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Hicks v. United States

United States Supreme Court
150 U.S. 442 (1893)


John Hicks (defendant), an American Indian, and Andrew Colvard were riding on horseback. Hicks and Colvard saw Stand Rowe (defendant), also an American Indian, sitting on his horse with a rifle lying on his lap. Colvard rode up to Rowe, leaving Hicks thirty to forty feet behind. Colvard and Rowe had a discussion. During that time, Rowe raised his rifle, pointed it at Colvard, and then lowered it on two different occasions while Hicks laughed aloud. Then, witness claim Hicks said to Colvard, “[T]ake off your hat and die like a man.” The third time Rowe raised his rifle and pointed it at Colvard, he fired. Colvard was killed. Rowe and Hicks rode off together. Both Hicks and Rowe were charged with murder. Prior to trial, Rowe was killed by United States Marshals. At trial, Hicks testified that he had not encouraged Rowe to shoot Colvard and, in fact, discouraged Rowe from shooting. Additionally, Hicks testified that the only reason he rode away with Rowe was out of fear for his life. Hicks was convicted, and he appealed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Shiras, J.)

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