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By the common law no one is bound to accuse himself. Nemo tenetur prodere seipsum. In England, by the statutes of Philip and Mary, (1 & 2 P. & M. c. 13; 2 & 3 P. & M. c. 10,) the principles of which have been adopted in several of the United States, the justices before whom any person shall be brought, charged with any of the crimes therein mentioned, shall take the examination of the prisoner, as well is that of the witnesses, in writing, which the magistrates shall subscribe, and deliver to the officer of the court where the trial is to be had. The signature of the prisoner, when not specially required by statute, is not indispensable, though it is proper to obtain it, when it can be obtained. It will be proper to consider, 1. The requisites of such examination. 2. How it is to be proved. 3. Its effects.


1. It is required that it should, 1st. Be voluntarily made, without any compulsion of any kind; and, 2d. It must be reduced to writing. 1st. The law is particularly solicitous to let the prisoner be free in making declarations in his examination; and ...

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