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Articles. The accusation (articles) of the Commons is substituted in place of an indictment. Thus, by the usage of Parliament, in impeachment for writing or speaking, the particular words need not be specified. Sach. Tr., 325; 2 Wood., 602, 605; Lords' Fourn., 3 Fune, 1701; 1 Wms., 616.
Appearance. If he appear, and the case be capital, he answers in custody; though not if the accusation be general. He is not to be committed but on special accusations. If it be for a misdemeanor only, he answers, a lord in his place, a commoner at the bar, and not in custody, unless, on the answer, the Lords find cause to commit him, till he finds sureties to attend, and lest he should ily. Seld. Fud., 98, 99. A copy of the articles is given him, and a day fixed for his answer. T. Ray.; i Rushw., 268; Fost., 232; 1 Clar. Hist. of the Reb., 379. On a misdemeanor, his appearance may be in person, or he may answer in writing, or by attorney. Seld. Jud., 100. The general rule on accusation for a misdemeanor is, that in such a state of liberty or restraint as the party is when the Commons complain of him, in such he is to answer. Ib., 101. If previously com mitted by the Commons, he answers as a prisoner. But this may be called in some sort judicium parium suorum. Ib. In misdemeanors the party has a right to counsel by the common law, but not in capital cases. Seld. Fud., 102, 105.
Answer. The answer need not observe great strictness of form. He may plead guilty as to part, and defend as to the residue; or, saving all exceptions, deny the whole or give a particular answer to each article separately. Rush., 274; 2 Rush., 1374; 12 Parl. Hist. 442; 3 Lords' Fourn., 13 Nor'., 1643; 2 Wood., 607. But he cannot plead a pardon in bar to the impeachment. 2 Wood., 615; 2 St. Tr., 735
Replication, rejoinder, &c. There may be a replication, rejoinder, &c. Sel. 7ud., 114; 8 Grey's Deb., 233; Sach. Tr., 15; Fourn. H. of Commons, 6 March, 1640-1.
Witnesses. The practice is to swear the witnesses in open House, and then examine them there; or a committee may be named, who shall examine them in committee, either on interrogatories agreed on in the House, or such as the committee in their discretion shall demand. Seld. Fud., 120, 123.
Jury. In the case of Alice Pierce, 1 R., 2, a jury was impaneled for her trial before a committee. Seld. Fud., 123. But this was on a complaint, not on impeachment by the Commons. Seld Fud., 163. It must also have been for a misdemeanor only, as the Lords spiritual sat in the case, which they do on misdemeanors, but not in capital cases. Id., 148. The judgment was a forfeiture of all her lands and goods. Id., 188. This, Selden says, is the only jury he finds recorded in Parliament for misdemeanors; but he makes no doubt, if the delinquent doth put himself on the trial of his country, a jury ought to be impaneled, and he adds that it is not so on impeachment by the Commons; for they are in loco proprio, and there no jury ought to be impaneled. Id., 124. The Ld. Berkeley, 6 E., 3, was arraigned for the murder of L. 2, on an information on the part of the King, and not on impeachment of the Commons; for then they had been patria sua. He waived his peerage, and was tried by a jury of Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. Id., 126. In i H. 7, the Commons protest that they are not to be considered as partres to any judgment given, or hereafter to be given, in Parliament. Id., 133. They have been generally and more justly considered, as is before stated, as the grand jury; for the conceit of Selden is certainly not accurate, that they are the patria sua of the accused, and that the Lords do only judge, but not try. It is undeniable that they do try; for they examine witnesses as to the facts, and acquit or condemn, according to their own belief of them. And Lord Hale says, "the peers are judges of law as well as of fact;" 2 Hale, P. C., 275; consequently of fact as well as of law.
Presence of Commons. The Commons are to be present at the examination of witnesses. Seld. Fud., 124.
Seld. Fud., 124. Indeed, they are to attend throughout, either as a committee of the whole House, or otherwise, at discretion, appoint managers to conduct the proofs. Rushw. Tr. of Straf, 37; Com. Fourn., 4 Feb., 1709-10; 2 Wood., 614. And judgment is not to be given till they demand it. Seld. Fud., 124. But they are not to be present on impeachment when the Lords consider of the answer or proofs and determine of their judgment Their presence, however, is necessary at the answer and judgment in cases capital Id. 58, 158 as well as not capital; 162.
The Lords debate the judgment among themselves. Then the vote is first taken on the question of guilty or not guilty; and if they convict, the question, or particular sentence, is out of that which seemeth to be most generally agreed on. Seld. Fud., 167; 2 Wood., 612
Judgment. Judgments in Parliament, for death, have been strictly guided per legem terræ, which they cannot alter; and not at all according to their discretion. They can neither omit any part of the legal judgment, nor add to it. Their sentence must be secundum, non ultra legem. Seli. Fud., 168, 171. This trial, though it varies in external ceremony, yet differs not in esşentials from criminal prosecutions before inferior courts. The same rules of evidence, the same legal notions of crimes and punishments, prevailed; for impeachments are not framed to alter the law, but to carry it into more effectual execution against too powerful delinquents. The judgment, therefore, is to be such as is warranted by legal principles or precedents. 6 Sta. Tr., 14; 2 Wood., 611. The Chancellor gives judgment in misdemeanors; the Lord High Steward formerly in cases of life and death. Seld. Fud., 180. But now the Steward is deemed not necessary. Fost., 144; 2 Wood., 613. In misdemeanors the greatest corporal punishment hath been imprisonment. Seld. Jud., 184. The King's assent is necessary in capital judgments, (but 2 IVood., 614, contra,) but not in misdemeanors. Seld. Fud., 136.
Continuance. An impeachment is not discontinued by the disso lution of Parliament, but may be resumed by the new Parliament. T. Ray., 383; 4 Com. Fourn., 23 Dec., 1790; Lords' Four., May 15, 1971; 2 Wood., 618.