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Erthal v. United States

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT


decided: April 29, 1969.

FREDERICK ERTHAL, APPELLANT,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Kalodner, Freedman and Seitz, Circuit Judges.

Author: Per Curiam

Opinion OF THE COURT

Two four-count indictments were returned against the appellant, Frederick Erthal, charging him with separate bank robberies in violation of 18 U.S.C.A. § 2113. He entered a plea of not guilty at his first arraignment on February 2, 1967, while represented by Melvin Dildine, Esq. of the Philadelphia Voluntary Defenders Association. He was rearraigned on April 3, 1967, and entered a plea of guilty to Counts 2 and 3 of each indictment. He was then represented by Austin Hogan, Esq., a member of the Philadelphia Voluntary Defenders Association. He was subsequently sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on each count, all sentences to run concurrently.

Erthal filed the instant action for vacation of sentence under 28 U.S.C.A. § 2255 on the ground that his guilty plea had not been voluntarily and intelligently entered. Judge Joseph S. Lord III who had received the guilty plea and sentenced Erthal denied the § 2255 application in a Memorandum and Order in which he found Erthal's contention to be without merit.

On review of the record we find no error in Judge Lord's disposition.

On this appeal Erthal for the first time alleges that his plea was induced by a broken promise of leniency. The arraigning judge specifically inquired prior to accepting the plea as to whether there had been any promises of leniency or other inducements or threats and received negative answers. Moreover, he informed Erthal that he would not be bound by any promise of leniency if one had been made.*fn1 Thus, the record completely refutes this contention.

For the reasons stated the Order of the District Court will be affirmed.


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