This matter is before us upon the return of the respondent to the alternative writ of prohibition issued herein on November 20, 1972 and the relator's reply thereto, said writ directing the respondent to refrain, until the further order of this Court, from proceeding further in exercising jurisdiction in causes numbered 4324 and 4325 of the respondent court, and to show cause why the said writ should not be made permanent.
The respondent contends that the words "removed" and "so removed" refer to removal from the county rather than to removal from the prison. Under such an interpretation, the respondent could proceed in said causes unhampered by the statute, because to do so would not require his removal from the county. To hold otherwise, they assert, is to grant immunity from prosecution for crimes, other than treason and first degree murder, to prisoners under life sentence and that such could not have been the legislative intent. We fear, however, that they confuse "legislative intent" with "legislative result," which, in spite of the utmost care and caution in drafting, are not always one and the same thing. None will dispute that in construing statutes, it is our duty to give effect to the plain and manifest meaning of the language used. This requires no citation of authority. In cases of ambiguity, we must search for legislative intent. If more than one construction is possible, the court may consider the consequences of a particular construction. Hamilton v. Huntington (1945), 223 Ind. 143, 58 N.E.2d 349, rehearing denied 223 Ind. 143, 59 N.E.2d 122; State ex rel. Fox v. Board of Commissioners of Carroll County (1931), 203 Ind. 23, 178 N.E. 563. A consideration of attendant evils may properly influence the construction in such cases; State v. Rice (1956), 235 Ind. 423, 134 N.E.2d 219; Helms v. American Sec. Co. of Indiana (1939), 216 Ind. 1, 22 N.E.2d 822, and the court will endeavor to give the statute a practical application and to construe it in such a way as to oppose prejudice to public interest. State v. Rice, supra; Helms v. American Sec. Co. of Indiana, supra; Lost Creek School Township, Vigo County v. York (1939), 215 Ind. 636, 21 N.E.2d 58, 127 A.L.R. 1287; Town of Brownsburg v. Trucksess (1933), 98 Ind.App. 322, 185 N.E. 315. These considerations are to enable us to determine the legislative intent. Once having determined such intent, however, the ambiguity disappears, and we are no more at liberty to adopt a construction that will not give effect to such intent than we would be had there been no ambiguity in the first instance. This, notwithstanding that we may not approve its purpose or that we perceive undesirable side effects apparently not envisioned at the time of passage.
The obvious intent of the enactment under consideration was to assure the security of prisoners under life sentences at a time when security and transportation facilities were limited and crude by today's standards. It, doubtlessly, was considered improvident to transport such persons beyond
It lies within the exclusive province of the legislature to alter legislation that apparently has outlived its usefulness, and we have no authority to emasculate it by judicial interpretation.
We hold that the relator may not be removed from the Indiana State Prison to stand trial on the aforesaid charges pending in the respondent court and that the respondents are, therefore, without authority to proceed further therein. The alternative writ of prohibition issued on November 20, 1972 to said respondents is, accordingly, hereby made permanent.
DeBRULER, GIVAN and HUNTER, JJ., concur.
ARTERBURN, C.J., dissents.