Court of Oyer and Terminer, 1788-1895

In 1788, the justices were required to convene criminal courts (Oyer and Terminer) during the terms of the Circuit Court. The Court of Oyer and Terminer consisted of a Supreme Court Justice and two or more judges of the Court of Common Pleas with jurisdiction to hear all felony cases including those punishable by life imprisonment or death. Under the Constitution of 1821, Circuit Court judges presided in the Courts of Oyer and Terminer outside New York City and had jurisdiction to try indictments found by a Grand Jury. The Court of Oyer and Terminer was abolished by the Constitution of 1895 and its jurisdiction was transferred to the New York Supreme Court.

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