Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Legal History Lesson from 1901

From my copy of--Penal Code of State of Idaho, 1901.
The Commissioners' Certificate inside the book is composed of three names of interest:
Frank Martin, Attorney General, who served under Governor Steunenberg.
W.M. Ruick, U.S. Attorney for Idaho during the Steunenberg administration. Prosecuted William Borah in the Timber fraud case.
Alfred A. Fraser, a former associate of Borah who was on his defense team during the September 1907 Timber fraud trial.

Dated Boise, Idaho, this first day of November, 1901

I would have liked to be a fly on the wall if Governor Steunenberg and these three were ever in the same room together.

Here's a couple of statutes:

Habeas Corpus.
Section 5740. Who may Prosecute Writ: Every person unlawfully committed, detained, confined, or restrained of his liberty, under any pretense whatever, may prosecute a writ of habeas corpus, to inquire into the cause of such imprisonment of restraint. (There it is just as written in the 1901 Idaho Penal Code. Was there any reason such a writ could or should not have been prosecuted in the Haywood trial?)

And one of my favorite sections...
Miscellaneous Offenses Relating to Live Stock
Section 5078. Failing to Dip:
The owner or owners or controller of any sheep or the deputy sheep inspector or person appointed by him who shall fail to dip said sheep as required by the provisions of Chapter XVII of the Political Code relating to sheep shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less then three hundred dollars nor more then five hundred dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not less than two months nor more than six months, or by both fine and imprisonment.

Governor Steunenberg owned a large herd of sheep but I am not aware of his having ever been prosecuted for "failing to dip." W.M.Ruick probably would have tried if he had the opportunity. Is this code section still in the Idaho Penal Code?

Photo postcard from my collection, Caldwell, Idaho, circa 1907.

I hope they have had their dip!

No comments: