MR. JUSTICE ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the Court.
The petitioners were convicted of first degree murder in the County Court of Kings County, New York, after a trial lasting over nine weeks. The printed record consists of over twelve thousand pages. The judgments were affirmed by the Court of Appeals of the State.
The remittiturs of the Court of Appeals recited that the appellants in brief and argument raised the point that they had been denied their constitutional rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the
The petitioners rely not on any one circumstance but insist that they were not afforded a fair and impartial jury free from influences extraneous to the proofs adduced at the trial; that they were deprived of an impartial and unbiased judge to preside at the trial and that the prosecutor resorted to unfair methods to influence the jury.
This court granted certiorari in order that the petitioners' claims of denial of a federal right might be examined in the light of the record with the aid of briefs and oral argument. As the opinions rendered in the court below state the facts and discuss the alleged trial errors in detail we need not restate them.
The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that action by a state through any of its agencies must be consistent with the fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of our civil and political institutions, which not infrequently are designated as "the law of the land."
The petitioners assert that, in view of unfair and lurid newspaper publicity, it was impossible to obtain an impartial jury in the county of trial, and that the rulings of the court denying a change of venue, and on challenges to prospective jurors, resulted in the impanelling of a jury affected with bias. We have examined the record and are unable, as the court below was, to conclude that a convincing showing of actual bias on the part of the jury which tried the defendants is established. Though the statute governing the selection of the jurors and the court's rulings on challenges are asserted to have worked injustice in the impanelling of a jury, such assertion raises no due process question requiring review by this court.
The petitioners insist that the rulings upon evidence and instructions to the jury, when taken in their totality, indicate that, whatever the intention of the trial judge, his rulings and attitude precluded a fair consideration of the case. The Court of Appeals held that certain of the challenged rulings and instructions were erroneous but that the errors were not substantial in the sense that they affected the ability of the jury to render an impartial verdict, and that others of the alleged errors were not such
Finally, the petitioners assert that the prosecuting officer, by suppression of evidence, and by statements in his addresses to the jury, was so unfair as to deprive the trial of the essential quality of an impartial inquiry into their guilt. The point as to the alleged suppression of evidence is without merit. Certain documentary evidence was in court. The judge ruled that the prosecuting officer need not submit it to defense counsel for examination. If there was error in the ruling, it was error of the court. Upon motion for rehearing the Court of Appeals examined the papers and found that they were not of significance in respect of any issue in the case. No such showing of suppression of evidence or connivance at perjury, as has heretofore been held to require corrective process on the part of the state,
The speeches of counsel for defendants apparently provoked statements by the District Attorney of which petitioners now complain. This does not raise a due process question.
As we have recently said, "it is not asking too much that the burden of showing essential unfairness be sustained by him who claims such injustice and seeks to have the result set aside, and that it be sustained not as a matter of speculation but as a demonstrable reality.
The judgments are
MR. JUSTICE MURPHY and MR. JUSTICE JACKSON took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.