reasonable expectation of convicting the party; that the evidence can be
had, and such other facts as will inform the governor of the necessity of
offering a reward. The application should also be accompanied by the
affidavit of the sheriff of the county where the' offense was committed,
that he has used all the diligence in his power to arrest the offender; and
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Roberts, Oran M. Message of Gov. O. M. Roberts on appropriations and expenditures under the control of the governor to the seventeenth legislature of the state of of Texas, convened at the city of Austin, in regular session, January 11, 1881., book, January 11, 1881; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5832/m1/10/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .