State v. Cline

In State v. Cline, 125 W. Va. 63, 22 S.E.2d 871 (1942), the Court considered what type of proof was necessary to establish a prior conviction for purposes of a subsequent violation of a statute prohibiting the carrying of a revolver without a license. The offense involved in that case was defined in West Virginia Code 61-7-1 (1931). In Cline, the Court held that the former conviction could be established by "producing the indictment and the order showing the conviction and sentence." Id. at 66, 22 S.E.2d at 872-73. In Cline, the Court evidenced concern about "overemphasizing a prior conviction" in light of the potential for prejudicing the jury on the issue of the defendant's guilt concerning a second or subsequent offense. 125 W. Va. at 66, 22 S.E.2d at 873. The Court opined that further proof of the prior conviction was both unnecessary and potentially prejudicial, preferring to "eliminate all elements of proof which go beyond the establishment of the identity of the accused and the fact of the conviction." Id.