324 F.2d 804 (5th Cir. 1963), 20270, Stone v. United States

Docket Nº:20270.
Citation:324 F.2d 804
Party Name:Lonnie H. STONE, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:November 13, 1963
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 804

324 F.2d 804 (5th Cir. 1963)

Lonnie H. STONE, Appellant,

v.

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 20270.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

November 13, 1963

Rehearing Denied Dec, 17, 1963.

S. Gunter Toney, Tallahassee, Fla., for appellant.

Clinton Ashmore, U.S. Atty., Tallahassee, Fla., C. W. Eggart, Jr., First Asst. U.S. Atty., Pensacola, Fla., Stewart J. Carrouth, Asst. U.S. Atty., Tallahassee, Fla., for appellee.

Before RIVES and JONES, Circuit Judges, and DAWKINS, District Judge.

JONES, Circuit Judge.

The appellant asserts that his conviction of moonshine activity was erroneous and should be reversed.

The judge of the District Court for the Northern District of Florida, on December 4, 1961, sent out an instrument which the United States Attorney calls a Letter Directive and which counsel for

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the appellant calls a blanket order. It was directed to the U.S. Marshal, Clerk, Deputy Clerks and Jury Commissioners. It is in these terms:

'Effective this date the names of jurors drawn for service on the grand jury or the petit jury in this District, or any division thereof, shall not be disclosed or published to any persons whatsoever in the absence of further order of this Court until the day of the beginning of service of such jurors for the term for which they have been subpoenaed.

'This procedure has been followed for a long time in many other Districts. While I am confident that our old system has not been abused to any great extent, we have, nevertheless, had enough occasions where it was to suggest the need of such a restriction as this. Indeed, I am inclined to believe that this will eliminate the possibility of many situations which, if not actual violations of the obstruction of justice statutes, give rise to possible suspicion and subject prospective jurors to annoyance if not pressure.'

The appellant's case was set for trial on December 3, 1962, the opening day of a trial term of the Marianna, Florida, division of the court. On November 29, 1962, the appellant filed a motion for leave to inspect the list of jurors and, in the alternative, for a continuance to a date later than the opening day of the term. On December 3, 1962, the appellant stated that he was not ready for trial for the reason asserted in his prior motion and sought a continuance. The court overruled the appellant's objection and the case proceeded to trial.

During the voir dire examination of the prospective jurors, the record shows the following:

Defense Counsel:

'Gentlemen (of the jury) I direct this question to all of you, if at the close of this case the evidence appears to be well balanced, or even, would you tend to...

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