Chapter 546 Trials, Judgments and Executions in Criminal Cases
546.670 - Recognizance, when broken.
No recognizance given under the provisions of section 546.650 shall be deemed to be broken, unless the principal therein be convicted of some offense amounting, in judgment of law, to a breach of such recognizance.
546.570 - Hearing before sentence.
When the defendant appears for judgment, he must be informed by the court of the verdict of the jury, and asked whether he has any legal cause to show why judgment should not be pronounced against him; and if no such sufficient cause be shown against it, the court must render the proper judgment.
546.070 - Order of trial — instructions, requirements.
The jury being impaneled and sworn, the trial may proceed in the following order:
(1)The prosecuting attorney must state the case and offer the evidence in support of the prosecution;
(2)The defendant or his counsel may then state his defense and offer evidence in support thereof;
(3)The parties may then respectively offer rebutting testimony only, unless the court, for good reason in furtherance of justice, permit them to offer evidence upon their original case;
(4)In every trial for a criminal offense the court shall instruct the jury in writing upon all questions of law arising in the case which are necessary for their information in giving the verdict, which instructions shall include a definition of the term reasonable doubt;
(5)Unless the case be submitted without argument, the counsel for the prosecution shall make the opening argument, the counsel for the defendant shall follow, and the counsel for the prosecution shall conclude the argument.
546.370 - Exceptions may be taken as in civil cases.
On the trial of any indictment or prosecution for a criminal offense, exceptions to any decisions of the court may be made in the same cases and manner provided by law in all civil cases; and bills of exceptions shall be settled, signed, sealed and filed as now allowed by law in civil actions, and the same proceedings may be had to compel or procure the signing and sealing of such bills, and the return thereof, as in civil cases.
546.270 - Failure to testify not to prejudice defendant.
If the accused shall not avail himself or herself of his or her right to testify, or of the testimony of the wife or husband, on the trial in the case, it shall not be construed to affect the innocence or guilt of the accused, nor shall the same raise any presumption of guilt, nor be referred to by any attorney in the case, nor be considered by the court or jury before whom the trial takes place.
546.870 - Executions shall issue, when.
It shall be the duty of the clerk of the court having criminal jurisdiction for the county at the end of each term, to issue executions for all fines imposed, and the costs of conviction in criminal cases, during the term and remaining unpaid, which shall be executed in the same manner as executions in civil cases; and the property of the defendant may be seized and sold thereon, notwithstanding he may be in custody for the same demand.
546.860 - All property bound for fine and costs.
The property, real and personal, of any person charged with a criminal offense, shall be bound from the time of his final conviction of such offense, for the payment of all fines and costs which he may be adjudged to pay.
546.660 - Section 546.650 construed.
Section 546.650 shall not extend to convictions for writing or publishing any libel; nor shall any such security be hereafter required by any court upon any complaint, prosecution or conviction for any such writing or publishing.
546.560 - Presence of prisoner in court.
If the defendant is in custody, he must be brought before the court for judgment; if he is not present when his personal attendance is necessary, the court may order the clerk to issue a warrant for his arrest, which may be served in any county in the state, as a warrant of arrest in other cases.
546.060 - Practice in civil case to apply, when.
The proceedings prescribed by law in civil cases, in respect to the impaneling of jurors, the keeping them together, and the manner of rendering their verdict, shall be had upon trials on indictments and prosecutions for criminal offenses, except in cases otherwise provided by statute.
546.260 - Defendant may testify in own behalf — spouse may testify for husband or wife — spouse may testify against husband or wife, when.
1.No person shall be incompetent to testify as a witness in any criminal cause or prosecution by reason of being the person on trial or examination, or by reason of being the husband or wife of the accused, but any such facts may be shown for the purpose of affecting the credibility of such witness; provided, that no person on trial or examination, nor wife or husband of such person, shall be required to testify, but any such person may testify at his or her option either on behalf of or against the defendant, and shall be liable to cross-examination, as to any matter referred to in his examination in chief, and may be contradicted and impeached as any other witness in the case; provided, that in no case shall husband or wife, when testifying under the provisions of this section, be permitted to disclose confidential communications had or made between them in the relation of such husband and wife.
2.Notwithstanding subsection 1 of this section or any other provision of law to the contrary, in any criminal prosecution under chapter 565, 566 or 568, involving an alleged victim under the age of eighteen, a spouse shall be a competent witness against a defendant spouse, and no spousal privilege as set forth in subsection 1 of this section or any other provision of law shall exist.
546.360 - Defense of former jeopardy may be proved, when.
In all criminal cases, where the defendant is charged with any offense against the laws of this state, the fact of the former acquittal or conviction of such defendant of such offense may be shown under the general issue or plea of not guilty.
546.540 - Confinement of insane persons, costs paid, how.
The sheriff or other officer having the custody of persons committed to the director of the department of mental health as provided in section 552.040 shall, if he deems it necessary to their safe custody, confine them to the county jail until they shall be removed to a state hospital.If all things needful be not otherwise supplied, he shall furnish them, and, in such cases, the supplies for the indigent shall be paid for by the proper county commissions out of the county treasuries; and supplies for others than the indigent shall be repaid out of their estates, and may be recovered by suit in the name of such officer.
546.740 - Execution, witnesses.
The chief administrative officer of the correctional center, or his duly appointed representative shall be present at the execution and the director of the department of corrections shall invite the presence of the attorney general of the state, and at least eight reputable citizens, to be selected by him; and he shall at the request of the defendant, permit such clergy or religious leaders, not exceeding two, as the defendant may name, and any person, other than another incarcerated offender, relatives or friends, not to exceed five, to be present at the execution, together with such peace officers as he may think expedient, to witness the execution; but no person under twenty-one years of age shall be allowed to witness the execution.
546.040 - Issues of fact to be tried by jury.
All issues of fact in any criminal cause shall be tried by a jury, to be selected, summoned and returned in a manner prescribed by law.
546.550 - Presence of prisoner at rendition of judgment.
For the purpose of judgment, if the conviction be for an offense punishable by imprisonment, or imprisonment be assessed as punishment by the jury, the defendant must be personally present; if for a fine only, he must be personally present, or some responsible person must undertake for him to pay the judgment and costs; judgment may then be rendered in his absence.
546.650 - Court may require security to keep the peace.
The court before which any person shall be convicted of any criminal offense shall have power, in addition to the sentence prescribed or authorized by law, to require such person to give security to keep the peace or be of good behavior, or both, for a term not exceeding two years, or to stand committed until such security be given.
546.750 - Warrant of execution, how returned.
After the execution the chief administrative officer of the correctional facility shall make a return upon the death warrant to the court by which the judgment was rendered, showing the time, mode and manner in which it was executed.
546.250 - Person injured may testify.
No person shall be rendered incompetent to testify in criminal causes by reason of his being the person injured or defrauded, or intended to be injured or defrauded, or that would be entitled to satisfaction for the injury, or is liable to pay the costs of the prosecution.
546.050 - Misdemeanors may be tried by court.
But the defendant and prosecuting attorney, with the assent of the court, may submit the trial of misdemeanors to the court, whose finding in all such offenses shall have the force and effect of the verdict of a jury.
546.900 - Stay of execution granted, when.
In case of a conviction for any offense where the punishment has been fixed at a fine or imprisonment in the county jail, or workhouse, or by both such fine and imprisonment, the court in which any such conviction was had, or the judge thereof in vacation, or any associate circuit judge before whom such conviction was had, may, for good cause shown, by order entered of record, or in writing signed by such judge or associate circuit judge, grant a stay of execution on any such judgment of conviction and sentence thereon for a definite period of time to be fixed by the court, judge or associate circuit judge granting the same, not to exceed six months, upon the defendant or some person for him entering a recognizance conditioned for his surrendering himself in execution at the time and place fixed by the judgment of such conviction or sentence on a day to be named in such order.
546.800 - Pregnancy of female convict under death sentence — proceedings.
If, after any female convict shall be sentenced to the punishment of death, the officer having charge of her person shall have reason to suspect that she is pregnant, he shall in like manner summon a jury of six persons, not less than three of whom shall be physicians, and shall give notice thereof to the prosecuting attorney of the county where such criminal proceedings originated, or to the circuit attorney of the city of St.Louis, if such criminal proceedings originated in that city, who shall attend, and the proceedings shall be had as provided.
546.300 - Existence of corporation, how proved.
If on the trial or other proceeding in a criminal cause, the existence, constitution or powers of any banking company or corporation, shall become material, or be in any way drawn in question, it shall not be necessary to produce a certified copy of the charter or act of incorporation, but the same may be proved by general reputation, or by the printed statute book of the state, government or country by which such corporation was created.
546.400 - Verdict must show degree of guilt.
Upon the trial of any indictment for any offense where by law there may be conviction for different degrees of such offense, the jury, if they convict the defendant of a degree of the offense inferior to the offense alleged in the indictment, shall specify in their verdict of what degree of the offense they find the defendant guilty.
546.700 - Sentence not executed, procedure.
Whenever, for any reason, any convict sentenced to the punishment of death shall not have been executed pursuant to such sentence, and the cause shall stand in full force, the supreme court, or the court of the county in which the conviction was had, on the application of the prosecuting attorney, shall issue a writ of habeas corpus to bring such convict before the court; or if he be at large, a warrant for his apprehension may be issued by such court, or any judge thereof.
546.600 - Copy of judgment of conviction to sheriff.
Whenever a sentence of imprisonment in a county jail shall be pronounced upon any person convicted of any offense, the clerk of the court shall, as soon as may be, make out and deliver to the sheriff of the county a transcript of the entry of such conviction, and of the sentence thereupon, duly certified by such clerk, which shall be sufficient authority to such sheriff to execute such sentence, and he shall execute the same accordingly.
546.010 - Proceedings upon information, how conducted.
The trial and all proceedings upon any information filed in a court of record shall be governed by the law and practice applicable to trials upon indictments in said court.
546.610 - Copy of commitment to sheriff — prisoner, how and where delivered.
When any offender shall be committed to the department of corrections the clerk of the court in which the sentence was passed shall forthwith deliver a certified copy thereof to the sheriff of the county, who shall, without delay, either in person or by a general and usual deputy, cause such offender to be transported to a place designated by the director of the department of corrections and delivered to the chief administrative officer thereof.
546.710 - Execution warrant issued to the director of department of corrections for execution of offender.
Upon such convicted offender being brought before the court, they shall proceed to inquire into the facts, and if no legal reasons exist against the execution of sentence, such court shall issue a warrant to the director of the department of corrections, for the execution of the prisoner at the time therein specified, which execution shall be obeyed by the director accordingly.
546.810 - If found pregnant — sentence suspended.
The inquisition shall be signed by the jury and the officer in charge of such convict, and if it appear that such female convict is pregnant with child, her execution shall be suspended and the inquisition shall be transmitted to the governor.
546.030 - Prisoner must be present in court, when.
No person indicted for a felony can be tried unless he be personally present, during the trial; nor can any person be tried or be allowed to enter a plea of guilty in any other case unless he be personally present, or the court and prosecuting attorney shall consent to such trial or plea in the absence of the defendant; and every person shall be admitted to make any lawful proof by competent witnesses or other testimony in his defense; provided, that in all cases the verdict of the jury may be received by the court and entered upon the records thereof in the absence of the defendant, when such absence on his part is willful or voluntary, and when so received and entered shall have the same force and effect as if received and entered in the presence of such defendant; and provided further, that when the record in the appellate court shows that the defendant was present at the commencement or any other stage of the trial, it shall be presumed, in the absence of all evidence in the record to the contrary, that he was present during the whole trial.
546.730 - Place of executing judgment of death, duties of director.
A judgment of death must be executed within a correctional center of the department of corrections; and such execution shall be under the supervision and direction of the director of the department of corrections.
546.820 - Execution ordered when causes for suspension cease.
Whenever the governor shall be satisfied that the cause of such suspension no longer exists, he shall issue his warrant, appointing a day for the execution of such convict, pursuant to her sentence; or he may, at his discretion, commute her punishment to imprisonment in the penitentiary for life.
546.020 - Plea of not guilty, not formally tendered.
When a person shall be arraigned upon any indictment or information, it shall not be necessary to ask him how he will be tried; and if he deny the charge in any form, or require a trial, or if he refuse to plead or answer and in all cases when he does not confess the charge to be true, a plea of not guilty shall be entered, and the same proceedings shall be had, in all respects, as if he had formally pleaded not guilty to such indictment or information; provided, however, that no judgment rendered in any criminal case shall be reversed, set aside or for naught held for the reason that the record does not show that the defendant was arraigned and a plea of not guilty entered, where a trial was had in all respects as though the defendant had been arraigned and had formally tendered the general issue under a plea of not guilty.
546.720 - Death penalty — manner of execution — execution team to be selected, members, confidentiality.
1.The manner of inflicting the punishment of death shall be by the administration of lethal gas or by means of the administration of lethal injection.And for such purpose the director of the department of corrections is hereby authorized and directed to provide a suitable and efficient room or place, enclosed from public view, within the walls of a correctional facility of the department of corrections, and the necessary appliances for carrying into execution the death penalty by means of the administration of lethal gas or by means of the administration of lethal injection.
2.The director of the department of corrections shall select an execution team which shall consist of those persons who administer lethal gas or lethal chemicals and those persons, such as medical personnel, who provide direct support for the administration of lethal gas or lethal chemicals.The identities of members of the execution team, as defined in the execution protocol of the department of corrections, shall be kept confidential.Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any portion of a record that could identify a person as being a current or former member of an execution team shall be privileged and shall not be subject to discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal compulsion for disclosure to any person or entity, the remainder of such record shall not be privileged or closed unless protected from disclosure by law.The section of an execution protocol that directly relates to the administration of lethal gas or lethal chemicals is an open record, the remainder of any execution protocol of the department of corrections is a closed record.
3.A person may not, without the approval of the director of the department of corrections, knowingly disclose the identity of a current or former member of an execution team or disclose a record knowing that it could identify a person as being a current or former member of an execution team.Any person whose identity is disclosed in violation of this section shall:
(1)Have a civil cause of action against a person who violates this section;
(2)Be entitled to recover from any such person:
(a)Actual damages; and
(b)Punitive damages on a showing of a willful violation of this section.
4.Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, if a member of the execution team is licensed by a board or department, the licensing board or department shall not censure, reprimand, suspend, revoke, or take any other disciplinary action against the person's license because of his or her participation in a lawful execution.All members of the execution team are entitled to coverage under the state legal expense fund established by section 105.711 for conduct of such execution team member arising out of and performed in connection with his or her official duties on behalf of the state or any agency of the state, provided that moneys in this fund shall not be available for payment of claims under chapter 287.
546.620 - Power of sheriff to summon aid.
Such sheriff or deputy, while conveying a convict to the penitentiary, shall have the same power and like authority to require the assistance of any citizen of this state in securing such convict, and retaking him if he shall escape, as if such sheriff or deputy were in the county in which he is such officer; and all persons who shall neglect or refuse to assist such sheriff or deputy, when required, shall be liable to the same penalties as if such officer were in his own county.
546.280 - Defendant may be discharged to testify for state.
When two or more persons shall be jointly indicted or prosecuted, the court may, at any time before the defendants have gone into their defense, direct any defendant to be discharged, that he may be a witness for the state.A defendant shall, also, when there is not sufficient evidence to put him on his defense, at any time before the evidence is closed, be discharged by the court for the purpose of giving his testimony for a codefendant.The order of discharge shall be a bar to another prosecution for the same offense.
546.380 - Court not to charge, but may instruct jury.
The court shall not, on the trial of the issue in any criminal case, sum up or comment upon the evidence, or charge the jury as to matter of fact, unless requested to so do by the prosecuting attorney and the defendant or his counsel; but the court may instruct the jury in writing on any point of law arising in the cause.
546.080 - Variance between charge and proof.
Whenever on the trial of any felony or misdemeanor, there shall appear to be any variance between the statement in the indictment or information and the evidence offered in proof thereof, in the Christian name or surname, or both the Christian name and surname, or other description whatsoever, or any person whomsoever therein named or described, or in the name or description of any matter or thing whatsoever therein named or described, or in the ownership of any property named or described therein, such variance shall not be deemed grounds for an acquittal of the defendant, unless the court before which the trial shall be had shall find that such variance is material to the merits of the case and prejudicial to the defense of the defendant.
546.580 - Section 546.570 deemed directory, when.
If the defendant has been heard on a motion for a new trial, or in arrest of judgment, and in all cases of misdemeanor, the requirements of section 546.570 shall be deemed directory, and the omission to comply with it shall not invalidate the judgment or sentence of the court.
546.680 - Capital cases, duty of court.
When judgment of death is rendered by any court of competent jurisdiction, a warrant signed by the judge and attested by the clerk under the seal of the court must be drawn and delivered to the sheriff.It must state the conviction and judgment and appoint a day on which the judgment must be executed, which must not be less than thirty nor more than sixty days from the date of judgment, and must direct the sheriff to deliver the defendant, at a time specified in said order, not more than ten days from the date of judgment, to the chief administrative officer of a correctional facility of the department of corrections, for execution.
546.880 - May be consigned to workhouse, when.
Whenever any person shall, because of a conviction for any misdemeanor or felony, be subject to imprisonment in a county jail, such person may, at the discretion of the court, be confined in any workhouse or other place of imprisonment belonging to any town or city in such county, or in any incorporated city from which said county has been separated by law; provided, the county commission of such county shall have contracted or agreed with the town or city owning such workhouse or other place of confinement for the custody and keeping of such convicts; and cities or towns having no workhouse or houses shall have authority to work convicted persons on the streets, bridges or other public works in such city or town.
546.890 - Persons committed to workhouse imprisoned for full term.
All persons committed to any workhouse or other places of confinement under the provisions of section 546.880 shall be imprisoned for the full term of their sentence, unless sooner discharged by due course of law.
546.390 - Verdict of jury, how rendered.
When the jury have agreed upon a verdict, they must be conducted into court by the officer having them in charge.If they all appear, their verdict must be rendered in open court.If any shall fail to appear, the rest must be discharged without giving a verdict, and the cause must be tried again at the same or next term, as in the case of a failure of the jury to agree upon a verdict.
546.090 - Court may amend record, when — clerk to certify corrections.
Upon the trial of any indictment or information the court may at any stage of the proceeding, in furtherance of justice, amend or supply any pleading, writ, process, entry, return or other proceedings; and the court in which the indictment was found, or the information filed, or in which the trial is had, may at any time before final disposition of the cause, either in such court or the court to which the same may have been appealed, and, whether at the same or different term of court, amend or supply any record in accordance with the fact.If the same be pending on appeal at the time any such record is amended or supplied, the part thereof so amended or supplied shall be immediately certified to the appellate court by the clerk of such trial court.
546.590 - Judgment to be entered by clerk.
Whenever a judgment upon a conviction shall be rendered in any court, the clerk of such court shall enter such judgment fully on the minutes, stating briefly the offense for which such conviction shall have been had, and the court shall inspect such entries and conform them to the facts; but the omission of this duty, either by the clerk or judge, shall in nowise affect or impair the validity of the judgment.
546.690 - Statement of conviction and judgment to governor.
The judge of a court at which a conviction is had must, immediately after the conviction, transmit to the governor of the state, by mail or otherwise, a statement of the conviction and judgment.
546.902 - Municipalities in St. Louis County, authority to enact ordinances and enforce them with fines or imprisonment.
Any municipality located within any county of the first classification with a population in excess of nine hundred thousand, for any purpose or purposes mentioned in this chapter, may enact and make all necessary ordinances, rules and regulations; and they may enact and make all such ordinances and rules, not inconsistent with the laws of the state, as may be expedient for maintaining the peace and good government and welfare of the city and its trade and commerce; and all ordinances may be enforced by prescribing and inflicting upon its inhabitants, or other persons violating the same, such fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, and such imprisonment not exceeding three months, or both such fine and imprisonment, as may be just for any offense, recoverable with costs of suit, together with judgment of imprisonment, until the fine and costs are paid or satisfied; and any person committed for the nonpayment of fine and costs, or either, may be compelled to work out the same as herein provided; but, in any case wherein the penalty for an offense is fixed by any statute, the council shall affix the same penalty by ordinance for the punishment of such offense, except that imprisonments, when made under city ordinances, may be in the city prison or workhouse instead of the county jail.
546.095 - Offense not cognizable before associate circuit judge — procedure.
If, in the progress of any trial before an associate circuit judge, it shall appear that the accused ought to be put upon his trial for an offense not cognizable before an associate circuit judge, the judge shall immediately stop all further proceedings before him, and shall transfer the case to a circuit judge.
546.595 - Associate circuit judge to file statement with certain officers if no appeal — collection of fines.
It shall be the duty of the associate circuit judge before whom any conviction may be had under this chapter, if there be no appeal, to make out and certify, and within ten days after the date of the judgment, deliver to the treasurer of the county and clerk of the county commission each a statement of the case, the amount of the fine and return day of the execution, and the name of the officer charged with the collection thereof; and the county treasurer shall charge the officer with the amount of such fine, and unless the same be paid into the county treasury on or before the return day of the execution, the county commission shall, at their next term, ten days' notice being given to the officer in default and his sureties, render an account stated against them for the amount due, and twenty percent thereon, making, however, proper deductions for insolvencies; on which account stated suit may be maintained and when collected, the proceeds paid in the county treasury.
546.881 - St. Louis City workhouse, commitment.
1.Every person committed to the workhouse of the city of St. Louis, or other place of punishment provided by that city, by the circuit court of the city of St. Louis, shall be put to hard labor at such work as his or her strength and health will permit, whether within or without such place of imprisonment, and shall be under the control and management of those having charge of such prison, subject to such rules and regulations as the municipal assembly of St. Louis City may establish for such prisons.
2.If the party committed is unwilling although able to pay the fine and costs, if such be the punishment for the offense, in whole or in part, in payment of such fines and costs, the party committed shall be allowed for his or her work at the rate of ten dollars per day.No imprisonment for nonpayment of fine and costs shall exceed six months.
3.When a fine is assessed by the circuit court of the city of St. Louis the court may provide for the payment of the fine and costs on an installment basis under such terms and conditions as the court deems appropriate.
4.Any person, after being committed to the workhouse or other place of imprisonment provided by the city of St. Louis, for nonpayment of his or her fine and costs, desiring to pay same, shall make application to the judge of said court, who shall in open court order the fine and all costs of such person to be paid to the clerk of said court, whose duty it shall be to receive same, enter satisfaction on the execution in his execution book, and give notice in writing, under the seal of said court, to the superintendent or person having charge and control of said workhouse, that the execution against such person has been fully satisfied, whereupon such person shall immediately be discharged from said workhouse or place of punishment.