James C. Martin

At the April term, 1823, James C. Martin was convicted of grand larceny, and being brought to the bar to receive sentence he stated that he wished to make application for a new trial. Judge Scott was upon the bench, and in order to allow the prisoner's counsel to prepare a statement of the ground upon which the application was based "withdrew for a few minutes". The Judge's fondness for the "flowing bowl" is well known, and such opportunities of fortifying himself against the tedium of the court were not to be neglected. It is not surprising, therefore, if his absence extended to several minutes. Upon his return to the bench he proceeded to pass judgment upon the prisoner's application when to his astonishment now one was to be seen. The sheriff then took occasion to inform him that during his honor's absence the prisoner had escaped and distanced all pursuit.

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