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Natchez Insurance Company v. Helm. it had been paid to the sheriff. If they agree to receive the amount bid by him in discharge of their indebtedness, it is in effect the same thing. The object of the sale was to satisfy them, and it is accomplished. The defendants are discharged to the extent of the bid. This branch of the subject was considered when the ejectment suit of Helm was before this court. 8 S. & M. 197. The validity of the transaction was then sustained, and its aspect is not so materially changed as to authorize a court of chancery to vacate the sale. It is alleged that when Helm made the purchase, Stanton, Buckner & Co. were in failing circumstances, and not long afterwards became bankrupts. If this were true, it would not necessarily vitiate a sale made under execution ; but the answer denies that respondent knew any thing of their intention to take the benefit of the bankrupt act, and avers that the purchase was made in good faith, at a fair and open public sale.

It is also alleged, that the appraisers transcended their authority in taking into consideration the amount of the two previous executions which had been levied on the property, and furthermore that the property was not subject to sale, as it was then subject to the levy of the prior executions. These questions were also very fully considered in the case in 8 S. & M. The appraisement was sustained, as was also the right to sell the property under this execution. The bill does not set up any circumstances in addition to those which were relied on in the previous investigations. There is nothing therefore which can justify an interference with Helm's title, and we proceed to the other questions presented by the bill.

It seems that after Helm purchased under the execution of Stanton, Buckner & Co., he purchased the judgments in favor of Parker and the Planters' Bank, on which writs of venditioni exponas issued after the stay caused by the failure to sell under the first valuation. The levies under the writs of fieri facias were pending on the property at the time Helm purchased; it had been valued with a view to these circumstances, and Helm purchased subject to them. The plaintiffs had not only a general lien by virtue of their older judgments, but they had levied

Natchez Insurance Company 1. Helm.

their executions on the property, and had thus acquired a specific lien, which was suspended by virtue of the appraisement law, and the hands of the plaintiffs tied for twelve months, during which time the property still remained in the hands of the law as the subject of the levy. At the expiration of that time the law had directed that it should be sold for whatever it would bring. Under the circumstances, Helm was bound to submit to the sale, or to relieve his property by paying off the incumbrances. It is expressly decided, in the case above referred to, that he was bound to satisfy the liens. He purchased at a valuation which was made subject to them, and thus received the benefit, and the complainants must be losers to that amount unless he be compelled to relieve them. He bought an incumbered property, and must take it with the incumbrances. The complainants aver that they were compelled to pay off the Planters' Bank execution. If this be so, of course Helm must refund the amount to them. In doing so, they relieved his property from an incumbrance under which it was bound to be sold, and he is of course benefited to that extent. And this is so, whether he be the assignee of the judgment or not; that circumstance makes no difference, or if it does, it increases his obligation to refund, because as assignee he should never have issued an execution which he himself was first liable to pay. The property of the complainants had already been virtually appropriated to the payment of this same execution; they are doubly losers unless he be compelled to refund.

With regard to the Parker execution, the same rule must apply, so far as to exonerate the complainants from liability, if Helm is the assignee. They are entitled to have the execution perpetually enjoined as to all other property, and this, as to them, is equivalent to an entry of satisfaction, which is prayed for. If Helm desires to sell his own property under his own execution, no very good reason is perceived why he should not be permitted to do so, and perhaps the complainants are the last persons who should complain at such a course.

On motion, the vice-chancellor dissolved the injunction so far as to allow Helm to sell the lot under the Parker execution, but

Sam, a slave, v. The State. not so far as to allow him to proceed against the complainants as to any other property. And he was also permitted to prosecute the ejectment suit to judgment.

The defendant demurred to all that part of the bill, which related to the assignment and subsequent proceedings under the Parker execution, and the prayer that satisfaction might be entered, and that he might be enjoined from further proceedings thereon; and also to all that part of the bill which related to the Planters' Bank execution, and the prayer that the amount thereof might be refunded.

He further demurred to that part of the bill which relates to the judgment of Stanton, Buckner & Co., including the allegations as to the appraisement, the purchase by Helm, the illegality of his title, the institution of the ejectment, &c. &c.

The first and second demurrers were overruled, and leave given to answer. The third demurrer was sustained, and crossappeals were prayed for and allowed, the vice-chancellor deeming them necessary to settle the principles of the case.

His decisions seem to have been strictly correct, and are affirmed, and the cause remanded.

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The prisoner was indicted in the county of Issaquena in April, 1848; the county

seat of which, by the act of 1846, was established at Tallula; but by an act passed in January, 1848, the board of police were authorized to remove the county seat to such point as they might select; the caption of the indictment stated that the court was holden at Tallula ; the prisoner plead that “ Tallula, the place at which the court was holden, was not at that time the county seat of the county ;” to which plea the state demurred: Held, that the · demurrer admitted that the court was not hulden at the place designated

by law, and that the indictment therefore should be quashed. On the trial of a slave for a murder committed in an adjoining county, from

which the venue had been changed, two of the jurymen who joined in a verdict of "guilty,” stated on their voir dire, the one that he had formed an VOL. XIII.


Sam, a slave, v. The State.

opinion from the rumors he had heard ; the other from the arguments of counsel to which he had listened on the previous day upon the trial of an accomplice of the prisoner for the same offence, and in which the witnesses were the same; each stated he had formed and expressed an opinion, one said his mind was clearly made up from rumor, each thought he could decide the case from testimony free from bias, but both thought it would require some testimony to remove the impression from their minds : Held, that under the general rule which requires the juror to be indifferent between the parties, these jurors were incompetent; there being nothing in the circumstances of

the case to make a departure from the general rule necessary. The law on the point of what degree of opinion, as to the guilt or innocence of

a prisoner, formed by a juryman called upon to try him, is a disqualification of such juror, considered at length; and the conclusion reached that no rule of universal application could be laid down ; that the formation of an opinion by one who had heard all the testimony, was a disqualification ; while one who had formed an hypothetical opinion from rumor, and who at the same time declared he could render an impartial verdict, would be a competent juror; between these extremes the qualification or disqualification must depend on the circumstances of each case ; absolute freedom from preconceived opinion should be required where it can be had; yet, where, from the notoriety of the transaction, or other cause, that cannot be obtained, as near an approximation to it as possible should be had.

In error from the circuit court of Warren county; Hon. George Coalter, judge.

Sam, a slave, was indicted on the 1st Monday of April, 1848, at the court-house, in Tallula, in the circuit court of Issaquena county, for the murder of Absalom H. Barrow. He pleaded not guilty. At the October term, 1848, of the circuit court of Issaquena county, the venue was changed to Warren. At the April term, 1849, of the Warren circuit court, a special venire for fisty jurors was ordered returnable on Tuesday, the 8th day of the term; on that day, Charles L. Buck, Esq., for and on behalf of the state, appeared, and on motion and by consent the plea of not guilty was withdrawn, and the defendant filed · two pleas in abatement, the substance of which is stated in the opinion, and to which the attorney for the state demurred; the demurrer was sustained; the prisoner was then arraigned and pleaded not guilty. The case was then continued until next day, when the defendant being tried was found guilty, and con

Sam, a slave, v. The State. demned to be hung. On the trial various bills of exception were taken, but two of which need be noticed. They are, the

3d. To the action of the court overruling the challenge for cause to Thomas Rigby, tendered as a juror, who stated, “that he had not heard the witnesses, but had heard the cause talked of; had formed and expressed his opinion; his mind was clearly made up from rumor; thinks he could decide the case from the testimony, free from the bias on his mind, but thinks it would require some testiinony to remove the impression from his mind;" and the

5th. To the action of the court, overruling the challenge for cause of Baptiste McCombs, one of the jurors tendered to the prisoner, who stated, that “ He had heard the argument of counsel in the case of Jack, who was tried on yesterday as an accomplice with the prisoner; heard their statements of the testimony, the witnesses being the same in each case ; did not hear the witnesses themselves; has formed and expressed an opinion; it will require testimony to remove his impression, but thinks he can give an impartial verdict from the testimony.”

The prisoner obtained the fiat of the chief justice for a writ of error, with supersedeas to the sentence of the court, and prosecuted it accordingly.

F. Anderson, for the prisoner,

1. Argued all the points presented by the record at length; and on the error in overruling the challenge for cause of Rigby and Baptiste McCombs, cited and commented on 1 Burr's Trial, 43-46, 371 - 377, 414, 415, 416; Noe v. The State, 4 How. Rep. 330; King v. The State, 5 Ib. 730; Vermilyea v. The State, 7 Cowen, Rep. 108; S. C. 6 Ib. 556; 1 John. Rep. 316; Flower v. The State, Walk. Rep. 308; Johnson v. The Slate, Ib. 392.

2. That the pleas were good, and that the indictment should be quashed. See 2 Hawk. Pl. Ch. B. 2, ch. 25, p. 350; Carpenter v. The State, 4 How. 163; McQullen v. The State, 8 S. & M. 587; Kelly v. The State, 3 Ib. 518.

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