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UNITED STATES EX REL. KUHN v. RUSSELL

March 25, 1966

UNITED STATES of America ex rel. Joseph F. KUHN, Petitioner,
v.
H. E. RUSSELL, Supt., State Correctional Institution, Huntingdon, Pa., and Pennsylvania Board of Parole, Harrisburg, Pa., Respondents



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FOLLMER

 Joseph F. Kuhn, presently a prisoner at the State Correctional Institution, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, filed, in forma pauperis, a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. A Rule to Show Cause was issued; an Answer was filed by the Respondent, H. E. Russell, Superintendent, State Correctional Institution, Huntingdon, Pa., and a Traverse was filed by the petitioner. A hearing was held at which petitioner testified at length. A transcript of the record of the Bucks County proceedings at which time he was sentenced on his plea of guilty to four indictments and when he was represented by his own personally selected attorney, has been carefully reviewed.

 Petitioner claims that he was held about four days after his arrest without being given a preliminary hearing, that although he requested an attorney he was provided with none during the interrogating period, that he was coerced into giving a written confession without an attorney being present.

 The transcript of the Bucks County proceedings and the Answer filed by Respondent, the facts of which are not denied, disclose that on March 17, 1961 petitioner, accompanied by his personally selected attorney, appeared before the Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Jail Delivery of Bucks County and entered pleas of guilty to four indictments. On the four indictments he was sentenced to from two to ten years, effective December 13, 1960. The minimum expiration date on this sentence was December 13, 1962, and the maximum expiration date is December 13, 1970. He was paroled December 13, 1963.

 At the hearing when sentence was pronounced the testimony of the investigating officer was taken as was that of petitioner. The statement which petitioner claims was obtained from him by coercion was introduced at the time of sentence with no objection having been interposed by petitioner's attorney.

 A habeas corpus proceeding was held in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, on August 31, 1964, involving a sentence of one and one-half to three years imposed on petitioner February 8, 1962, following conviction on trial before a jury. This sentence was made consecutive to the Bucks County sentence. At that hearing, petitioner's personally selected attorney (who appeared with him in Bucks County at the time of the imposition of that sentence) appeared and testified. This testimony went, in part, as follows:

 
(Transcript of Habeas Corpus Hearing, Montgomery County, No. 64-8277, Pages 61-62)
 
"A * * * I'm not positive what day he contacted me. However, my notes show that he had indicated that he had been arrested on December 8, that he had given signed statements to the police and that he hadn't contacted me until after the hearing.
 
Q The signed statements to which you referred had to do so far as you know only with the crimes to which he was pleading guilty in Bucks County?
 
A Yes.
 
Q Having made the decision with your client to plead guilty, you were not then particularly concerned, or at least you didn't discuss with your client any crimes that he might be charged with sometime later?
 
A That's right. He did tell me of crimes he had been charged with in the past, but I have no notes with respect to anything outside of Bucks County."

 And further: (Page 64)

 
"BY MR. ...

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