McQuirter v. State

36 Ala. App. 707, 1953 Ala. App. LEXIS 323, 63 So. 2d 388

 

RULE:

In determining the question of intention the jury may consider social conditions and customs founded upon racial differences, such as that the prosecutrix was a white woman and defendant was a Negro man.

FACTS:

Appellant, an African American man, was charged with attempt to commit an assault with intent to rape after a white woman claimed appellant followed her and her children down the street in a suspicious manner. The police and sheriff claimed that, while in jail under arrest, appellant confessed he visited their town intending to rape and possibly kill a white woman. Appellant claimed he merely happened to be walking down the street behind the woman and denied making the confession. The trial court convicted appellant. 

ISSUE:

In determining the question of intention may the jury may consider social conditions and customs founded upon racial differences?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

Under the authorities in this state, to justify a conviction for an attempt to commit an assault with intent to rape, the jury must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant intended to have sexual intercourse with prosecutrix against her will, by force, or by putting her in fear.

Intent is a question to be determined by the jury from the facts and circumstances adduced on the trial, and if there is evidence from which it may be inferred that at the time of the attempt defendant intended to gratify his lustful desires against the resistance of the female a jury question is presented.

In determining the question of intention, the jury may consider social conditions and customs founded upon racial differences, such as that the prosecutrix was a white woman and defendant was a Negro man.

The court found no reversible error in the record and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

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