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JURISDICTION OF JUSTICES IN GENERAL OR
QUARTER SESSIONS DEFINED.
5 & 6 Vic. c. 38, s. 1, enacts That, “neither the Justices of the Peace, acting in and for any county, riding, division, or liberty, nor the Recorder of any borough, shall, at any Session of the Peace, or at any adjournment thereof, try any person or persons for any treason, murder, or capital felony, or for any felony which, when committed by a person not previously convicted of felony, is punishable by transportation beyond the seas for life, or for any of the following offences, (that is to say) :
1. Misprison of Treason. 2. Offences against the Queen's Title, Prerogative, Person, or
Government, or against either House of Parliament.. 3. Offences subject to the Penalties of Præmunire. 4. Blasphemy and Offences against Religion. 5. Administering or taking Unlawful Oaths. 6. Perjury and Subornation of Perjury. 7. Making or Suborning any other Person to make a False
Oath, Affirmation, or Declaration, punishable as Perjury
or as a Misdemeanor.
Grain, or Pulse, or to any part of a Wood, Coppice, or
Fern. 10. Bigamy, and Offences against the Laws relating to Marriage. 11. Abduction of Women and Girls. 12. Endeavouring to Conceal the Birth of a Child. 13. Offences against any Provisions of the Laws relating to
Bankrupts and Insolvents. 14. Composing, Printing, or Publishing Blasphemous, Seditious,
or Defamatory Libels.
tions or Conspiracies to commit any offence which such
to try when committed by one person. 17. Stealing, or Fraudulently Taking, or Injuring or Destroy
ing Records or Documents belonging to any Court of Law
or Equity, or relating to any proceeding therein. 18. Stealing, or Fraudulently Destroying or Concealing Wills
or Testamentary Papers, or any Document or Written Instrument being or containing Evidence of the Title to any Real Estate, or any Interest to Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments.
Providing always, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to give authority to the Justices of the Peace acting in and for the Cities of London and Westminster, the Liberty of the Tower of London, the Borough of Southwark, and the Counties of Middlesex, Essex, Kent, and Surrey, to try any person or persons for any offence committed, or alleged to be committed, within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court, which such Justices are restrained from trying under the Provisions of an Act passed in the fifth year of the reign of His late Majesty, intituled, ' An Act for Establishing a New Court for the Trial of Offences Committed in the Metropolis and Parts Adjoining.'
With the exception therefore of the above, all indictable offences are triable at Quarter or General Sessions of the Peace.
GENERAL CLAUSES OF STATUTES
RELATING TO THE
REFERRED TO IN THE FOLLOWING PAGES.
Benefit of Clergy abolished. 7 & 8 Geo. IV. c. 28, s. 6.1-Enacts, “That benefit of clergy, with respect to persons convicted of felony, shall be abolished.”
What felonies capital. 7&8 Geo. IV. c. 28, s. 7.}-Enacts “That no person convicted of felony shall suffer death, unless it be for some felony which was excluded from the benefit of clergy before or on the first day of the present session of Parliament (14 Nov. 1826), or which hath been or shall be made punishable with death by some statute passed after that day.”
Punishment of felonies not capital—and where no punishment is specially provided. 7 & 8 Geo. IV. c. 28, ss. 8, 9.]—Enacts, “ That every person convicted of any felony, not punishable with death, shall be punished in the manner prescribed by the statute or statutes specially relating to such felony; and that every person convicted of any felony for which no punishment hath been or hereafter may be specially provided, shall be deemed to be punishable under this Act, and shall be liable at the discretion of the Court, to be transported beyond the seas for the term of seven years, or to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years; and if a male, to be once, twice, or thrice publicly or privately whipped (if the Court shall so think fit) in addition to such imprisonment." And sect. 9 enacts, “That where any person shall be convicted of any offence, punishable under this Act, for which imprisonment may be awarded, it shall be lawful for the
Court to sentence the offender to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour in the common gaol or house of correction; and also to direct that the offender shall be kept in solitary confinement for the whole or any portion or portions of such imprisonment, or of such imprisonment with hard labour, as to the Court, in its discretion, shall seem meet."
Prisoner already under a sentence. 7 & 8 Geo. IV. c. 28, s. 10.] Enacts, “That wherever sentence shall be passed for felony on a person already imprisoned under sentence for another crime, it shall be lawful for the Court to award imprisonment for the subsequent offence, to commence at the expiration of the imprisonment to which such person shall have been previously sentenced ; and where such person shall be already under sentence either of imprisonment or transportation, the Court, if empowered to pass sentence of transportation, may award such sentence for the subsequent offence, to commence at the expiration of the imprisonment or transportation to which such person shall have been previously sentenced, although the aggregate term of imprisonment or transportation respectively may exceed the term for which either of those punishments could be otherwise awarded.” This enactment is applicable to all felonies, but it is not deemed necessary to refer to it after each sentence in the following pages.
Offences against the person. 7 Wm. IV.and i Vic.c. 85, s. 8.1-Enacts, “That where any person shall be convicted of any offence punishable under this Act, for which imprisonment may be awarded, it shall be lawful for the Court to sentence the offender to be imprisoned, or to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour in the common gaol or house of correction, and also to direct that the offender shall be kept in solitary confinement, for any portion or portions of such imprisonment, with hard labour, not exceeding one month at any one time, and not exceeding three months in any one year, as to the Court, in its discretion, shall seem meet."
Where the crime charged includes an assault against the person. 14 & 15 Vic., c. 100, s. 9.]-Enacts, “ That if on the trial of any person charged with any felony or misdemeanour, it shall appear to the jury upon the evidence that the defendant did not complete the offence charged, but that he was guilty only of an attempt to commit the same, such persons shall not by reason thereof be entitled to be acquitted, but the jury shall be at liberty to return as their verdict, that the defendant is not guilty of the felony or misdemeanour harged, but is guilty of an attempt to commit the same, and thereupon such
person shall be liable to be punished in the same manner as if he had been convicted upon an indictment for attempting to commit the particular felony or misdemeanour charged in the said indictment, and no person so tried as herein lastly mentioned shall be liable to be hereafter prosecuted for an attempt to commit the felony or misdemeanour for which he was so tried.” Section 11--Enacts, "If upon the trial of any person on any indictment for robbery it shall
appear to the jury upon the evidence that the defendant did not commit the crime of robbery, but that he did commit an assault with intent to rob, the defendant shall not by reason thereof be entitled to be acquitted, but the jury shall be at liberty to return as their verdict that the defendant is guilty of an assault with intent to rob, and thereupon such defendant shall be liable to be punished in the same manner as if he had been convicted upon an indictment for feloniously assaulting with intent to rob; and no person so tried as is herein lastly mentioned, shall be liable to be afterwards prosecuted for an assault with intent to commit the robbery for which he was so tried.”
Solitary confinement. 7Wm. IV.and 1 Vic.c.90, s.5.}Enacts, “That from and after the commencement of this Act (1st October 1837) it shall not be lawful for any Court to direct that any offender shall be kept in solitary confinement for any longer periods than one month at a time, or three months in the space of one year." (By the Prisons' Regulation Act, 2 & 3 Vic. 56, s. 4, the separate confinement provided for by that Act is not to be deemed solitary confinement within the meaning of any Act forbidding solitary confinement for more than a limited time.]
Death recording. 4 Geo. IV. c. 48, s. 1.-Enacts, “ That whenever any person shall be convicted of any felony, except murder, and shall by law be excluded the benefit of clergy in respect thereof, and the Court before which such offender shall be convicted, shall be of opinion that, under the particular circumstances of the case, such offender is a fit and proper subject to be recommended for the royal mercy, it shall and may be lawful for such Court, if it shall think fit so to do, to direct the proper officer then being present in Court, to require and ask, whereupon such officer shall require and ask if such offender hath or knoweth anything to say why judgment of death should not be recorded against such offender; and in case such offender shall not allege any matter or thing sufficient in law to arrest or bar such judgment, the Court shall and may, and is hereby authorized to abstain from pronouncing judgment of death on such offender ; and instead of pronouncing such judgment, to order the same to be entered on record, and thereupon such proper officer as aforesaid shall and may, and is hereby authorized to enter judgment of death on record against such offender, in the usual and accustomed form, and in such