Jacobs, Eastwood and Bigelow.
Defendant, Lawrence Janiec, appeals from a denial by the Mercer County Court of his application for writ of habeas corpus on the ground of alleged erroneous convictions on indictments charging him with escape from the Monmouth County jail and with robbery of one William Carter.
On December 2, 1946, Janiec was convicted on an indictment charging him with escape from the Monmouth County jail. On the following day, he was convicted of robbery of one William McKelvey, and under another indictment of robbery of one William Carter. On December 11, 1946, Janiec was sentenced to serve from 12 to 15 years in State Prison and to pay a fine of $1,000 on the McKelvey robbery conviction; from two to three years and a $1,000 fine on the escape charge and was sentenced to life imprisonment as an habitual criminal under the Carter robbery and conviction. The sentence on the Carter robbery charge was appealed, as well as the two robbery cases and the escape case for alleged trial errors, resulting in remanding for resentence on the Carter conviction, and dismissal of appeal as to alleged trial errors in the
three named cases because of failure to prosecute writ of error within the prescribed statutory period of time. See State v. Janiec , 9 N.J. Super. 29 (App. Div. 1950). Janiec filed an appeal with the Supreme Court from that part of the judgment dismissing his appeal for alleged trial errors. No appeal was taken from that portion of the judgment dealing with the erroneous sentence of defendant. The Supreme Court, in 6 N.J. 608 (1951), on an appeal from the judgment holding that the defendant's writ of error was not prosecuted within time, held that there was an absence of statutory authority for the extension of time for filing a writ of error and that the former Supreme Court had no power to grant the extension of time for filing the defendant's writ and affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Division.
It would not be amiss to observe that in defendant's appeal to the Appellate Division (9 N.J. Super. 29 (App. Div. 1950)), some ten allegations of trial error were presented. The Supreme Court's determination (6 N.J. 608 (1951)), that the defendant failed to prosecute his writ of error within the prescribed statutory period would seem to be dispositive of the issue here as well as to lend serious doubt as to the authenticity of the errors alleged in this appeal. Janiec sought unsuccessfully to review the decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court by certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. He was resentenced on the Carter robbery indictment to serve not less than 14 1/2 years and not more than 15 years in the New Jersey State Prison.
A prior application to the Mercer County Court of Common Pleas for a writ of habeas corpus was denied and the denial affirmed on appeal to the former Supreme Court, In re Janiec , 137 N.J.L. 94 (Sup. Ct. 1948); 336 U.S. 939, 69 S. Ct. 742, 93 L. Ed. 1098, certiorari denied.
In the case sub judice , the defendant's application to the Mercer County Court, Law Division, for a writ of habeas corpus to review his convictions on charges of escape and the McKelvey robbery, was denied by letter memorandum of County Court Judge Richard J. Hughes, under date of May
14, 1951. There is no appendix accompanying defendant's brief and no notice of appeal attached. However, the appendix to the State's brief contains a notice of appeal filed by the defendant on June 25, 1951, in which he appeals from the conviction on the Carter robbery indictment to review certain alleged errors in the 1946 trial, presumably on the theory that a new judgment of conviction was entered because of the remand for erroneous sentence.
Defendant's argument on appeal is two-fold. First, that at the time of his arrest in 1946, he was brutally beaten by police officers, held incommunicado for a long period of time, subjected to extensive questioning by relays of police officers and detained without a formal charge lodged against him; that this was a deprivation of "liberty or life through tyrannical or oppressive means" and "that he was denied due process of law because of the prolonged interrogation over a period of several days, while he was under detention without a hearing contrary to the State law requiring immediate arraignment," and without advice of counsel, all violative of the applicable provisions of Constitutions of the United States and the State of New Jersey. Secondly, defendant argues that he was lodged in the Monmouth County jail, where he was unlawfully detained without being advised as to the charges against him; that, consequently, he could effect his escape by any reasonable means; that he secured his freedom for "a consideration" paid to a guard of that institution and as a result of his unlawful detention his escape was not unlawful. Thereafter, he was apprehended in the State of Massachusetts, returned to the Monmouth County jail, allegedly held incommunicado , subjected to long periods of questioning, and not permitted to obtain the advice of counsel until approximately two months thereafter, at which time he was arraigned before the Monmouth County Grand Jury and allegedly advised for the first time of the charges against him.
Despite the inconsistency between defendant's attack on his conviction under the Carter ...