The Randolph case: The Fourth Day’s Proceedings, The Conclusion

Source Type: Newspaper
Publisher: The Selma Times and Messenger
Place of publication: Selma, AL
Date of publication: May 7, 1868 11:50 pm
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The Randolph Case. The Fourth Day’s Proceedings, The Conclusion. Yesterday morning, the Court met to hear, the arguments of the Judge Advocate and Counsel, the testimony hav ing been concluded. The Judge Advocate was .permitted to waive the opening and the concluding argument; Arguments for the defense were read by Maj. Randall, by Maj. Pierce, and by Mr. Somerville, to which the Judge Advocate replied, and the case was with the Court. Wo have endeavored to give the evidence in this case in full, as nearly as possible in tho language of the witnesses, and with perfect impartiality. In this we have succeeded. We regret that we cannot also lay before the public the arguments upon which the case was submitted to tho Court. Tho facts, however, are known to the world, substantially, as they appear upon the records, and the arguments could scarce present the unfortunate affair for which the prisoner was arraigned in a clearer light; but, at the risk of do- ing all parties in justice, we add a synopsis of the arguments as we remember the points made : The counsel for the defence urged that there was no proof that Mr. Randolph had over or heard of Eddins, or of malice, or of an attack with intent to kill; that the pistol was fired solely for the purpose of dispersing a riotous. assembly, into the well above the leads of the crowd, and with- out any intention of hurting any one that the shot was not fired, and could not have been fired, at Eddins, as there were at the time a “number of persons between Randolph and Eddins; that Eddins, who was armed.with á formidable bludgeon and, butcher knife, and was then beating Hollingsworth, turn- ed’ upon Randolph and assailed lim with his club, striking him that then the accused, unarmed except with a pocket knife, cut his assailant that the cutting was done in self-do- fence; that had Eddins been killed it Would. have been justifiable homicide ; that the indictment alleging malice and intent to kill, the prisoner must be acquitted, even if he had not acted in self-defence, because no malice and ins tent to kill had been shown that the principal witness for the prosecution had (contradicted himself under: oath). that every ;material statement in lis testimony had been disproved by the other witnesses, and that the thad directly impeached by.a witness who had known him for 21 years, and swore that his reputation was that of notorious liar ; that : Hamner, the Other witness for the prosecution, was evidently embittered against the accused by whom he thad been denounced in the Monitor, and was contradicted By Eddins and other witnesses in material matters; that tho extracts From tile Monitor which had, been, admitted as eyidence had not been legally connected with Randolph in any way, no proof having been made: that they written by him, or that he had ever seen them; that even it Randolph wrote the articles that had. been. read to the Court, they bad no bearing whatever on the case being tried, and should not be considered by the Court; that these articles had evidently been introduced for the purpose-of-unduly prejudicing the judges against the prisoner’s and that the Court, owed (it top themselves and the country to divest themselves of all political prejudices, the case upon its merits, and to render impartial. justice between the government and the and, they asked nothing more and other points that have escaped our attention were pressed upon the 5 Court; the testimony was analyzed in its bearing upon them; and the laws of assault and battery, assault with intent, to murder, self-defense; malice, etc.) were quoted and expounded; all, at: length by the defendant’s counsel. The Judge Advocate’s reply was brief, and owing to the rapidity, with which he read, it was impossible for us to distinctly catch much he said. He insisted that the pistol was fired at Eddins; that. Eddins only turned on Randolph when : thus attacked; that Eddins was cut by Randolph; that the firing of the pistol and the cutting were sufficient evidence of malice and intent to kill; that Eddins’s self-contradictions grow out of his confused recollection of facts occurring under the circumstances of the difficulty; that Eddins’s character was sustained by the testimony of the negro, Hatter, whit had known them for two years; and that* was necessary for the protection of society that the accused (to whom ho alluded as a “condemned felon”) should be found-guilty and punished. He cited a number of legal authorities to sustain his assumptions of the law. The case is closed. We understand the decision of the Court is made up; but of course until it shall have been acted upon by Gén. Meade it will not be made public. The charge [is, that Ryland Randolph- “unlawfully and with malice aforethought’; did assault one Balus Eddins, a freedman of color, with-intent feloniously. and with malice aforethought to: murder him the said Balus Eddins.” There was no other charge. no other specification, against the accused. For this he has been tried; and of this he has been acquitted; or for this he has been condemned: The trial has been a tedious one. Before alimentary. courts; all evidence is reduced to writing, and all the pleas and arguments of counsel are read and put on record. The court is cleared whenever it becomes necessary for it to, decide any point arising in the progress of the case: We are under obligations to the Court, to the Judge Advocate, and to the counsel for the defense, for all necessary facilities for reporting the case.