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Holleman v. Duckworth

decided: February 18, 1983.


Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. No. S 82-363 -- Allen Sharp, Judge.

Pell and Bauer, Circuit Judges, and Timbers,*fn* Senior Circuit Judge.

Author: Pell

PELL, Circuit Judge.

Petitioner Robert Holleman appeals the district court's denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254. Holleman was convicted of felony murder following a jury trial in state court. He unsuccessfully challenged his conviction in the Indiana Supreme Court and then brought this habeas action. Holleman's sole contention is that the trial court erred in admitting two of his confessions into evidence, although he advances several different grounds in support of this argument. The details of the crime are set forth in the opinion of the Indiana Supreme Court, Holleman v. State, 272 Ind. 534, 400 N.E. 2d 123 (Ind. 1980), and we will review only those facts pertinent to our decision.

I. Facts.

Holleman was arrested on October 17, 1976, on charges that were not related to the murder. On October 18, while in custody on those charges, Holleman gave a statement to officers from the Hammond, Indiana, Police Department implicating himself in the murder. The next day, in the course of being interviewed about other charges, Holleman asked Officer McAlister of the St. Joseph County Police to get in touch with the Hammond police and inform them that he wished to make another statement. These officers spoke with Holleman on October 21 and obtained another confession. Holleman confessed once again on October 26. Although he refused to sign a waiver of rights form or his statement on October 18, he signed waivers during the subsequent interviews and signed both statements.

Holleman challenged the admissibility of these statements prior to trial, and the trial court conducted a lengthy suppression hearing. At the hearing Holleman testified that he had been addicted to heroin and was suffering from withdrawal when he gave the first statement on October 18. After giving this statement Holleman was given medication to ease the withdrawal pain. He claimed that he was still suffering from some symptoms of withdrawal on October 21, but stated that he felt fine physically on October 26. When he gave this last statement, however, Holleman claimed that he was emotionally upset because he had just been sentenced to lengthy periods of incarceration on other charges.

Holleman claimed to have requested counsel on October 18 and 21, but was denied this request by the police. He did not request counsel on October 26 because he felt that it was then too late to do any good. Holleman also testified that the police made various promises of leniency to induce him to confess, although he admitted that he was skeptical that the police would keep their word on these. Holleman was not brought before a magistrate on the murder charge until January 7, 1977.

Several police officers testified during the hearing. All of the officers denied that Holleman requested an attorney or that any promises of leniency had been made to him. With one exception they all testified that they had not seen Holleman sweating, shaking or exhibiting any other withdrawal symptoms. Officer McAlister testified that Holleman had been sweating, shaking and doubled up with cramps or pain during the interrogation on October 18, although he did not indicate the severity of these symptoms and stated that some of Holleman's suffering may have been due to nervousness and the heat in the jail. When McAlister saw him on October 19 these symptoms had eased, and by October 21 the only sign of withdrawal exhibited by Holleman was sweating, which may have been caused by the extreme heat in the jail. McAlister denied that Holleman had requested an attorney, although he had been advised to get one. There is no indication in the record that Holleman, who appeared in court represented by attorneys on other charges during this period, did not know how to engage the services of an attorney.

The trial court granted Holleman's motion to suppress the statement of October 18 because of his withdrawal from heroin symptoms, but held that the subsequent statements were admissible. On appeal Holleman argued that the later confessions should have been suppressed as (1) the fruit of an illegal arrest; (2) the product of the inadmissible confession of October 18; (3) the product of the police officers' failure to honor his request for counsel; and (4) the result of his illegal detention in the county jail while waiting to be brought before a magistrate. The Indiana Supreme Court considered, and rejected, each of these claims. In his petition for a writ of habeas corpus Holleman dropped the claim that the confessions were the fruit of an illegal arrest and proceeded with the remaining arguments. In support of his petition Holleman filed a document titled a "Traverse," in which he presented various factual claims regarding his heroin addiction. The district court determined that the state court record presented an adequate basis for decision and refused to consider the Traverse. After examining the record the district court rejected all of Holleman's claims.

II. Voluntariness of Confessions.

A. Heroin Withdrawal.

In the briefs presented to this court Holleman has advanced the argument that the confessions of October 21 and 26 were the product of his withdrawal from heroin. This argument, which was not presented to the Indiana Supreme Court,*fn1 raises the possibility that Holleman's petition contains an unexhausted claim that would require dismissal of the entire petition. Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 71 L. Ed. 2d 379, 102 S. Ct. 1198 (1982). We need not address this issue, however, as this claim was similarly not presented to the district court. "It is a well-established general proposition that 'a litigant cannot present to this court as a ground for reversal an issue which was not presented to the trial court and which it, therefore, had no opportunity to decide. '" Stern v. United States Gypsum, Inc., 547 F.2d 1329, 1333 (7th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 975, 54 L. Ed. 2d 467, 98 S. Ct. 533 (quoting Desert Palace, Inc. v. Salisbury, 401 F.2d 320, 324 (7th Cir. 1968); United States ex rel. Moore v. Brierton, 560 F.2d 288, 291 (7th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 1088, 55 L. Ed. 2d 794, 98 S. Ct. 1285 (1978).*fn2

Even if the issue is properly before us the argument that Holleman confessed on October 21 and 26 because of his withdrawal from heroin is unpersuasive. Holleman has provided us with an impressive array of scientific authorities for the proposition that withdrawal from heroin is a lengthy and painful process. While we cannot quarrel with this as a general proposition, the record in this case indicates that the symptoms of withdrawal had diminished by October 21 and that, according to Holleman's own testimony, had disappeared by October 26. ...

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