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TO AMEND THE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE FOR
THE CANAL ZONE
FEBRUARY 17, 1932.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed
Mr. Lea, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 7520)
The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 7520) to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure for the Canal Zone, having considered and amended the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.
The following amendments to the bill are recommended by the committee:
Page 2, line 9, at the end thereof, strike out the period and put in a comma, and add the words “and on the sworn testimony of one or more witnesses."
Page 15, line 2, after the word “therein” insert “and on the sworn testimony of one or more witnesses,".
Page 52, after line 23, make a new paragraph as follows: 4. A magistrate or the clerk of the district court must, at any time and with out charge, issue subpænas for witnesses for the defendant upon his request.
Washington, January 28, 1932. Hon. Sam RAYBURN, Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. RAYBURN. The receipt is acknowledged of a letter from the Hon. Clarence F. Lea, dated January 15, 1932, inclosing, and requesting on behalf of your committee a report upon, certain bills for the revision of the laws of the
Canal Zone introduced by him, including bill H. R. 7520, entitled “A bill to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure for the Canal Zone."
This is one of the proposals made for the revision of the laws of the Canal Zone recommended by me in letter to the President dated June 5, 1930, and in conformity with the provisions of the act of May 17, 1928 (45 Stat. 596), entitled “An act to revise and codify the laws of the Canal Zone,'' forwarded by him to the Congress with his message of June 9, 1930. The message and report submitted therewith were printed as House Document No. 460, Seventy-first Congress, second session. The scope of this proposal is set forth on pages 279-284 of that document.
A few additional amendments were recommended in my letter to the President dated December 1, 1930, forwarded to the Congress with his message of December 4, 1930, and printed in House Document No. 675, Seventy-first Congress, third session. Amendments made necessary by the adoption of the jury system and by reason of the changes in the Canal Zone judicial system since the enactment on September 3, 1904, of the Code of Criminal Procedure for the Canal Zone have been included. There have also been added rules of evidence and rules for determining the competency of witnesses, which are missing from the old code.
There will be found in House Report No. 2866, Seventy-first Congress, third session, to accompany H. R. 16554, the provisions of the present code with the proposed amendments indicated. Section 90, as it appears on page 1 of the report, should be included in its proper place on page 16 in any reprint of the provisions of the code which are proposed to be amended.
The early consideration and passage of the legislation proposed for the Canal Zone are recommended. Sincerely yours.
PATRICK J. HURLEY,
Secretary of War. The corrections referred to in the above letter have been made in HI. R. 7520.
During the Seventy-first Congress this matter was referred to the Attorney General, whose comment thereon follows:
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
Washington, D. C., January 12, 1931. Hon. JAMES S. PARKER, Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Reference is made to your letter of December 4, submitting H. R. 14070 to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure for the Canal Zone to this department for a report and comment thereon.
Inasmuch as the administration of matters affecting the Canal Zone do not come within the jurisdiction of this department, I do not feel justified in advising you on legislation with respect thereto.
Your attention is called, however, to what seem to be clerical errors appearing in the bill. Line 19 on page 43 apparently should read: “Sec. 82. That section 237 of the Code of Criminal” instead of the words appearing in said line. Also there appears to be an inadvertent omission of section 83. Respectfully,
WILLIAM D. MITCHELL,
Attorney General. The correction in section 82", referred to by the Attorney General, has been made. The omission of section 83 is intentional. It provided for repeal of section 238 of the code now in effect, and it was later decided to retain this section.
A general statement relating to the revision and codification of the laws of the Canal Zone is made in the report on H. R. 7519, where the text of the law authorizing such work is quoted. Bill H. R. 7520 is a
part of that general revision. The present code of criminal procedure was originally based upon that of California. It has been amended so as to harmonize with the amended criminal code, and both of them as amended are in harmony with the California codes. It was passed September 3, 1904. Many of the proposed amendments to the code are necessary because of changes in the Canal Zone judicial system. For instance, rules of evidence, and rules for determining the competency of witnesses are entirely lacking in the existing code; they are added to the code by these proposed amendments. When the code was originally adopted there was no jury system in the Canal Zone, which explains the reason for many of the proposed amendments applicable to trials by jury. The purpose and effect of the different proposed amendments may be briefly explained as follows:
Section 1 amends section 2 of the existing code. The present provision authorizes a trial by jury “upon demand.” This act requires a jury "unless waived." The amendment is in conformity with section 689 of the California Penal Code.
Section 2 amends section 3 of the existing code by restating the first clause of the section and omitting the rest which is covered in other sections of the bill.
Section 3 amends section 8 of the existing code by making it conform to both courts that are now authorized in the zone by the judicial system adopted since the present Code of Criminal Procedure was put into effect.
Section 4 amends section 9 of the existing code so as to include offenses against the laws of the United States applicable to the zone.
Section 5 amends section 11 of the existing code by restating the same and eliminating reference to preliminary examinations before the district attorney. This is in conformity with section 686 of the California Code.
Section 6 amends section 12 of the existing code by combining portions of sections 12 and 13. The definition of magistrates in section 12 of the existing code is no longer appropriate in view of the creation of magistrates' courts since the existing code was adopted.
Section 7 amends section 14 of the existing code by restating it to conform to existing conditions.
Section 7a amends section 18 by restating the same in a better form.
Section 8 amends section 19 of the existing code by adding a requirement that the affidavit of complaint in the magistrate's court must contain particulars as to time, place, person, and property. This requirement was formerly erroneously made in the last sentence of section 20 of the existing code in respect to warrant of arrest rather than the affidavit of complaint.
Section 9 amends section 20 of the existing code by restating it in a different form and eliminating the last sentence, which is covered by the amended section 19 of the proposed new code.
Section 11 provides a new section in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 21a. This section provides new law not covered by the existing code and gives in detail the requirements for a warrant of arrest.
Section 12 amends the existing code by providing a new section 21b, which defines "peace officers" not defined in existing law.
Section 13 amends section 22 of the existing code by limiting the effect of the section to offenses that are triable in magistrates' courts.
Section 14 amends section 23 of the existing code by eliminating an obsolete provision whereby a defendant could waive trial in a magistrate's court. The amendment also eliminates from the section provisions for summons for witnesses, provision being made elsewhere in the proposed code for issuing subpænas for witnesses. The amendment also eliminates from existing law the fine for nonattendance of witnesses, which constitutes contempt and is provided for elsewhere.
Section 15 amends section 24 of the existing code by eliminating the procedure on a plea of not guilty, which is covered in the next section of the code.
Section 16 amends section 25 of the existing code by merely making certain minor changes in the first and second subdivisions of the section.
Section 17 amends section 26 of the existing code by substituting the word "magistrate" for "court".
Section 18 amends section 30 of the existing code by restating it to meet existing conditions.
Section 19 amends section 32 of the existing code by eliminating the last clause of the section which is now inapplicable and obsolete because of the changed judicial system adopted since the existing law was enacted.
Section 20 amends section 33 of the existing code to make it conform to the new courts that have been adopted since the Code of Criminal Procedure went into effect.
Section 21 amends section 40 of the existing code by eliminating the first clause of that section which required the defendant in all cases to be taken before a magistrate for examination.
Section 22 amends section 41 of the existing code by restating it to meet existing conditions and remove the ambiguity in the original section.
Section 23 amends section 44 of the existing code. The original section 44 of the code was repealed by an Executive order dated November 7, 1908, and a mode of appeal was prescribed by section 1 of that order. This mode of appeal was expressly retained by section 7 of the Panama Canal act and the proposed amendment modifies and incorporates this mode of appeal in the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Section 24 amends section 50 of the existing code by reducing the maximum imprisonment from 90 to 30 days, in order to make it conform to section 7 of the Panama Canal act.
Section 25 amends section 52 of the existing code by eliminating reference to proceedings before persons empowered to conduct judicial investigations under authority of the magistrates, magistrates having no such authority under existing law.
Section 26 amends section 59 by requiring all papers in a case preliminarily examined in a magistrate's court to be delivered to the district attorney within two days. Formerly under section 39, which is repealed by section 119 of the proposed bili, it was required that the warrant, complaint, depositions, etc., be transmitted to the clerk of the court. Since it is within the discretion of the district attorney
to file an information or not, as he finds proper, it is thought proper that these papers should go to the district attorney's office to be later returned to the magistrate. Where the district attorney does file an information, he attaches thereto all papers received from the magistrate and they all go to the clerk of the court in that case.
Section 27 amends section 60 of the existing code by restating and clarifying the language in harmony with the present law of the zone. The section is changed in substance because the law provides that the district court does not take jurisdiction until an information has actually been filed, and the magistrate should therefore retain possession of undertakings or cash bail until the case is tried in the district court by the district attorney.
Section 28 amends section 62 of the existing code by adding the words “in all criminal matters within the original jurisdiction of the district court." The reason for the amendment is obvious.
Section 29 amends section 64 of the existing code by eliminating the words “the information when filed shall be known as the presentment and must be presented to the court,” and requires all informations to be filed with the clerk of the court.
Section 30 amends section 67 of the existing code so as to make it conform to the present Canal Zone law. The effect of the amendment and the reason for it will appear more clearly by reference to the existing law with the modifications shown in brackets and italics elsewhere in this report.
Section 30a repeals sections 68 and 69 of the existing Code of Criminal Procedure. These sections prescribe the manner in which bench warrants shall be issued in the district court, and are rendered obsolete and unnecessary in view of the proposed section 91, amending section 297 of the code, and Title VI of the code as amended in Chapter I, providing for arraignment of the defendant.
Section 31 amends section 70 of the existing code by changing the word "directed" to read "direct". The amendment is necessary to correct an error in existing law.
Section 32 amends section 77 of the existing code by substituting the words “be signed and filed by the district attorney for the Canal Zone” for the words “be subscribed and presented to the court by the district attorney for the Canal Zone".
Section 33 amends the existing code by adding a new section 86a. This adds new law for which no provision is made in the existing code, and is believed to be a proper part of the new Code of Criminal Procedure.
Section 34 amends section 90 of the existing code by substituting the words "district attorney" for "prosecuting attorney".
Sections 35, 36, and 37 amend sections 92, 93, and 94, respectively, of the existing code, covering the filing of information by the district attorney after preliminary examination. These sections have been restated in the amendment so as to improve them and bring them more into harmony with existing law of the zone.
Section 38 amends section 97 of the existing code by adding a proviso respecting amending of the complaint.
Section 38a amends section 103 of the existing code by changing the language in various instances to conform to the present law and the present practice in the Canal Zone. It must be understood in the case of a great many of these amendments that are proposed by