298 F.2d 72 (2nd Cir. 1962), 75, United States v. Galante

Docket Nº:75, 27048.
Citation:298 F.2d 72
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Carmine GALANTE and Anthony Mirra, Appellants.
Case Date:January 08, 1962
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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298 F.2d 72 (2nd Cir. 1962)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,


Carmine GALANTE and Anthony Mirra, Appellants.

No. 75, 27048.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

January 8, 1962

Argued Sept. 28, 1961.

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Albert J. Krieger, New York City, for appellant Galante.

Leo B. Mittelman, New York City, for appellant Mirra.

William M. Tendy, Asst. U.S. Atty., for the Southern District of New York, New York City (Robert M. Morgenthau, U.S. Atty., and Arthur I. Rosett, Asst. U.S. Atty., So. Dist. of New York, New York City, on the brief), for appellee.

Before LUMBARD, Chief Judge, and FRIENDLY and SMITH, Circuit Judges.

J. JOSEPH SMITH, Circuit Judge.

During the course of a long (5 1/2 month) narcotics conspiracy trial, eventually ending in a mistrial by reason of injury to a juror, leaving less than 12 available to serve, appellants were advised by the judgment that their courtroom misconduct was being noted. When the mistrial was declared appellants were called before the bench, held in contempt for the earlier actions, and each sentenced to imprisonment for 20 days. The sentence in the case of Mirra was to follow an earlier sentence then being served. Appeals were taken. Galante applied for bail pending appeal, which was denied. Galante's sentence was fully served June 3, 1961 and he was then discharged.

The United States moves to dismiss Galante's appeal as moot. The motion must be granted. In the absence of any showing of collateral effects of a judgment of conviction, such as loss of civil rights or potential enhanced punishment under multiple offender statutes, completion of service of a sentence of imprisonment makes an appeal from the judgment moot. 'The moral stigma of a judgment which no longer affects legal rights does not present a case or controversy for appellate review.' St. Pierre v. United States, 319 U.S. 41, 43, 63 S.Ct. 910, 911, 87 L.Ed. 1199, Pollard v. United States, 352 U.S. 354, 358, 77 S.Ct. 481, 1 L.Ed.2d 393.

A judgment of guilt of criminal contempt is not a felony conviction. United States v. DeSimone, 2 Cir., 267 F.2d 741, cert. denied 361 U.S. 827, 80 S.Ct. 74, 4 L.Ed.2d 70. So far as civil rights are concerned, Galante had at least one prior felony conviction in New York State. Any loss of civil rights had already been suffered. He does not therefore come within the rule of United States v. Morgan, 346 U.S. 502, 74 S.Ct. 247, 98 L.Ed. 248, Fiswick v. United States, 329 U.S. 211, 67 S.Ct. 224, 91 L.Ed. 196, or Pollard v. United States, supra. Galante's appeal is dismissed as moot.

The certificate filed by Judge Levet in Mirra's case sets forth, as a basis for the finding of contempt, the following transcript of a portion of the trial:

'In accordance with Rule 42(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, I hereby certify that the defendant Anthony Mirra, in the presence and the hearing of the Court, on April 3, 1961, committed the acts which are set forth in Exhibit No. 1 attached to this Certificate, and that these acts constitute a contempt of the Court. I further certify that the aforesaid acts were

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committed by the said Anthony Mirra during the course of the trial of United States v. Bentvena, et al., which trial was then being held before me. Accordingly, in pursuance of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, I summarily find Anthony Mirra in contempt of this Court and commit him to the custody of the Attorney General, or his authorized representative, for imprisonment for a period of twenty days, said twenty day period to commence upon the expiration of the jail sentence which said Anthony Mirra is presently serving.'

Exhibit 1

'The Court: Under the circumstances I am compelled, of course, to consider this motion favorably. Before acting on it I wish to consider certain situations in the trial of this action. One relates to the defendant Mirra. On April 3, 1961, page 13349 of the minutes, the following took place in the presence of the Court and in the hearing of the court:

"The Court: Next witness.

"Mr. Katz: Alex Freeman.

"Defendant Mirra: Your Honor--

"The Court: Speak to Mr. Katz.

"Defendant Mirra: I am speaking to Mr. Katz, but he won't listen to me.

"The Court: No, speak to him off the record.

"Defendant Mirra: Don't you want to get to the truth, your Honor?

"The Court: Yes.

"Defendant Mirra: With all due respect, you are not trying to get at the truth, your Honor.

"The Court: I have spoken to you before about this.

"Defendant Mirra: Well, your Honor--

"The Court: Will you stop talking?

"Defendant Mirra: Your Honor-- your Honor, with all due respect, please--

"The Court: Will you stop talking and talk to Katz?

"Defendant Mirra: With all due respect, your Honor, I want you to listen to me, please. Can I be heard?

"The Court: I am not going to listen to you, and I will declare a recess if you don't sit down.

"Defendant Mirra: Why don't you let the jurors know the truth?

"The Court: Yes, they will know the truth.

"Defendant Mirra: You are keeping the truth from them.

"The Court: There will be a recess.

"Defendant Mirra: Why don't you tell them that they are trying to poison them, the agents. We get blamed for everything in this courtroom.

"The Court: Keep your mouth quiet. (Jury out.)

"Defendant Mirra: Tell them the truth.'

'Upon the basis of the record in this court heard by me and seen by me I hereby sentence the defendant Mirra for contempt and direct that an order be prepared by the United States Attorney's office citing the facts which I have just mentioned and the sentence of twenty days to follow the present sentence now being served by the defendant Mirra on another charge.'

The government contends that the incident is to be viewed in the light of the entire record of the trial, appellant that we are confined to the certificate under Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 42(a), 18 U.S.C.A.

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Rule 42 provides:

'Rule 42. Criminal Contempt


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