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Mr. Justice Field's Opinion.

judicial trial, and therefore that the accused were entitled to be discharged from their arrest and imprisonment. To that extent their opinion is concurred in.

But I do not concur, but dissent entirely from what seemed to me to be harsh and illegal assertions, made by counsel of the Government, on the argument of this case, as to the right of the court to deny to the accused the full protection of the law and Constitution against every form of oppression and cruelty to them.

Wong Wing, one of the petitioners on proceedings to be released from the alleged unlawful imprisonment, is a subject of the Chinese Government, with which the Government of the United States has relations of peace and amity. This Chinaman and three other persons of the same race and country were in the month of July, 1892, found within the city of Detroit, in the Eastern District of Michigan, and upon the complaint of the deputy collector of customs at that place, made to a United States Circuit Court commissioner for that district, that they were unlawfully within the limits of the United States, a warrant for their arrest was issued by the commissioner, and they were accordingly arrested and taken before him for inquiry into the correctness of the charge.

Upon examination before the commissioner upon the charge it was held by him that the Chinese persons named were unlawfully within the United States, and his judgment was that they should be imprisoned at hard labor in the house of correction at Detroit, in the Eastern District of Michigan, for a period of sixty days from and including that date, and that at the expiration of that period they should be removed from the United States to China.

The Chinese thus arrested and committed immediately applied to the judges of the United States court for the Eastern District of Michigan, for a writ of habeas corpus, to be released from their imprisonment and restraint of their liberty, alleging that the same were unlawful, without warrant of law and contrary to the Constitution and laws of the United States; and that they were made under the act of Congress

Mr. Justice Field's Opinion.

approved May 5, 1892, entitled "An act to prohibit the coming of Chinese persons into the United States."

The petitioners alleged that the proceedings and conviction were wholly without jurisdiction on the part of the commissioner and without warrant and authority of law. They therefore prayed that the writ might issue commanding the superintendent of the Detroit house of correction to forthwith bring the petitioners before the court and show cause, if any there be, why they should be further detained and deprived of their liberty. The writ was immediately issued and served upon the superintendent, commanding him to have the bodies of the arrested and imprisoned Chinese upon a day and hour designated before the court, together with the time and cause of such imprisonment and detention.

The superintendent immediately appeared before the court and produced the arrested and imprisoned persons with a copy of the commitment issued by the commissioner at a session of the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Michigan, held pursuant to adjournment in the District Court room in the city of Detroit on Friday, the 22d day of July, 1892, Honorable Henry H. Swan, District Judge, being present, and after arguments of counsel were heard, the court ordered that the writ of habeas corpus be discharged, and that the persons arrested be remanded to the custody of Nicholson, the keeper of the District house of correction, to serve their original sentences.

The prisoners now allege that they are aggrieved by the decision of the court, and are advised that the judgment and order are erroneous upon the following, among other grounds:

First, because the commitment and imprisonment of the petitioners in the house of correction are unlawful and without warrant of law, and contrary to the Constitution and laws of the United States; that the proceedings and conviction of the petitioners before the commissioner were wholly without jurisdiction on his part, and without warrant or authority of law; that for these and other reasons appearing upon the face of the proceedings the petitioners, feeling themselves aggrieved by the judgment and decision of the Circuit Court,

Mr. Justice Field's Opinion.

appeal therefrom to the Supreme Court of the United States, and pray that the appeal may be allowed, and, in accordance with the rules and practice of that court, pending the appeal they may be admitted to bail, which prayer was granted.

The question involved is whether a Chinese person can be lawfully convicted and sentenced to imprisonment at hard labor for a definite period by a commissioner without indictment or trial by jury. The question involves the constitutionality of section 4 of the act of 1892.

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It is submitted that this section is invalid because it conflicts with the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which declares that "no person shall be held to answer for a capital, or other infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law," and also conflicts with the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, which provides that "in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed."

It does not follow that, because the Government may expel aliens or exclude them from coming to this country, it can confine them at hard labor in a penitentiary before deportation or subject them to any harsh and cruel punishment. If the imprisonment of a human being at hard labor in a penitentiary for any misconduct or offence is not punishment, it is difficult to understand how anything short of the infliction of the death penalty for such misconduct or offence is punishment. It would seem to be not only punishment, but punishment infamous in its character, which, under the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, can only be inflicted upon a person after his due conviction of crime pursuant to the forms and provisions of law.

Section 4 of the act of 1892 provides: "That any Chinese person or person of Chinese descent, convicted and adjudged to be not lawfully entitled to be or remain in the United States, shall be imprisoned at hard labor for a period not exceeding one year, and thereafter removed from the United


Mr. Justice Field's Opinion.

States, as herein before provided," and whenever the law provides that imprisonment shall follow a trial and conviction of the offender, it necessarily intends that such imprisonment shall be inflicted as punishment for the offence of which the person has been convicted. Imprisonment at hard labor for a definite period is not only punishment, but it is punishment of an infamous character.

Imprisonment at hard labor in a state prison is also servi tude, to which no person under the Constitution can be subjected except as a punishment for crime, whereof he shall have been duly convicted.

In Ex parte Wilson, 114 U. S. 417, the court said: "Imprisonment at hard labor, compulsory and unpaid, is, in the strongest sense of the words, 'involuntary servitude for crime,' spoken of in the Ordinance of 1787 and of the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution, by which all other slavery was abolished."

In 2 Story on the Constitution, § 1924, it is said that this amendment "forbids not merely the slavery heretofore known to our laws, but all kinds of involuntary servitude not imposed in punishment for a public offence."

The provisions of the Fifth, Sixth and Thirteenth Amendments of the Constitution apply as well to Chinese persons who are aliens as to American citizens.

The term "person," used in the Fifth Amendment, is broad enough to include any and every human being within the jurisdiction of the republic. A resident, alien born, is entitled to the same protection under the laws that a citizen is entitled to. He owes obedience to the laws of the country in which he is domiciled, and, as a consequence, he is entitled to the equal protection of those laws.

This has been decided so often that the point does not require argument. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U. S. 356, 369; Ho Ah Kow v. Nunan, 5 Sawyer, 552; Carlisle v. United States, 16 Wall. 147; In re Lee Tong, 18 Fed. Rep. 253; In re Wong Tung Quy, 6 Sawyer, 237; In re Choo Goo Poo, 25 Fed. Rep. 77.

The contention that persons within the territorial jurisdic

Mr. Justice Field's Opinion.

tion of this republic might be beyond the protection of the law was heard with pain on the argument at the bar—in face of the great constitutional amendment which declares that no State shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Far nobler was the boast of the great French Cardinal who exercised power in the public affairs of France for years, that never in all his time did he deny justice to any one. "For fifteen years," such were his words, "while in these hands dwelt empire, the humblest craftsman, the obscurest vassal, the very leper shrinking from the sun, though loathed by charity, might ask for justice."

It is to be hoped that the poor Chinamen, now before us seeking relief from cruel oppression, will not find their appeal to our republican institutions and laws a vain and idle proceeding.

But whilst remarking upon and denouncing in the strongest language every form of cruelty and barbarity in the legislation or proceedings adopted for the expulsion or exclusion of Chinese from the country, who do not enter by the permission of the Government, in order to avoid a misconception of its authorized action in that respect the declarations of the court with regard to the aliens named as to their entrance and as to the time and manner of their departure are adopted.

And the statement of the court in the present case that the United States can, as a matter of public policy, by Congressional legislation, forbid aliens or classes of aliens from their territory, and can, in order to make effectual such legislation for their exclusion or expulsion, devolve the power and duty of identifying and arresting them, and causing their deportation upon executive or subordinate officials, is accepted as sound.

And the further views announced by the court that when Congress sees fit to promote such a policy by subjecting the persons of such aliens to infamous punishment at hard labor, or by confiscating their property, such legislation to be valid must provide for an arrest and trial to establish the guilt of the accused, are also accepted and adopted. "It is not consistent," as truly said by the court, "with the theory of our government that the legislature should after having defined an

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