Interference With the Due Administration of Justice

In Cook v. State, 11 Tex. Ct. App. 19, 21 (1881). the Court stated that since there was nothing in the record showing that the defendant was trying to delay the proceedings or "trifle with the court, . . . a due administration of justice required reception of the proffered evidence." and in Bostick v. State, 11 Tex. Ct. App. 126, 132 (1881) the Court indicated that as long as the evidence was "legitimate" and "important to the defendant," it should be admitted. So the Court of Appeals' stance on the meaning of "due administration of justice" was less clear than the Supreme Court's. While the Court of Appeals appeared to require that the evidence "materially change the state of the case," it did not consistently apply this standard, sometimes holding instead that the evidence should be admitted as long as it was important to the proponent and the proponent was not trying to delay the proceedings. In 1892, the Court of Appeals became the Court of Criminal Appeals. Under that name, we soon got more opportunities to address the statute's "due administration of justice" language. During the first era of our review, from 1892 until about 1912, our case law was not always consistent. Several cases continued with the Court of Appeals' most recent trend and interpreted "due administration of justice" as requiring much less than a "material change." In Burt v. State, 38 Tex. Crim. 397, 40 S.W. 1000 (1897) the Court indicated that a "due administration of justice" required the admission of evidence that was "relevant" and "tended to shed light on the main fact in issue." In Dodson v. State, 35 Tex. Crim. 571, 34 S.W. 754 (1896) the Court held that the trial judge should have permitted the State to reopen its case to prove the date of the offense. The Court indicated that this evidence satisfied the "due administration of justice" requirement because it "seemed to have been overlooked while taking the evidence in the case." And in Montgomery v. State, 68 Tex. Crim. 78, 83, 151 S.W. 813, 815 (1912) the Court found that the trial judge should have admitted evidence that "would aid the jury." Under these cases, evidence was "necessary to a due administration of justice" if it was relevant, could shed light on the case, had been overlooked previously, or would aid the jury.