51 S.E. 945 (1905)
Defendant was hunting on property without the permission of the owner. This was a violation of a state law. During the hunt, defendant shot and killed his hunting companion. The jury submitted a special verdict in which it specifically determined that hunting itself was not a dangerous endeavor and that defendant had not acted in a reckless manner. The verdict also stated that but for the violation of the gaming law, the killing of the companion did not constitute a violation of the law.
- The court reversed the conviction.
- The offense of hunting on the land without permission was malum prohibitum.
- That fact, coupled with the jury's finding that defendant had not acted in a negligent manner, resulted in a case of excusable homicide, not manslaughter.
- The case would have been different if the separate offense committed by defendant was one that could be characterized as malum in se.
- In that case, a specific intent to do some harm would have been present and the companion's death would have been criminally punishable.
The court reversed defendant's conviction and directed that he be discharged.
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