IN RE NEAGL&
(Circuit Court, N. D. California.
UNITED STATES COURTS-JURISDICTION-HABEAS CORPUS.
Under the provisions of sections 751-753, Hev, St.· the courts of the United States and their judges have jurisdiction; npon a writ of lwbea8 COrjJU8. to inquire into the cause of the imprisonment of the petitioner; and if, upon such inquiry. he is found to be "in cnstody for an act done or omitted, in pursuance of a law of the United States." he is entitled to be discharged, no matter from whom. or under what authority, the process under which he is held may have issued; the constitution. and laws of the United States made in pursuance thereof, being the 8upreme law of the land. In the exercise of this jurisdiction, there is no conflict of authority between the state and the United States, The laws of the United States being the supreme law ofthe land. the authority of the state, in such cases, is subordinate, and that of the United States paramount. A state law which contravenes a valid law of the United States is void. In legal coutemplation, there can no more be two valid conflicting laws. operating upon the same subject-matter, at the same time, than, in physics, two bodies can occupy the same space at the same time.
CO:SSTI'l'UTIONAL LAW-STATE LAWS,
SAME-LAWS OBSTRUCTING UNITED STATES OFFICER.
The United States is agovernment, with authority extending overthe whole territory of the Union, acting upon the states, and the people of the states. 'While limited in the number of its powers, it is, so far as its sovereignty extends, supreme. No state can exclude it from exercising those powers, obstruct its authorized officers, against its will. or withhold from it the cognizance of any subject which the constitution has committed to it.
The constitution and laws of the United States, as to those matters wherein they are supreme, extend over every foot of the territories of the United States, and the jurisdiction of its courts to enforce rights derived thereunder is as extensive as the territory to which they are applicable. The national government has power to command obedience to its laws, to preserve order, and to keep the peace. in matters affecting national interests, and no person or powerin the land has a right to resist or question its authority, so long as it keeps within the bounds of its jurisdiction.
SAME-RIGHT OF NATIONAL GOVERNMENT TO PRESERVE ORDER.
SAME-PROTECTION OF JUDGES.
It is within the power of the government of the United States to protect all the agencies and instrumentalities to accomplish the objects and purposes of that government. It is therefore empowered to protect the lives of the judges of its courts from assault and assassination, on account of their judicial decisions, by desperate. disappointed litigants. not only while actually holding court. but while such judges are traveling through their circuits for the purpose of holding courts at the different places therein appointed by law for that purpose.
POWERS OF UNITED STATES MARSHAL.
An assault upon, or an assassination of, It judge of the United States court, while engaged in any matter pertaining to his official duties. on account or by reason of his judicial decisions or action in performing his official duties, is a breach of the peace. affecting the authority and interests of the United States, and w.ithin the jurisdiction and power of the United States marshal or his deputies to prevent, as a peace-officer of the national government.
By section 788, Rev. St., and the several provisions of the statutes of California prescribing the duties of sheriffs, by that section made applicable to
marshals. the United States marshal is made a peace·officer, and, as such, he is authorized to preserve the peace so far as a breach of the peace affects the authority of the United States, and obstructs the operations of the government and its various departments. The courts of the United States must be enabled fully to perform all the functions imposed upon them by the constitution and laws, without hindrance or obstruction, and they have the inherent power to protect themselves by and through their executive officers, under the direction and supervision of the attorney general and the president, against" obstruction and hindrance in the performance of their judicial dnties.
SAME-HoMICIDE BY MARSHAI,-HABEAS CORPUS-JURISDICTION.
Where a deputy United States marshal, acting under instructions from his superior officers.-the United States marshal and the attorney general,-in protecting the life and person of a justice of the supreme court of the United States from a murderous assault, made on account of his judicial decisions, at the bands of a dissatisfied litigant, finds it to take the life of the assailant, and is arrested by the stat.e authorities, and held upon a charge of murder for such act, the United States circuit court may. upon habeas corpus, discharge such United States officer from the custody of the state authorities, upon it being showu that the bomicide was necessary. orthatit was reasonably apparent to the mind of the deputy-marshal, at the time and under the circumstances surrounding him, that the killing was necessary in order to protect and defend the justice from great bodily injury, or to save bis life.
The homicide in such case, if an offense at all, is an offense under tbe laws of tbe state, and only the state can deal with it, in that aspect. It is not claimed to be a crime pnnishable under the laws of the United States. But the homicide, when necessarily committed by a deputy-marshal in the performance of his duty. in protecting the life and person of a justice of the Uuited States supreme court from assault and violence hecause of his judicial decisions, is an "act done in pursuance of a law of the United States. ,j and is not and cannot. therefore. be an offense against the laws of the state, no matter what the statute of the state may he; the laws of the United States being the supreme law of the land.
SAllIE. ' ,
It is tbe exclusive province of tbe United States courts to ultimately and conclusively determine any question of right, civil or criminal, arising under the laws of the United S es. It is therefore the prerogativc of the national courts to construe the national statutes. and determine, upon habeas corpus, whether a homicide for which the petitioner is charged with murder by the state authorities was the result of an "act done in pursuance of a law of the United States;" and, when that question has been determined in the affirmati ve, the prisoner will be discha'rged, and the state has nothing more to do with the matter.
IMPLIED POWERS OF THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT.
All the law of the United States is not specifically expressed in statutory enactments. Many powers are necessarily inherent in the various departments of the government, which the government could not perform functions necessary to its existence. The exercise of such powers is, nevertheless, in pursuance of the laws of the United States.
'Vhen statutes confer powers, impose duties. and provide for the accomplishment of various objects, they are necessarily couched in general terms. but they carry with them, by implication, all the powers. duties, and exemptions necessary to accomplish the objects thereby sought to be attained. The acts of the heads of departments of the United States government, in the line of their duties, are, in contemplation of law, the acts of the president himself.
ACTS OF HEADS OF GOVERNMENTAL DEPARTMENTS.
A party resisting a murderous assault, where. several lives are in danger, being in the best position to judge as to the dangers and requirements of the occasion, is the one to determine when the proper moment has arrived, in self-defel1se, to slay his assailant, in order to be justified by the law; and if he acts in good faith, with reasonahle judgment and discretion, the law will
HOMICIDE-KILLING IN DEFENSE OF ANOTHER.
IN BE NEAGLE.
justify. him, even though he errs. Where several lives are in danger from the assault of a powerful, infuriated, desperate man, comnion prudence would dictatethat the party assailed should fire a second or two too soon; rather than a fraction. of a second too late.
This is an applicat.ion for the discharge of David Neagle upon a writ of habeas corpus. It arises out of the following facts: On the third of September, 1888, certain cases were pending in the circuit court of the United States for the Northern district of California, between Frederick 'V. Sharon, as executor, against David S. Terry and Sarah Althea Terry, his wife, and between Francis G. Newlands, as trustee, and others, against parties, on demurrers to bills to revive and carry into execution the final decree of the court in the suit of IViliiam Sharon v. Sarah Althe,a Hill, and were decided on that day. That suit was brought to have an alleged marriage contract between the parties adjudged to be a forgery, and obtain its surrender and cancellation. The decree rendered adjudged the alleged marriage contract to be a forgery, and ordered it to be surrendered and canceled. The decree was rendered after the death of William .Sharon, and was therefore entered as of the day when the case was submitted to the court. By reason of the death of Sharon, it was necessary, in order to execute the uecree,that the suit should be reby the executor of the estate of Sharon; vived. Two bills were and the other, a bill of revivor and supplemental by Newlands, as trustee, for that purpose. In deciding the cases, the court gave an elaborate opinion upon the questions involved, and, while it was being read, certain disorderly proceedings took place, for which the defendants, David S. Terry and his wife, were adjudged guilty of contempt, and ordered to be imprisoned. The following is an accurate statement of those proceedings, slightly condensed from the opinion of the court deli vered on the subsequent application of David S. Terry to have the order of commitment revoked. For the whole proceeding, see In re Terry, 36 Fed. Rep. 419. Shortly before the court opened, the defendants came into the courtroom, and took their seats within the bar at the table next to the clerk's desk, and almost immediately in front of thejudges; the defendant David S. Terry being at the time armed with a bowie-knife, concealed on his person, and the Sarah Althea, his wife, carrying in her hand a small satchel, which contained a revolver of six chambers, five of which were loaded. The court at the time was held by the justice of the supreme court of the United States allotted to this circuit, who was presiding, the UD1ted States circuit judge of this circuit, and the United States district judge of the district of Nevada, called to this district to assist in holding the circuit court. Almost immediately after the opening of the court, the presiding justice commenced reading its opinion in the cases mentioned, but had not read more than one-fourth of it when the defendant Sarah Althea Terry arose from her seat, and asked him, in an excited manner, whether he was going to order her to give up the marriage contract to be canceled. The presiding justice replied:
(':Be seated, madam." She repeated the question, and was again told to be seated. She then cried out, in a violent manner, that the justice had been bought, and wanted to know the price he h}eld himFelf at; that he had got Newlands' money for his decieion, and everybody knew g,-or words to that effect. It is impossible to give her exact language. The judges and parties present differed as to the precise words used, but all concurred as to their being of an exceedingly vituperative and insulting character. The presiding justice then directed the marshal to remove her from the court-room. She immediately exclaimed that she would not go from the room, find that no one could take her from it, or words to that effect. The marshal therenpon proceeded towards her to carry out the order for her removal, and oompel her to leave, when the defendant David S. Terry rose from his seat, evidently under great excitement, exclaiming, among other things, that "no living man shall touch my wife," or words of that import, and dealt the marshal a violent blow in his face. He then unbuttoned his coat, and thrust his hand under his vest, where his bowie-knife was kept, apparently for the purpose of drawing it, when he was seized by persons present, his hands held from drawing his weapon, and he himself forced down on his back. The marshal then removed Mrs. Terry from the court-room. Soon afterwards Mr. Terry was allowed to rise, and was accompanied by officers to the door leading to the corridor on which was the marshal's office. As he was about leaving the room, or immediately after stepping out of it, he succeeded in drawing his knife, when his arms were st>ized by a deputy-marshal and others present, to prevent him from using it, and they were able to take it from him only after a violent struggle. The petitioner, Neagle, wrenched the knife from his hand, while four other persons held on to the arms and body of Terry, one of whom presented a pistol to his head, threatening at the same time to shoot him if he did not give up the knife. To these threats Terry paid no attention, but held on to the knife, actually passing it during the struggle from one hand to the other. Mr. Cross, a prominent attorney, who on that accasion sat next to Mrs. Terry, a little to her left and rear, testifies that, just before she arose to interrupt Justice Field, she nervously worked at the clasp of a small satchel about nine inches long, and tried to open it; and not succeeding, in consequence of her excitement, she hastily sprang to her feet, and interrupted the justice, as hereinbefore stated. Knowing that she had before drawn a pistol from a similar satchel in the master's room, he concluded at this time that she was trying to get her pistol out, and he consequently held himself in readiness to seize her arm as soon as it should appear, and endeavor to prevent its use until he could get assistance, his right arm being partially disabled. For one occasion in the master's office, see Sharon v. Hill, 11 Sawy. 123, 24 Fed. Rep. 726. At this time Mrs. Terry sat directly in front of Justice Field and the circuit judge, less than four yards from either. A loaded revolver was afterwards taken from this satchel by the marshal. For their conduct and resistance to the execution of the order of the court, the defendants, Sarah Althea Terry and David S. Terry, were adjudged guilty
IN RE NEAGLE.
of contempt, and ordered to be imprisoned, the forrl'ler for thirty days, antI the latter for six months. In consequence of the imprisonment which followed, various threats of personal vi olence to Justice Field and the circuit judge were made by Terry and his wife. Those threats WAre that they would take the lives of both of those judges. Those against Justice Field were sometimes that they would take his life directly; at other times, that they would subject him to great personal indignities and humiliations, and, if he resented it, they would kill him. These threats were not made in ambiguous terms, but openly and repeatedly, not to one person, but to many persons, until they became the subject of conversation throughout the state. and of notice in the public journals. Reports of these threats through the press, and through reports of the United States marshal and United States attorney, reached Washington, and in consequence of them the attorney general thought proper to gi ve instructions to the marshal of the United States for the Northern district of California to take proper measures to protect the persons of those judges from violence at the hands of Terrv and his wife. On the return of Justice Field from Washhis circuit in June last, the probability of an attack by ington to Judge Terry upon him was the subject of conversation throughout the state, and of notices in some of the journals in the city of San Francisco. It was the general expectation that, if Judge Terry met Justice Field, violence would be attempted upon the latter. In consequence of this general belief and expectation, and the fact that the attorney general of the United States had given instructions to the marshal to see that the persons of Justice Field and of the circuit judge should be protected from violence, the marshal of the Northprn district appointed the petitioner in this case, David Neagle, to accompany Mr. Justice Field while engaged in the performance of his duties, and while passing from one district to another within his circuit, so as to guard him against the threatened attacks. He was specially commissiolJed as a deputy by "NIl'. Franks, whose instructions to him were that he should protect Justice Field at all hazards, and, knowing the violent and desperate character of Terry, that he should be active and alert, and be fully prepared for any emergency, but not to be rash; and, in case any violence was attempted from anyone, to call upon the assailant to stop, and to inform him that he was an officer of the United States. Judge Terry was a man of great size and strength, who had the reputation of being always armed with a bowie-knife, in the USe of which he was specially skilled, and of showing great readiness to draw and use it upon persons towards whom he entertained any enmity, or had any grievance, real or fancied. On the 8th of August, 1889, Justice Field left San Francisco for Los Angeles, in order to hear a habeas corpus case which was returnable before him at that city on the 10th of August, and also to be present at the opening of the court on the 12th. He was acnompanied by Deputy-l\farshaI Neagle, the petitioner. Justice Field heard the habeas corpHS case on the 10th of August. On the 12th of August he opened the circuit court, Judge Ross sitting with him, and he delivered on the lat·