prisonersto drug the crew. The objection was well taken and should have been sustained, Captain Davenport not having been introduced as an expert, and not having been shown to have the necessary special knowledge to qualify him to act as such.
The question as to the amount of opium in the prisoners' possession having been entertained by the commission, the application to have the package produced from the trunk of the prisoner containing the medicine wass proper, and should have been granted.
Moreover, as the specification does not allege that the prisoners contemplatd the use, in any way or degree, of poisons in carrying out their designs, but that they intended rising in arms on the master, crew, and passengers, and as the use of poisonous drugs is an aggravation not specified in the charges to which they were called on to plead, the subject should not have been taken up, and was properly abandoned.
It was objected that there was no accuser; that a person charged with crime must be confronted with his accuser; that no name was attached to the charge andd specification.
The charges were signed by the judge-advocate of the department, which, under the circumstasnces, was entirely in accordance with the practice in military service. A charge signed by a commissioned officer and ordered to be investigated by the general instituting the court is all the form that is required. Prisoners are always confronted with the witnesses against them, but in the nature of the service it constantly happens they cannot get, and they seldom are, confronted by the officer who prefers the charges, andd who may know nothing of the case save from the reports he receives.
Objection was made that the order instituting the court did not direct the trial of the prisoners by name.
The order was in the usual form. It is not necessary that the names of the prisoner or prisoners to be tried should be mentioned in the general order convening the court. The order for their trial may be, an generally is, separate from the general order. It is frequently in way of an indorsement on the charges, or in the way of special instructions to the judge-advocate or to the commanding officer having the custody of the prisoners.
It is stated in the defense of the prisoners that no copy of charges, or the amendment to the charges,was served on them anterior to trial; also,that as a matter of right and justice they were entitled to a separate trial; that the record does not show the incidents of the trial, and that the names of all the witnesses were not furnished them by the judge-advocate.
The prisoners made no plea at the time of their arainment that they were not furnished copies of the charges against them. Even if it had been made, the plea would not have been valid further than to delay the proceedings, which delay they did not ask. (De Hart, p. 147.)
Moreover, it is stated by the judge-advocate that it is not true they were not furnished with copies of the charges and of the amendment. The former he says were given them five days before they were arraigned.
Before a court-martial, as in a court of civil judicature, several offenders who commit an offense in concert may be tried either jointly or separately. (Simmons, p. 140.)
The accused cannot claim as a right that a list of witnesses shall be furnished them. (Bennet, p. 63.)