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UNITED STATES v. ROZANC

November 14, 1962

UNITED STATES of America
v.
Joseph Louis ROZANC, Michael DeBlassio, Jr., James Barton Jackson, Ronald Matthew Mego, Carl William Thomas



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

This civil proceeding comes before the Court on motions to vacate sentence filed by petitioners pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A. § 2255.

The proceeding arises out of a series of four bank robberies involving five young men who conducted their criminal activities as Enterprise, Inc. Following the entry of guilty pleas, sentence was imposed by this member of the Court.

 The Court has conducted an extensive hearing and considered most exhaustively the testimony presented in support of the allegations set forth in the motions to vacate sentence. There is absolutely no basis to support the motion and, in each instance, it is denied.

 Prior to imposition of final sentence, in view of the grievous nature of the crimes and the youth of the offenders, a complete study and evaluation of all factors was deemed advisable in order that the interests of each defendant and of society would be realized. Accordingly, sentence for study was originally imposed under the provisions of 18 U.S.C.A. § 4208(b).

 Upon completion of such study, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons recommended that a sentence of fifteen years to the custody of the Attorney General be imposed on each of said defendants under the provisions of 18 U.S.C.A. § 4208(a)(2), which parole consideration to be given at the discretion of the United States Board of Parole. The Court imposed sentences under the provisions of 18 U.S.C.A. § 4208(a)(1), committing each defendant to the custody of the Attorney General for a period of fifteen years and providing for parole eligibility for each defendant upon serving a term of three years.

 The Act under which this proceeding to vacate sentence is instituted, 28 U.S.C.A. § 2255, would require relief only if:

 A. The sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or

 B. The Court was without jurisdiction to impose the sentence, or

 C. Sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or

 D. Sentence was otherwise subject to collateral attack.

 Petitioners do not allege that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, nor could they, since it clearly was within the permissible limits.

 Unquestionably, the Court had jurisdiction to impose each sentence. When said defendants appeared before the Court for arraignment and sentence, their appearance was directed by a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum, 28 U.S.C.A. § 2241(a) and (c)(5), and in view thereof, they were legally in custody of federal authorities and subject to the jurisdiction of the court. See Carbo v. United States, 364 U.S. 611, 81 S. Ct. 338, 5 L. Ed. 2d 329 (1961); United States ex rel. Moses v. Kipp, 232 F.2d 147 (7th Cir., 1956); Lunsford v. Hudspeth, 126 F.2d 653 (10th Cir., 1942).

 Therefore, the questions which must be resolved relate solely to whether the sentences were imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or, under the facts and circumstances, are otherwise subject to collateral attack.

 Proceedings under 28 U.S.C.A. § 2255, like a petition for writ of habeas corpus, are civil in nature and are not proceedings in the original criminal prosecutions, but are independent civil suits. Heflin v. United States, 358 U.S. 415, 418 n. 7, 79 S. Ct. 451, 3 L. Ed. 2d 407 (1959); ...


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