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SIMONES v. HUMPHREY

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


August 19, 1948

SIMONES
v.
HUMPHREY, Warden

The opinion of the court was delivered by: FOLLMER

Petitioner has applied for his second writ of habeas corpus. He now alleges that 'False testimony was allowed to be given in the case in the sentencing Court,' that a crime not a misdemeanor cannot be prosecuted on an Information, and that he 'was trapped into believing that his course of action in the Court should be to waive an indictment and be prosecuted on an Information.'

The question of false testimony was raised in his previous petition. *fn1" It was further developed at this hearing. While serving a sentence at Chillicothe for mail theft, *fn2" he attempted to escape, which he does not deny, and it was for that offense an Information (with Waiver of Indictment) was filed and to which he plead guilty. *fn3"

 He has another case pending, on a detainer, at the reformatory in western New York (evidently for violation of parole at that institution). *fn4"

 About April, 1946, he was sentenced to three years on the original violation. *fn5" On July 15, 1947, he was given a consecutive sentence of three years for the attempted escape. It is that last sentence of which he complains. The Transcript of the Record *fn6" reports the prosecuting attorney's statement, after the plea of guilty had been entered, as being

 'United States v. Warren Eugene Simones. This particular case is one of the new escapees. This defendant and two others, Kept and Pope got together and concocted a scheme to escape by using a bar on one of the windows. The other two got away but Simones dropped to the second floor and did not escape from the institution itself. The assistant warden is here and can tell us about it.'

 The Assistant Warden (the transcript again having the names as 'Pope' and 'Kept') amplifies the other statement by ' * * * this man Simones in dropping to the ground sprained his ankle and was found at the fence line. He gave himself up at that time because he was unable to go any further.' Petitioner's contention is that the correct names of the two other prisoners implicated, and who actually escaped, were 'Paquette' and 'Probe,' *fn7" and that he intended to give himself up. Counsel who was prosecuting the case, and the Assistant Warden, certainly knew the names and the error is probably a stenographer's error in transcribing, but assuming the names were actually mispronounced, certainly this did not constitute a denial of due process *fn8" nor could it in any event conceivably have influenced the sentence.

 As to the waiving of an indictment, this Court does not question the constitutionality of Rule 7 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, 18 U.S.C.A. following section 687. Moreover, the record shows that the prosecuting attorney asked whether he had the money or means to employ an attorney and inquired, 'Do you desire the Court to appoint a lawyer for you without cost to you?' and the court further so advised him. *fn9" He was fully informed as to the effect of a Waiver of Indictment. *fn10" The charge was repeated to him and before imposing sentence the court inquired, 'Have you anything to say?' to which he replied, 'No, sir. *fn11" We can find no denial of due process here

 As to his new allegation concerning entrapment, this was not mentioned in the first habeas corpus *fn12" and his testimony at the present hearing was very vague. *fn13"

 As to a statement given to an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation there is no question on the facts before me that he made such statement admitting his part in the affair, voluntarily, without any threats or promises of any kind, nor did petitioner at the hearing, when questioned for details, deny this fact or contend that his plea was in any respect forced. *fn14"

 The petition for writ of habeas corpus is accordingly dismissed and the rule to show cause issued thereon discharged. *fn15"


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