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Talton v. Mayes
United States Supreme Court
163 U.S. 376, 16 S.Ct. 986, 41 L.Ed. 196 (1896)
Bob Talton (defendant), a member of the Cherokee Nation, was arrested for killing two Cherokee Indians on Cherokee land. In criminal proceedings before a Cherokee court, a five-member grand jury indicted Talton for murder. Talton filed a federal habeas corpus petition in the local federal district court. Talton sought to overturn the indictment and to be released from jail. Talton argued that indictment by a five-member grand jury violated the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which requires that indictment be by a greater number of grand jurors. Talton further argued that indictment by a five-member grand jury violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court denied Talton’s petition. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)
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