N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 482

Thursday, July 24, 1947 (Afternoon session)

province of the jury in capital cases. It is up to the jury to say whether it is first degree.

MR. BROGAN: If the issue would be clemency, if it were that only, then it would go to the Court of Pardons. Isn't that right, Judge?

JUDGE MADDEN: Well, now understand, gentlemen, I am 100 per cent with the Camden County courts, and in the Camden County courts we do away with the Court of Pardons and put all pardoning matters in the Governor, with the thought in mind that the Legislature would then have to establish a parole system to be handled by parole specialists.

MR. BROGAN: As a matter of fact, there is no great dispute about that. But would you, as a matter of right, after "X" suffered judgment in the court of original jurisdiction, have him go to an intermediate court and, say the judgment there is affirmed, would you still have him go further to a court of last resort, as a matter of right?

MR. SOMMER: In capital cases?

MR. BROGAN: No, no.

JUDGE MADDEN: I thought I had expressed that before

MR. BROGAN: I think you did. I just wanted to be sure.

JUDGE MADDEN: In the lower level, in the ordinary case it is a matter of right, in the upper level it is a matter of grace.

MR. SOMMER: Except in certain cases - in capital cases, cases involving questions relating to the Constitution of the State or the Constitution of the United States, and perhaps where there is a division of opinion in the lower appellate court.

MR. BROGAN: Or where it is a matter of great public importance.

MR. SOMMER: Yes, I suppose in that case the court of last resort would determine that question.


MR. SOMMER: I would like to ask one more question, if I may. You say we are our own bosses (referring to the federal court). Now, would there have been anything that would have stood in the way of the adoption of the arrangements suggested by Judge Forman?

JUDGE MADDEN: Nothing, except that he would have had to travel a great deal from Trenton to Camden, and I would have to travel a great deal from Camden to Trenton.

MR. SOMMER: Practical considerations might stand in the way, but there is nothing in the Constitution or the courts to prevent it?

JUDGE MADDEN: No. Also, that it wouldn't be a fair thing for the simple reason that he would be overburdened. You can dispatch criminal cases, I imagine, in our two vicinages, in the

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