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United States v. Dutkiewicz

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT


decided: August 3, 1970.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JEROME PHILIP DUTKIEWICZ, APPELLANT

Aldisert and Adams, Circuit Judges, and Higginbotham, District Judge.

Author: Per Curiam

Opinion OF THE COURT

Appellant, Jerome Philip Dutkiewicz, mounts a two-pronged attack on the validity of his conviction by jury for the crime of transporting a stolen motor vehicle across the state lines, 18 U.S.C.A. ยง 2312. Dutkiewicz's claims arise out of testimony and evidence introduced at trial by Special Agent Eugene Coyle of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While awaiting trial Dutkiewicz was interviewed by Agent Coyle in the Hudson County Jail on September 14, 1966. At that time appellant first signed a waiver of his Constitutional rights*fn1 and then confessed to transporting a stolen automobile from New Jersey to New York.

Dutkiewicz now claims that he was under the influence of narcotics at the time he confessed and was therefore unable intelligently to waive his Constitutional rights. Appellant further contends that his confession was involuntary because it was secured through psychological coercion.

In accordance with procedures sanctioned by the United States Supreme Court since Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368, 84 S. Ct. 1774, 12 L. Ed. 2d 908 (1964), District Judge Robert Shaw considered appellant's two contentions in the course of a very thorough hearing out of the presence of the jury. (See Trial Notes of Testimony, pp. 20-100). At the conclusion of the hearing Judge Shaw concluded that the waiver of rights and confession were voluntarily given. The testimony was then presented to the jury, which returned a verdict of guilty.

We have examined the entire trial record, including the record of the Jackson-Denno hearing, and must agree with Judge Shaw's conclusions. The Government has met its heavy burden of demonstrating that Dutkiewicz knowingly and intelligently waived his Constitutional rights. Miranda v. State of Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, at 475, 86 S. Ct. 1602, at 1628, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1966). As for the confession, "the question in each case is whether the [appellant's] will was overborne at the time he confessed" Lynumn v. State of Illinois, 372 U.S. 528 at 534, 83 S. Ct. 917 at 920, 9 L. Ed. 2d 922 (1963). The record clearly justifies the trial court's finding that the appellant's will was not so overborne.

The judgment of conviction will be affirmed.


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