138 F.2d 426 (D.C. Cir. 1943), 8533, Mitchell v. United States

Docket Nº:8533, 8547.
Citation:138 F.2d 426
Case Date:October 25, 1943
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Page 426

138 F.2d 426 (D.C. Cir. 1943)




Nos. 8533, 8547.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia.

October 25, 1943

Argued Oct, 8, 1943.

Mr. James J. Laughlin, of Washington, D.C., for appellant.

Mr. Charles B. Murray, Assistant United States Attorney, of Washington, D.C., with whom Messrs. Edward M. Curran, United States Attorney, and Bernard Margolius, Assistant United States Attorney, both of Washington, D.C., were on the brief for appellee.

Before GRONER, Chief Justice, and MILLER and EDGERTON, Associate justices.


Appellant was tried and convicted on two indictments, each charging housebreaking and larceny. The trials were separate, but as the main ground of alleged error is the same, and as the evidence, except as to the house burglarized and the property stolen, is also the same, the appeals in both cases were consolidated for argument in this Court. The evidence against appellant consists of stolen property found in his house and of alleged verbal confessions of guilt. The seizure of the property, without search warrant, was said by the officers to have been made with appellant's consent and as a part of his confession made immediately after his arrest freely, voluntarily and without compulsion or inducement of any sort. Appellant denied he had given consent to have his house searched and denied that he had made any confession to the police. But the trial judge who heard the question-- apart from the jury-- admitted the evidence and it is this ruling which is attached on this appeal. If this were all, the answer would be plain, but as it happens, there is another element in the case which, as we think places a different aspect on the question. This grows out of the fact that after appellant was arrested and brought from his home to the Police Station and interrogated by the officers, the confession obtained and his consent to the search given, he was continued under arrest for more than a week by the police without being brought before a magistrate, commissioner or court, and this in the very teeth of the statute which commands arraignment 'immediately, and without delay.' 1 It was almost this identical situation which, the Supreme Court in McNabb v. United States said, makes a confession, voluntary or involuntary, inadmissible in evidence on the trial of the case. 2

In the McNabb case five...

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