There is another important differentiation between the Seals case and the case at bar. Even if it should be deemed that the defendant was in custody from the time when he arrived at Police Headquarters on Saturday, January 26, 1963, at 2:30 p.m., this Court would still conclude that no unnecessary delay occurred before he was accorded a hearing by a committing magistrate. The Court will take judicial notice of the fact that court sessions are not held on Saturday afternoons. Within the principles above discussed, the defendant was not entitled as of right to be taken before a magistrate that afternoon or evening. That he was granted such an opportunity at about two o'clock in the morning was entirely within the magistrate's discretion. Consequently, the confession should not be excluded even on the theory, which the Court does not accept, that the defendant became a prisoner at 2:30 p.m. instead of 10:15 p.m.
In dealing with rules of procedure and rules of evidence, one must not become so immersed in details and minutiae as to lose sight of the ultimate objective. One must not permit the trees to obstruct a view of the forest. The function of the criminal law is to protect the public and its individual members against depredations on the part of persons who fail to observe the rights of others. The purpose of the trial of a criminal case is to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused: to convict him if he is guilty and his guilt has been established by proof beyond a reasonable doubt; and to acquit him if he is innocent or if his guilt has not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Other issues should not be emphasized beyond their proportion or distorted out of their proper perspective. It is to be deplored that at many trials too much attention has to be devoted to tangential issues that have no bearing on the guilt or innocence of the defendant. The conviction of an innocent person would be a tragedy. The acquittal of one whose guilt has been established by overwhelming evidence is likewise a miscarriage of justice.
Rules of Criminal Procedure 'are intended to provide for the just determination of every criminal proceeding'.
They are not an end in themselves. They are merely the means and the instruments by which the purpose of the administration of justice is achieved. The safeguards that surround a defendant are not intended to constitute obstacles and hurdles against conviction of the guilty, but are designed to prevent the possible conviction of an innocent person, or a person whose guilt has not been satisfactorily established beyond a reasonable doubt.
They may be likened to a screen with meshes so constructed as to sift the guilty from the innocent.
The sardonic epigram uttered by Judge Wilbur K. Miller of this Circuit, in his dissenting opinion in Killough v. United States, 114 U.S.App.D.C. 305, 329, 315 F.2d 241, 265, '* * * in our concern for criminals, we should not forget that nice people have some rights too', succinctly epitomizes what seems to be the appropriate attitude toward the enforcement of the criminal law.
Mr. Justice Jackson in Stein v. New York, 346 U.S. 156, 196-197, 73 S. Ct. 1077, 1099, 97 L. Ed. 1522 said:
'We are not willing to discredit constitutional doctrines for protection of the innocent by making of them mere technical loopholes for the escape of the guilty.'
A fortiori, these remarks, although directed primarily to principles of Constitutional law, are applicable to the law of evidence and to rules of procedure.
The underlying philosophy of criminal procedure was expressed by Mr. Justice Cardozo in Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97, 122, 54 S. Ct. 330, 338, 78 L. Ed. 674, in his inimitable manner:
'* * * justice, though due to the accused, is due to the accuser also. The concept of fairness must not be strained till it is narrowed to a filament. We are to keep the balance true.'
The motion for a new trial is denied.