The offense is robbery by assault with firearms; the punishment, 99 years.
The sufficiency of the evidence is not challenged.
In his first ground of error appellant contends the trial court erred in overruling his motion to quash the jury panel since he had not been served with "a copy of the names of the persons summoned as veniremen from which the jury was to be selected to try his case."
This appeal thus presents the question of the applicability of Article 34.04, Vernon's Ann.C.C.P., to a case where the State has failed to give written notice that it will seek the death penalty.
Only recently the history of this statute and its forerunners was reviewed and it was again held mandatory in a capital case where the State was seeking the death penalty and where such extreme penalty was assessed by the jury. Marshall v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 444 S.W.2d 928.
On the date the instant trial commenced (November 20, 1968) the appellant filed a motion to quash the jury panel for a failure to comply with Article 34.04, supra. On the same date the State filed its written notice that it would not seek the death penalty, applicable to the offense charged under the provisions of Article 1408, Vernon's Ann.P.C., no previous announcement, motion or notice having been given. The order of the filing does not appear of record. Prior to jury selection, however, at the commencement of the hearing on the said motion to quash at which it was shown the appellant was in custody, we do observe that the trial judge made the comment, "The capital feature of this has been withdrawn." Further, the formal judgment contained in the record approved without objection reflects that prior to arraignment and jury selection the State made known to the court in writing that it would not seek the death penalty.
Article 1.14, supra, provides as follows:
In Clardy v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 436 S.W.2d 535, this Court held that when the State filed written notice that it would not seek the death penalty such penalty passed out of the case and "the case was in effect reduced to a non-capital case by virtue of the provisions of Article 1.14, supra." To the same effect is Elliott v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 412 S.W.2d 320.
And when the State waives the death penalty we do not view the prohibition against the imposition of such punishment as limited to cases where the jury
The forerunner of Article 34.04, supra, was former Article 601, V.A.C.C.P., 1925, which was found in a chapter of the old Code entitled "Special Venire in Capital Cases," which preceded the chapter "Formation of a Jury in a Capital Case." Such chapters were applicable to the trial of capital felony cases where death was a possible penalty, the State not then having the authority to waive the death penalty. The selection of juries in non-capital cases was governed under the old Code by Chapter Four thereof entitled "Jury in Cases Not Capital." Often, under the former Code when the State sought a punishment less than death in a capital case being tried, it was necessary to observe the jury selection procedure prescribed for capital cases since the death penalty was still a possible penalty. Frequently much unnecessary time, effort and expense were wasted. To avoid the same it was not uncommon for the State to waive and abandon the capital feature of an indictment, i. e., the firearm or deadly weapon allegation in a robbery indictment in order that the case might proceed as a non-capital case of robbery by assault,
There can be no question, however, that former Article 601 (now 34.04) supra, had application to all cases where death was still a possible penalty. Where the defendant in a capital case under the former Code was in custody, it was mandatory that the special venire or jury list be served upon him one full day (now two days) prior to trial, though the right to service of a copy of such list was considered waived if not asserted or claimed in limine. The defendant "on bail" was also entitled to such list upon timely application, but such right could likewise be waived by the failure to make a request for the same. See Houillion v. State, 3 Tex.Cr.App. 537; Roberts v. State, 5 Tex.Cr.App. 141. See also 35 Tex.Jur.2d, Sec. 159, p. 227. If there had been a failure to serve a copy of such list and the defendant asserted his right under Article 601 (now 34.04), the remedy was simply to see that service of such list was made upon the defendant and to pass the case for one full day (now two days). Such action would meet the requirements of the statute. Marshall v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 444 S.W.2d 928 and cases there cited. The failure of the State to have complied with the statute on the date set for trial did not waive the death penalty or reduce the case to a non-capital one.
And it is clear that Article 601 (now 34.04) had no application to the trial of non-capital cases even where the maximum possible punishment was life.
The sole aim of former Article 601 (now 34.04) supra, was to compel the service of an authentic copy of the special venire, or jury panel for the week (see Article 601-A, V.A.C.C.P.) unless waived, so that a copy of such list would be in the accused's hands at least one day (now two days) before he is called upon to select the jurors in a case where death is a possible penalty. See Adams v. State, 95 Tex.Cr.R. 226, 252 S.W. 797.
In the 1965 Code of Criminal Procedure the Legislature sought to eliminate as far as possible the unnecessary differences between the selection of juries in capital cases and non-capital cases (see Chapter 35—"Formation of the Jury"— Articles 35.01-35.28, incl.) retaining certain distinctions in capital cases where the State was seeking the death penalty.
Article 35.13, V.A.C.C.P., 1967, provides:
Even before the 1967 amendment to such statute, the 1965 version of Article 35.13, supra, was held inapplicable to non-capital cases, even those cases where the indictment originally charged a capital offense. Fuller v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 409 S.W.2d 866; Elliott v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 412 S.W.2d 320; McClain v. State, Tex.Cr. App., 432 S.W.2d 73.
Article 35.15, V.A.C.C.P. (Number of challenges) provides in part:
In Article 35.16 (616) V.A.C.C.P. (Reasons for challenge for cause) it is stated:
Article 35.17, V.A.C.C.P. (Voir dire examination) provides:
Article 35.25, V.A.C.C.P. (Making peremptory challenge) also provides:
Under Article 1.14, supra, when the State has made known to the court in writing in open court that it will not seek the death penalty, the defendant may then waive jury trial and enter a plea before the court. Where trial by jury is not waived the State, under the foregoing provisions of Chapter 35 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, is required only to make it known to the court, or make it known, that it will not seek the death penalty, or announce it will not qualify the jury for, or seek the death penalty.
In the instant case the State had never given any notice that it intended to seek the death penalty prior to announcing ready for trial before the jury. Therefore, the appellant is in no position to claim the benefits of Article 34.04, supra. Our decision in this regard is reinforced by the fact that prior to trial the State filed a written notice that it would not seek the death penalty, which is a desirable and commendable practice in jury trials if that is the State's intention.
We are not impressed with the contention that since Article 1.15, V.A.C.C.P., refers to "capital cases where the State has waived the death penalty," and Article 37.07, V.A.C.C.P., and other statutes refer to "capital cases where the state has made it known in writing prior to trial that it will seek the death penalty," that Article 34.04's reference to "a capital case" has application to the instant case.
Ground of error #1 is overruled.
Next, appellant urges the court erred in overruling his motion to require the State "to list witnesses and prospective witnesses." He cites and relies on Article 39.14, V.A.C.C.P. (Discovery.). We need not pass upon this contention. While the motion was first overruled by the court, it was later granted and the list of such witnesses appears in the record. This was not a request for an endorsement upon the indictment of the names of witnesses upon whose testimony the indictment was found, see Article 20.20, V.A.C.C.P.; 1 Branch's Ann.P.C., 2d ed., Sec. 534, p. 511, nor a claim of the denial of the names of witnesses subpoenaed by the State. If appellant was entitled to the names of witnesses requested he has failed to point out how he was harmed by the delay in granting his request.
Ground of error #2 is overruled.
The appellant further contends the court erred in overruling his motion for discovery. Parts of the motion were clearly too broad to be effective and do not reflect the "good cause" required by Article 39.14, V.A.C.C.P. See Sonderup v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 418 S.W.2d 807; Smith v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 409 S.W.2d 408. Under the express provisions of Article 39.14, supra, the appellant was not entitled to the written statements of witnesses and the work product of counsel and their investigators. And appellant failed to show any "particularized need" which would have entitled him to the grand jury testimony. See Garcia v. State, Tex. Cr.App., 454 S.W.2d 400 and cases there cited. Further, we note that the appellant has failed to show that the matters sought
Ground of error #3 is overruled.
The court instructed the jury in part as follows:
Relying upon Mosby v. State, 440 S.W.2d 230 (Ark.) and State v. Zaragosa, 6 Ariz.App. 80, 430 P.2d 426, the appellant contends the court's charge constituted a comment on the weight of evidence and an infringement of his privilege against self incrimination. See also Griffin v. California, 380 U.S. 609, 85 S.Ct. 1229, 14 L. Ed.2d 106. The claimed fault is that it singles out the fact that the appellant did not take the stand.
As noted by the State, the charge was in substantial compliance with Article 38.08, V.A.C.C.P., and Willson's Criminal Forms, Seventh Edition, Sec. 3582. See also McClung, Jury Charges for Texas Criminal Practice, Revised Edition, 1967.
In 31 Tex.Jur.2d, Instructions, Sec. 163, p. 744, it is written:
See also Article 38.08, supra, note 107; Article 36.14, V.A.C.C.P., note 420; 1 Branch's Ann.P.C., 2nd. ed., Sec. 397, p. 419; Gaines v. State, 167 Tex.Cr.R. 271, 320 S.W.2d 157; Galan v. State, 164 Tex. Cr.R. 521, 301 S.W.2d 141.
In Small v. State, 132 Tex.Cr.R. 279, 104 S.W.2d 52, it was held that instruction on defendant's failure to testify being substantially the same as that embraced in the statute may not be objected to as insinuating culpable omission on the part of the defendant or as conveying impression that he should have testified. And in Compton v. State, 148 Tex.Cr.R. 53, 184 S.W.2d 630, it was held that unless the court was permitted to so charge the court would be powerless to instruct the jury to observe Article 710, V.A.C.C.P., 1925 (now Article 38.08) which prohibits taking such failure as a circumstance against the defendant.
Bellard v. United States (5 Cir.), 356 F.2d 437, cert. den. 385 U.S. 856, 87 S.Ct. 103, 17 L.Ed.2d 83, held it was not error for the trial court, of its own volition, to instruct the jury that a defendant's failure to testify cannot be considered as a circumstance against him. See also United States v. Carter, 422 F.2d 519 (6 Cir.); Friloux, Federal Court's Charge On Defendant's Failure to Testify, 6 South Texas Law Journal 15.
In the instant case the record does not reflect whether the instruction was given at the request of the appellant or by the court sua sponte. Appellant made no objection, however, to the court's charge nor offered a special requested charge. See Article 36.14 and 36.15, V.A.C.C.P. See also Article 36.19, V.A.C.C.P. Even in Mosby v. State, supra, relied upon by the
We perceive no error.
Ground of error #4 is overruled.
As a practical matter, most trial courts do not give the instruction over the objection of the accused, letting the record clearly reflect the charge was withdrawn at the request of the defendant and his counsel.
For an interesting discussion of the question raised by appellant see 18 A.L.R. 3d 1335.
In his fifth ground of error appellant complains of the testimony of a material State's witness as to the declaration of a third person not made in the presence and hearing of the appellant.
The record reflects that Donald McKee, a store manager at a Minyard's store in Dallas, was robbed at gunpoint on Sunday, February 11, 1968, by three men, one of whom was clearly identified as the appellant.
Ricardo Gonzales, a 16 year old checker, identified the appellant as the man who forced him to "sack up" the money from his cash register and then took him to a back room.
The complained of testimony on direct examination, which involved an unresponsive answer, is as follows:
Gonzales testified that two of the three men were in the back room at the time of the remarks. Later McKee, the store manager, testified without objection that when he made such statement the appellant was present and struck him.
When confronted with a similar contention in Tankcred v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 456 S.W.2d 134, this Court said:
Ground of error #5 is overruled.
In his last ground of error appellant contends the court erred in admitting evidence as to an extraneous offense unconnected with the appellant.
As earlier noted, the store manager subsequently identified the appellant as his assailant. Even if the act had been the act of one of appellant's co-conspirators committed during the course of the robbery, it would have been admissible.
Ground of error #6 is overruled.
In a supplemental brief the appellant seeks to raise an additional ground of error under Article 40.09, Sec. 13, V.A. C.C.P. "in the interest of justice." He contends the prior felony conviction introduced as a part of his "prior criminal record" at the hearing on punishment was "presumptively void" in light of Burgett v. Texas, 389 U.S. 109, 88 S.Ct. 258, 19 L. Ed.2d 319, since there was no showing in the record evidence of such conviction that he was represented by counsel at the time of sentencing. The judgment reflects that on September 20, 1963, the appellant, represented by counsel, entered a plea of guilty to burglary in Cause No. E-1471-IJ in Criminal District Court No. 3, Dallas County, Texas. On the same date sentence was imposed. The formal sentence, a part of a one page document which included the above referred to judgment, is silent as to counsel.
Only recently in Gutierrez v. State, Tex. Cr.App., 456 S.W.2d 84, this Court held that the recitation in the judgment that appellant was represented by counsel is binding upon him in absence of direct proof to the contrary that he did not have counsel at the sentencing where the judgment and sentence were entered on the same day after a plea of guilty.
Appellant's supplemental contention is overruled.
The judgment is affirmed.
Further, we observe Article 47, V.A. P.C., which provides in part:
"* * * An offense which may—not must—be punishable by death or by confinement in the penitentiary is a felony; every other offense is a misdemeanor. Felonies are either capital or not capital. An offense for which the highest penalty is death is a capital felony. * * *"