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In re Neagle

United States Supreme Court
135 U.S. 1 (1890)


David Terry and his wife were unhappy with the outcome of their case. As a result, the pair threatened the life of the judge in their case, Supreme Court Justice Field. In response to the threat, the Attorney General tasked a United States Marshall, David Neagle (defendant), with serving as a bodyguard and providing protection to the justice while he rode circuit in California. During an assault by Terry upon Justice Field, Neagle shot and killed Terry. Neagle was arrested and charged with murder under state law. Neagle then filed a petition for habeas corpus, which the circuit court granted, ordering Neagle’s discharge from custody.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Miller, J.)

Dissent (Lamar, J.)

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