N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 286
corpus was secured from a Common Pleas judge, and thereupon the matter was heard before the Common Pleas judge. That was one judge. After some time it was decided that the Governor was justified in issuing this warrant and an appeal was then taken from the Common Pleas judge to the Supreme Court, and three judges there passed upon it and decided to affirm the conclusion of the Common Pleas judge and ordered the extradition. Appeal was then taken from the Supreme Court to the Court of Errors and Appeals, where 13 judges passed upon it. Now, I am not for a moment - and I don't want to be misunderstood - reflecting in any way on the action of any of those judges. It is just a fact, as we all know, that the Supreme Court judges and the Court of Errors and Appeals judges are burdened down with all this multiplicity of duties which they have. Naturally, you can't consider a thing like that in a day and decide it tomorrow, because you have other things to consider, and decide also.
MR. AMOS F. DIXON: At the present time that appeal from the Supreme Court to Errors and Appeals is taken as a matter of right?
MR. VAN RIPER: That's right.
MR. WALTER G. WINNE: Fixing proper bail might have been effective.
MR. VAN RIPER: Well, it might have been. I suppose you mean fixing bail and -
MR. WINNE: There is no sense to the appeal. A judge might have fixed the bail at $25,000, and the man might have gone back.
MR. VAN RIPER: He would rather go back to Michigan than stay in New Jersey and be in jail. Well, that's a practical way of doing it, I suppose, except that I think that it's the general policy of our courts, with which I am personally, I think, in favor, that a man should not be held in unduly high bail, especially for the purpose of depriving him of the opportunity to pursue what the law at the moment gives him to be his right.
MR. WINNE: It was pretty ridiculous, wasn't it, that this man had two appeals from a judgment which was a proper judgment?
MR. VAN RIPER: Of course, it wasn't really a judgment. The only judgment was that he should go to trial. That was the only judgment. He may be acquitted on trial.
MR. McGRATH: Mr. Van Riper, don't you think it would be a very sensible provision to put into our Constitution that the court of the highest appeal could on its own motion or on proper decision remove any case within this court for immediate consideration, if it was a question involving public interest?
MR. VAN RIPER: I do; that's what I had in mind.
MR. McGRATH: Isn't that the fault of our inflexible Court
Previous Page in Book ********* Table of Contents *********** Next Page in Book