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UNITED STATES EX REL. GALLAGHER v. BRIERLEY

July 8, 1968

UNITED STATES of America ex rel. George T. GALLAGHER
v.
Joseph R. BRIERLEY, Superintendent



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORD, III

 JOSEPH S. LORD, III, District Judge.

 Relator is currently serving a life term imposed on November 17, 1947, arising from a first degree murder conviction. He now, having exhausted his state remedies, attacks the validity of this conviction by federal habeas corpus.

 He alleges three grounds in support of his petition.

 1. That his confession was involuntary and therefore its introduction into evidence at trial denied him due process of law.

 2. That he received ineffective assistance of counsel.

 3. That he was denied his right to appeal.

 Because of the nature of the state proceedings, we held a hearing and appointed counsel. See Townsend v. Sain, 372 U.S. 293, 83 S. Ct. 745, 9 L. Ed. 2d 770 (1963).

 Relator at 4:30 a.m. on May 4, 1967 mortally wounded his wife while they were embroiled in a dispute over another man. Immediately thereafter, relator contacted his neighbor, informed him of the occurrence and requested that he call the police.

 The police arrived shortly thereafter and removed the relator's wife to Graduate Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Relator was taken to the station house at 12th and Pine Streets in Philadelphia.

 Relator's claim is that he was continually questioned from the time he was taken into custody until approximately 8:00 p.m. at which time he confessed. During this period he was denied food and sleep and was subjected to constant "poking" by the police.

 Moreover, relator also testified that before his arrest he had not been to sleep for about twenty-eight hours and had consumed close to two bottles of whiskey.

 The gist of the police testimony is that relator was allowed to go to sleep when they arrived at the station house and then, at about 1:15, after sleeping ...


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