Not what you're
looking for? Try an advanced search.
Buy This Entire Record For
UNITED STATES v. CARIOLA
November 30, 1962
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
Sammy CARIOLA, Petitioner
The opinion of the court was delivered by: COHEN
This is a petition to vacate a plea and set aside a conviction entered January 24, 1938. Procedurally the motion is not properly within 28 U.S.C. § 2255, sentence having been served, but will be treated as a petition for Writ of Error Coram Nobis.
Petitioner, along with three other defendants, was indicted for a violation of the 'White Slave Act', 18 U.S.C. § 2421; a plea of not guilty was entered on November 5, 1937; his case was severed from that of his co-defendants; and he was tried alone by a jury on January 24, 1938. At the conclusion of the Government's proofs, it is contended that petitioner and his trial counsel were summoned to the bench by the trial judge, now deceased, who advised that if a 'technical plea of guilty' were entered, a sentence to the custody of the United States Marshal for a period of one day would be imposed. The petitioner testified that after consultation with his counsel he accepted the judge's advice, withdrew his previous plea of not guilty, and was sentenced. The record discloses that sentence was imposed by a judge other than the trial judge.
The Criminal Docket contains the following handwritten clerical notations:
Jan. 24 Trial moved before Hon. John Boyd Avis as to S.C. (Sammy Cariola)
Ord Jury drawn Ord Jury sworn Jury sworn
S.C. Ret plea -- Not Guilty & pleaded Guilty
S.C. plea entered as a technical one (by order of ct.)
S.C. Sentence -- one day -- custody of U.S. Marshal
Petitioner contends that the entry of his plea was not made competently or understandingly and was never intended as a plea of actual guilt to the crime charged. Furthermore, such plea was merely a necessary and proper way to terminate the proceedings and had no legal significance since under Rule 11 of Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure there is no authority for the entry of a 'technical plea of guilty'.
It is urged that under these circumstances petitioner was denied due process of law.
The application for relief is supported by affidavits of the petitioner and his trial counsel. Petitioner avers that he is a responsible citizen and union leader and that his conviction has resulted in embarrassment and loss of prestige. He also maintains that his conviction denies him voting privileges. Counsel avers that at the time of trial he was a member of the Pennsylvania bar for four years, of the New Jersey bar for two years, and prior to his representation of petitioner had tried approximately ten civil and five criminal cases. Lack of experience is now inferred and it is maintained that had it been counsel's understanding that his client was admitting full guilt by his 'technical plea of guilty' he would have urged the continuance of the trial.
The Government contends that the issue is moot; that the petitioner understood his plea and the consequences thereof; and that there has been ...
Buy This Entire Record For