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Chambers v. Brierley

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT


decided: May 8, 1972.

FRANK CHAMBERS, C-8728, APPELLANT,
v.
JOSEPH BRIERLEY, SUPERINTENDENT, STATE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

Seitz, Chief Judge, and Adams and Hunter, Circuit Judges.

Author: Per Curiam

Opinion OF THE COURT

Appellant was found guilty in the criminal courts of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and sentenced on charges of armed robbery and receiving stolen goods. Although no direct appeal was taken, he subsequently attacked his conviction in collateral proceedings in both state and federal courts. On a number of previous occasions habeas corpus relief was denied.

In the instant case, appellant's habeas petition, filed in the Western District in January of 1971, alleges:

1) that the state and federal courts failed to grant full and fair hearings on certain factual issues; and

2) that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel because of counsel's failure to conduct a pre-trial investigation into certain facts as well as his absence during the charge to the jury.

In a memorandum opinion filed on February 11, 1971, the District Court denied appellant's Petition for a Writ and his Motion for a Certificate of Probable Cause on the basis that these very allegations had already been reviewed by another judge of the Western District as well as by this Court. We granted appellant's Motion for a Certificate and Leave to Proceed on Forma Pauperis.

Initially, it is erroneous to suggest, as does appellant, that he has not had his day in court.*fn1 Nor is there any indication whatsoever that the various hearings held below were anything but fair and dispositive of the issues raised. Finally, appellant does not indicate what "material facts" were not developed at any of these hearings or how these "facts" bear on his case.

Appellant's claim of denial of effective assistance of counsel is equally without merit. Our review of the record as a whole convinces us that appellant's representation was equal to the standard of "normal competency" mandated by this Circuit in Moore v. United States, 432 F.2d 730 (3d Cir. 1970).

The order of the District Court will be affirmed.


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