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shall certify their commitment and discharge upon the books of said jail ; and the warrant of such officer left with the jailer during such prisoners’ detention, shall be a sufficient protection for him therefor.
Sec. 30. The unoccupied upper cells in the state prison may, at the discretion of the warden and keeper of the jail in the county of Providence, and upon and with the advice of the inspectors of the prison, be used for the confinement and safe keeping of persons sentenced to confinement for a less term than one year in said jail ; and the same, when so used, shall be deemed and taken to be a part of the said jail.
An Act in relation to Coroners.
SECTION 1. Justices of the peace declared coro reduced to writing and subscribed by ners in their respective towns.
him. Coroner to recognize witnesses 2. Coroner to issue his warrant for sum for appearance before the supreme
moning a jury of six persons, as soon court, where they implicate any peras informed that the body of any per son as the cause of the death of the son supposed to have come to his deceased. death by violence or casualty has been 8. Jury to sign verdict and deliver same found, or that any prisoner hath died
to coroner; coroner to sign and seal in jail, in his town.
and return it with the evi3. Officer failing to execute such warrant dence to the next sup. court.
to be fined ten dollars; persons sum 9. When an inquisition charges any permoned as jurors failing to attend, son with causing the death, coroner fined five dollars, to be recovered by to make complaint thereof to some town treasurer.
justice of the peace. 4. If all persons summoned as jurors do '10. Form of inquisition.
not appear, or are excused, coroner to 11. Fees of coroner, jurors, and officer for
issue another warrant to fill vacancies. summoning them. 5. Jurors to be sworn; form of oath. 12. Charges of inquisition to be paid out of 6. Coroner to arge the jury empannel deceased's estate, it any, or out of ed, and swear witnesses.
town treasury, but if deceased be a 7. The testimony of each witness to be prisoner, then out of general treasury.
It is enacted by the General Assembly, as follows :
Section 1. Justices of the peace are hereby constituted coroners, throughout the towns in which they dwell.
Sec. 2. It shall be the duty of a coroner as soon as he shall be informed that the body of any person, supposed to have come to his death by violence or casualty, has been found within his town, or that any prisoner in the state prison or in any one of the state jails has deceased while so imprisoned, to issue his warrant to the sheriff or to either of his deputies, or to either of the town sergeants or constables within the county, requiring him to summon a jury of six good and lawful men of the same town, to inquire into the cause of the death of such person.
Sec. 3. Every officer failing to execute such warrant,
shall forfeit the sum of ten dollars ; and every person summoned as a juror as aforesaid, who shall fail to appear, or to render to such coroner reasonable excuse therefor, shall forfeit five dollars; which forfeiture shall be sued for and recovered by the town treasurer, for the use of such town, in an action of debt before any justice of the peace in said town.
Sec. 4. Whenever, from any cause, any of the jurors summoned shall not appear, or appearing shall be excused from serving on such jury, the coroner may issue another warrant to supply the deficiency.
Sec. 5. The coroner shall swear six jurors and shall give the foreman (by him appointed) his oath upon view of the body, in form following: You solemnly swear, that you will diligently inquire and true presentment make, in behalf of this state, how and in what manner
who lies here dead came to his or her death ; and you shall deliver to me, one of the coroners of the town of in the county of a true inquest thereof, according to such evidence as shall be laid before you ; so help you God. And then shall swear the other jurors in form following : Such oath as your foreman has taken, you and each of you shall well and truly observe and keep; so help you God. And in case any juror is conscientious about taking an oath, the coroner may administer an affirmation in lieu thereof.
Sec. 6. The jurors, being sworn, in view of the body, the coroner shall give them a charge, upon their oaths to declare of the death of the person, whether he died of felony, or of mischance or accident; and, if of felony, whether of his own or another; and, if of the felony of another, who were principals and who were accessories, and of all prevailing circumstances; and, if he died of his own felony, then to inquire of the manner and of all the circumstances concerning it; and, if he died by mischance or accident, whether by the act of men and whether by hurt, fall, stroke, drowning or otherwise; to inquire of the persons who were present, the finders of the body, his relations and neighbors, whether he was killed in the same place he was found, and, if elsewhere, by whom and how he was brought from thence, and of all circumstances relating to said death ; and the jury being charged, shall stand together; and the coroner shall cause proclamation to be made for all persons who can give evidence how and in what manner the person, then and there lying dead, came to his death, to draw near and they shall be heard ; and every coroner is further empowered to summon and, if necessary, to grant compulsory process for the appearance of witnesses,
and to administer an oath to them in form following: You solemnly swear (or affirm) that the evidence which you shall give to this inquest concerning the death of
here lying dead, shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ; so help you God; (or, this affirmation you make and give on peril of the penalty of perjury.)
Sec. 7. The testimony of each witness shall be drawn up in writing and subscribed by him, and if any witness charge any person with killing, or of being, in any way, instrumental to the death of the person so found dead, the coroner shall bind such witness by recognizance and in a reasonable sum, for his personal appearance at the next supreme court to be holden within and for the same county, then to give evidence accordingly; and if any such witness shall refuse to recognize as aforesaid, the coroner shall and may commit such witness to the jail of the county, there to remain until he shall recognize or be otherwise discharged according to law.
Sec. 8. The jury, having viewed the body, heard the evidence and made all the inquiry within their power, shall draw up and deliver unto the coroner their verdict upon the death under consideration, in writing, under their hands, and the coroner shall set his hand and seal thereto; and shall return to the next supreme court holden in the county, the inquisition, written evidence and recognizances, if any, by him taken.
Sec. 9. Upon an inquisition found before any coroner of the death of any person by the felony or misfortune of another, he shall immediately make a complaint thereof, in writing and on oath, to some justice of the peace in the same county, to the intent that the person killing, or being in any way instrumental to the death, may be apprehended,
examined and secured for trial.
Sec. 10. The following shall be the form of the inquisition to be taken as aforesaid : State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. An inquisition taken at in the county of
in the year of our Lord before one of the coroners of the town of in said county of
upon view of the body of there lying dead, by the oaths of six good and lawful men; who, being sworn and charged to inquire, for the said state, when, how, and by what means, the said came to his death, upon their oaths do say: (then insert how, where, when, and by what means, he was killed, and if it appears that he was murder
ed by a person known, then the inquisition shall be concluded thus :) " and so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the said
in manner and form aforesaid, of his malice aforethought, the said did kill and murder, against the peace and dignity of this state.” If it appear to be self-murder, then the inquisition shall conclude thus: “and so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the said
in form and manner aforesaid, then and there, voluntarily, and feloniously, as a felon of himself, did kill and murder himself, against the peace and dignity of the state."
If it appears that the death was by misfortune, the inquisition shall conclude thus : " and so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the said
in manner aforesaid came to his death by misfortune.” If the death was occasioned innocently, by the hands of any other person, the inquisition shall conclude thus : “and so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the said
by misfortune, and contrary to the will of the said
in manner and form aforesaid, the said did kill and slay.” In witness whereof, the said jurors have hereunto set their hands, the day and year abovesaid.
In witness of all the before written, the said coroner hath hereunto set his hand and seal, the day and year aforesaid.
Sec. 11. The fee of the officer for summoning a jury shall be one dollar, and no more ; the fee of each juror, one dollar per day, and no more ; and the fee of the coroner for taking an inquisition, one dollar, and one dollar per day for every day employed therein.
SEC. 12. When any inquisition shall be had on the body of any deceased person, the charges thereof shall be paid out of the estate of the person so deceased, and said charges shall be deemed a part of the funeral charges and have a priority as such over other claims; and it shall be the duty of the coroner to exhibit said charges as a claim against said estate, and to enforce it by law, if need be. But in case there be no estate, or not sufficient estate left by said deceased person for said purpose, the said charges shall be paid out of the town treasury; but if the deceased be a prisoner in the state prison or in any state jail, said charges shall be paid out of the general treasury.
An Act relative to Public Notaries.
commissioned and engaged.
It is enacted by the General Assembly, as follows:
SECTION 1. There shall be so many public notaries annually appointed by the general assembly, for the several counties, as they shall judge expedient; and they shall be severally commissioned and engaged thereon, according to law.
Sec. 2. Public notaries are hereby authorized within their respective counties to act, transact, do and finish all matters and things relating to protests and protesting bills of exchange and promissory notes, and all other matters within their office required by law; to take depositions as prescribed by law, and acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments, and to administer oaths.
An Act in relation to the Supreme Court. SECTION
SECTION 1. Jurisdiction of sup.court in civil cases. any cause in equity ; writs of injunc2. Criminal jurisdiction of.
tion to be issued according to the 3. Jurisdiction as supreme court of pro course of equity. bate.
12. Single justice to hear matters at clerk's 4. Power to grant new trials in certain office in county where cause is pend
cases, civil, criminal and probate ; ap ing; costs may be awarded in such plication when to be made; proceedings in such cases, and effect of the 13. Sup. court to consist of one chief and
three associate justices; any two to 5. Court in term and any justice in vaca
be a quorum: tion to require an assignee for benefit 14. Oath of justices. of creditors to make an inventory and 15. Sup. court to charge grand and petit to give bond.
juries. 6. In case an assignee refuse to render 16. One of the justices to examine clerk's
an inventory or give bond when re. records and report to the general asquired, court or justice may remove sembly. him and appoint a receiver.
17. Salaries of justices. 7. Court in term or any justice in vaca- 18. Clerk to be appointed in each county;
tion may grant writs of injunction to give bond and be under oath. against rail roads and turnpikes in cer- 19. A reporter to be appointed by general tain cases, after notice.
assembly. 8. Jurisdiction over petitions for divorce, 20. Reporter to be sworn. &c.
21. Duty of reporter. 9. May administer oaths, punish for con- | 22. Court to communicate to reporter their
tempts, and inake rules of practice. decision in any case, on request. 10. Petitions and bills in equity in what | 23. Salary of reporter. county to be preferred.
24. Title of reports; state to purchase 125 11. Any justice on a rule day may pass copies annually.
any decree except a final decree, in
It is enacted by the General Assembly, as follows :
Section 1. The supreme court shall be holden at the times and places by law appointed, and shall have cognizance