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United States v. Campbell

May 25, 1960

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JOHN CAMPBELL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Author: Duffy

Before DUFFY, SCHNACKENBERG and CASTLE, Circuit Judges.

DUFFY, Circuit Judge.

On September 25, 1959, defendant Campbell filed a petition in the District Court to vacate a judgment and sentence which that Court had imposed on February 3, 1956. The Court denied the petition without hearing.Thereafter, Campbell filed a verified amended petition to vacate the judgment of conviction, setting forth a colloquy between himself and the trial court at the time of the taking of his plea of guilty. The Court again denied the petition without requiring the Government to answer or otherwise plead.

Defendant had been indicted on September 20, 1955, for violation of the Federal Narcotics Laws. After the testimony of the Government's principal witness had been concluded, and after a noon recess, counsel for defendant stated he desired to withdraw the plea of not guilty and to plead guilty to Counts IV, V and VI. Thereupon the following colloquy occurred:

"The Court: Mr. Campbell, your lawyer, Mr. Gayles, who sat beside you, has indicated that you wish to have leave to withdraw your plea of not guilty previously entered to Counts IV, V and VI of this indictment. Of course, having heard the government witness, Mr. Young, the agent, testify, you now know fully the nature of the charge against you, do you not?

"Mr. Campbell: Yes, sir. But I also have something to say.

"The Court: I didn't invite this. I am doing this at the instance of your lawyer. It is my duty to find whether you feel you know about this charge. Do you?

"Mr. Campbell: I would like to explain -

"The Court: Do you know about it? I will give you full chance, after I act on your offer to plead guilty, to say anything you like. Right now, I want to be sure you understand the nature of the charge against you. Do you?

"Mr. Campbell: I do and I don't.

"The Court: Well, did you understand the testimony of the witness, Young?

"Mr. Campbell: I understand the testimony of Mr. Young.

"The Court: You heard his testimony, is ...


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