42 remanded the case because '* * * it is the letter and the spirit of the Fourteenth Amendment that either the original state court record be itself carefully scrutinized or a hearing he held before any conclusion as to the alleged fundamental unfairness of the state court trial is reached. * * * (citing cases).' (Emphasis supplied.)
The record before this court has afforded it an adequate opportunity to weigh the sufficiency of the allegations and the evidence, and there are no unusual circumstances calling for a more extensive hearing.
The facts are undisputed. Moreover, a further hearing would not adduce any additional relevant facts. The principal argument made by counsel for De Vita was that he was denied due process of law because of Kuhnle's allegedly fraudulent concealment and false answer.
This court has found as a matter of law that De Vita was not denied due process of law because Kuhnle never was asked if he ever had been a victim of a robbery or if he knew and local police. Thus, there is no need to adduce any additional facts. Further, as a matter of sound administration of the criminal courts, absent factors which are not present in this case, a juror should not be questioned subsequent to the verdict. The Third Circuit has commented upon the practice of interviewing a juror after a trial as to his state of mind during the trial:
'* * * A full exercise of the right of voir dire examination ordinarily will afford a defendant ample opportunity to ascertain the qualifications of a prospective juror and to determine whether he possesses bias and prejudice. In the interest of encouraging citizens to serve on juries without fear of later disparaging inquiries into their lives and personal habits we state that the answers given by a juror under oath on the voir dire should not be challenged through subsequent questioning of that juror except under exceptional circumstances. While Bridge was not expressly questioned as to his possible bias and prejudice on voir dire, he stated that he had no previous knowledge of the case, that he did not know relator or any member of his family and that he would try the case according to the evidence and the law. Daverse's counsel did not exercise his right of examination beyond the point indicated.'
The extensive research and study required in connection with the facts present in this petition riveted in my mind the complexities, delays, costliness, and general frustration in the enforcement of criminal justice by the use and abuse of habeas corpus in homicide cases. Justice moves very slowly to punish brutal murderers and dangerous criminals who take advantage of every chance which the 'Merry-Go-Round' of our courts allow. The victims of their crimes generally receive no chance at all.
Our Circuit Court of Appeals recently turned down and appeal
to invalidate a Pennsylvania State conviction in a felony murder where the petitioner had received twenty-three stays of execution for a crime committed in 1947. It has been said many times, 'To delay justice is to deny justice.' Writs are seldom applied for in felony murder cases unless the jury makes no recommendation of mercy. This despite the fact that the tenderness of juries usually makes it very difficult to get the death penalty.
It is generally conceded by the Bench and Bar alike that most attacks on state convictions, whether by direct appeal or collaterally through habeas corpus, lack merit and result in a great waste of judicial time and energy. However, care must be given that due and adequate consideration is given to the few meritorious cases.
It is Hornbook Law that in habeas corpus proceedings the burden of overturning a conviction rests on the applicant. In the case sub judice, plaintiff has failed to meet that burden.
Discharge from conviction through habeas corpus is not an act of judicial clemency but a protection against illegal custody only. To quote the Bard of Avon:
'The tongues of dying men Enforce attention like deep harmony.'
Since the petition does not warrant the allowance by this court of the writ, it is on this 14th day of July, 1955, Ordered that the petition of De Vita be and the same is hereby denied. This determination also applies to Grillo.