After release from imprisonment and while on parole for the last offense mentioned, Williams was arrested for the August 1, 1975 armed bank robbery for which he is now confined.
This record establishes that Williams was born in and has been domiciled in New Jersey his entire lifetime and so he has at all times been a citizen of the United States and of New Jersey. The files and records of the court conclusively show that he is entitled to no relief on the ground advanced, and the motion will be summarily dismissed.
March 23, 1978
Re: U. S. v. Williams, Cr 75-371
This is an armed bank robbery case. Defendant was convicted by a jury after trial and sentenced to the maximum permitted by law for the purpose of a study to aid the court in deciding what sentence finally to impose. The study was made, received and reviewed, and final sentence of 25 years was imposed August 23, 1976.
On appeal, the conviction was affirmed. Petition for certiorari was denied. On May 24, 1977, within time, a motion to correct and reduce sentence was filed. A long delay ensued despite 3 orders setting briefing schedules, none of which was met (order dated June 20, 1977; memorandum order dated January 9, 1978; order dated January 28, 1978), and papers continued to be submitted for defendant thereafter (letters of February 17 and 22, 1978).
Being in doubt of its jurisdiction to act at all, the court entered a Memorandum Order dated March 6, 1978 reviewing the case and motion history and setting a schedule for briefs on the point.
Motion to Reduce Sentence
On the merits of this motion and putting aside the matter of jurisdiction to reduce in the circumstances of this case, the court finds that no showing has been made sufficient to persuade it to modify or reduce the sentence. The motion is accordingly denied. The reasons follow.
At the sentence of January 16, 1976, the court had the benefit of a full presentence report; it had the benefit of hearing the testimony at trial; it had the benefit of the earlier presentence report on a previous bank robbery conviction; it had the benefit of materials presented in connection with an application to modify bail during trial, including a conference with defendant's parents; it had the benefit of institutional behavior and conduct reports during the service of the earlier bank robbery sentence. It had the benefit of the presentations made at the sentencing hearing itself.
All of these materials indicated that defendant, although provided with the encouragement, support and love of hard-working, industrious and high-principled parents, had not only "gone astray" but had gone wide astray. The history showed a mixture of pampering or "spoiling", by the parents, coupled with resentment, revolt and violence by defendant.
His misbehavior escalated over the years, reaching a peak with the first bank robbery. He was tried, convicted and sentenced. He served part of his term and was released on parole. The institutional record was not a good one, and it was the court's impression that he was released too early, after too brief a period of good behavior following a longer and rather poor record.
It was while still on parole that the second bank robbery was committed. The evidence of defendant's participation, even if only as an "aider and abettor," was overwhelming. His wife's car was used as the "switch" from the getaway car, was traced and located nearly in close pursuit, and defendant was arrested in a matter of hours after the robbery. When arrested, he had two of the "bait bills" in his possession.
This was highly persuasive and damning evidence in itself. It was even more damning when his wife testified that she had given him one of the bills earlier in the week, and when a friend testified he had given him the other one in repayment of a loan, the very morning of the robbery. Even if a packet of bait bills, by mistake, had been put in circulation by a bank teller on some earlier date, the chances that two of them would have found their way into defendant's hands at the same time are infinitesimally small. The friend later pleaded guilty to perjury and admitted that the alleged payment never occurred.
Every factor was so utterly negative that the court felt it ought to have the benefit of a study, as authorized by law, and ordered it. On its receipt and review, the court found nothing to modify or alter its earlier impressions, and the final sentence imposed was for the maximum of 25 years.
The Congress had made it clear that: "No limitation shall be placed on the information concerning the background, character, and conduct of a person convicted of an offense ... for the purpose of imposing an appropriate sentence." 18 U.S.C. § 3577.
Also, by Fed.Ev. Rule 1101(d)(3), (Pub.L. 93-595), Congress has explicitly declared that, except for privileges, the federal evidence rules "do not apply (to) sentencing..."
Since his conviction in 1975, defendant receives the benefit of the revisions made by Pub.L. 94-233 (March 15, 1976), in that his release on parole is mandatory after serving two-thirds of his term, i.e., at 16 and 2/3 years even if he has not earned good time and industrial credits, 18 U.S.C. § 4208(d) (1976). Such release may only be denied if there be a finding that the prisoner has "seriously or frequently" violated institutional rules and regulations, or if it be found that there is a reasonable probability that he will commit "any federal, State or local crime", idem.
Beyond that, he can earn deductions for good conduct of 10 days each month (the sentence being for more than 10 years) under 18 U.S.C. § 4161, and additional deductions for actual employment in an industry at the rate of up to 3 days each month during the first year, and up to 5 days each month in later years, 18 U.S.C. § 4162. If he earns and does not forfeit such deductions, 18 U.S.C. § 4165, he "shall be released" at the expiration of his term of sentence less the time deducted for good conduct, 18 U.S.C. § 4163. This can work out, under the formula, to less than two-thirds of the sentence, and if so released, the release is "deemed as if on parole" until the end of the sentence, less 180 days, 18 U.S.C. § 4164. His earliest eligibility for parole is after serving one-third of the sentence or 8 years, 4 months, 18 U.S.C. § 4205 (1976). In between that time and such maximum as may apply, his release is a matter to be decided by the Parole Commission. The court is aware of the "guidelines".
Defendant's conduct, by participating in an armed bank robbery after some years in jail under the sentence for the earlier bank robbery obviously means that he must be placed where he cannot rob any banks for as long as the law allows. His experience serving time for one bank robbery evidently did not teach him not to rob banks. He must be prevented from robbing banks for as long as possible even though he may never learn not to rob banks.
It was said, long ago:
"Hang a thief when he's young, and he'll no steal when he's auld", Andrew Henderson, "Scottish Proverbs" (The Home Book of Quotations, Stevenson, Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, 1947)