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Two things the lawyer engaged in a criminal defence, to be well armed must needs have: First, A treatise on the criminal law in which the principles are collected and stated; second, the reported cases in which the principles are applied and elaborated. The first, the American lawyer has at hand in the splendid works of Dr. Bishop and Professor Wharton. The second (until the publication of this series), he could not obtain in anything like completeness, unless he practiced in, or bad ready access to, one of the great cities of the continent in which the half dozen complete law libraries in this country are to be found.
To fill this want, this volume, the two preceding volumes, and the two volumes which are to succeed it have been prepared. All the cases in which the defence in question has been successfully maintained have been taken from the books in which they are reported, and have been here brought together. Thus, for the purpose of a criminal defence, all the advantages of the possession of a complete library of reports are attained. A result not heretofore within the reach of one lawyer out of a hundred at any cost, and only within his reach after great labor and search, is in this way accomplished.
To carry out this design, all the reports, American (State and Federal), English and Canadian, have been carefully examined. A list of those reports will show the number of volumes thus brought under contribution. In England are the following (the figures in parenthesis showing the periods covered), viz.: – 2 volumes Leach (1730–1814); 2 volumes Lewin (1822–1838); 2 volumes Peake (1790–1812); 6 volumes Espinasse (1793– 1807); 4 volumes Campbell (1809–1816); 3 volumes Starkie
(1814–1823); 1 volume Dowling & Ryland (1822-1823); 9 volumes Carrington & Payne (1823-1841); 1 volume Carrington & Marshman (1840–1842); 3 volumes Carrington & Kirwan (1843–1850); 4 volumes Foster & Finlason (1856–1867); 1 volume Holt (1815–1817); 1 volume Gow (1818–1820); 1 volume Ryan & Moody (1823–1826); 1 volume Moody & Malkin (1826–1830); 2 volumes Moody & Robinson (1830–1844); 1 volume Russell & Ryan (1800–1823); 2 volumes Moody (18241844); 2 volumes Denison (1844–1852); 1 volume Dearsly (1856–1862); 1 volume Dearsly & Bell (1856–1858); 1 volume Bell (1858–1860); 1 volume Leigh & Cave (1861–1865); 1 volume Temple & Mew (1848–1851); 2 volumes Law Reports Criminal Cases Reserved (1865–1875); 14 volumes Cox's Criminal Reports (1843–1885). The American Reports devoted to criminal law alone are less numerous, and hence the cases on DEFENCES TO CRIME are scattered throughout two thousand volumes of American Law Reports, State and National. These have been thoroughly examined, as well as the few special crim, inal reports, such as Wheeler, Parker, Green and Hawley.
Therefore it will be seen that this series, though containing the principles of criminal law, is not designed to compete with or to take the places of the Treatises, but it is intended to supplement them, by presenting the authorities to which the treatises refer, as they are reported in the original sources.
In this, and the succeeding two volumes, not all the cases in which the particular defence treated has been raised or discussed are given. To do so would extend the series to twentyfive or thirty volumes, and would lose sight of its aim. But all the cases in which a particular defence has been adjudged sufficient and has been successful, have been included, and as this series is for the DEFENCE LAWYER (and not for the prosecutor), this is what he needs.
J. D. L. SEPTEMBER, 1885.
The page on which the case is reported in full is indicated by black figures.
Aaron v. State, 31 Ga. 167. p. 417.