The statute's wording requiring action under certain circumstances was intended to prevent the Coroner from using discretion to NOT hold an inquest, a check against showing favoritism by letting some slide by while others get hammered.
The requirement for the Coroner to issue an arrest warrant is a standard feature found in most places. That merely starts the ball rolling by having a potentially culpable person arrested and arraigned and heard for bail or remand to jail by a JP, Magistrate or Judge. It is not a finding of guilt, only a warrant to bring the person in.
Following the arraignment and bail hearing, the prosecuting attorney prepares a case to present to the Grand Jury, or the alternate method, goes directly to a preliminary hearing where the judge instead of the Grand Jury hears the presentment and rules on whether the case goes to trial or dismisses it. The Spicer Hearing was just such a hearing- The prosecutors didn't want to present to the GJ and rolled the dice on swaying the judge in a preliminary hearing. Spicer dismissed the case.
As Spicer stated afterward, that hearing decision did not preclude the prosecutors from handing the whole thing to the next Grand Jury, which they did- and the GJ No Billed it. When Ike later tried to refile the same charges in Charleston, the matter was sent back to Tombstone, and it was summarily dismissed because Spicer AND the Grand Jury had previously heard it and both had thrown it out.
I am pretty sure you didn't believe me when I said I only have a fourth grade education as I do not understand quite a bit of what you posted for me though I appreciate the information and will file it... more
Re: Okay, Wayne.... — Wayne Sanderson,Sat Jun 04 18:38
...If I were not so intrigued, I would have disappeared a few posts ago, but old folks like me don't always learn and I think you are having some fun with me. I have some homework to do, but though... more
I do have to go along with you on your opinion of the prosecutors- For seemingly smart guys, they were imbeciles. They trotted out their whole case, witness testimony, strategy and everything at a Preliminary... more
...Wayne, I think our discussion has been really worthwhile from my side and I've learned some stuff I had considered but from a slightly different angle. I am not a historian; I tend to examine things... more
Don't forget how the McLaury brother with the law degree showed up and insinuated himself into the ongoing hearing on the prosecution side and damn near hijacked the whole side's case. What I said about... more
...in this situation. Obviously he did not understand what the procedure entailed, he was deeply emotionally involved, time was the enemy as well...and his ignorance of all of this caused him to repeat... more
As I said before, this was a badly mishandled preliminary hearing on the government's part. They showed their entire hand and allowed things to be examined and refuted that should have never been heard... more
...My impression is that the Prosecutors were in over their heads (as I often am ) and did not really know how to conduct criminal cases as they mostly dealt with business interests, mining, ect. ... more
My impression of the post-street fight charges were that at one level- Behan and the county Democratic Party- The charges were a political opportunity to hammer two of the strongest Republican contenders... more
To follow up: Arizona Territory in 1881 was an interesting place, criminal law-wise. One interesting feature is that even a private citizen could bring a criminal charge as a presentment to the court and... more