349 F.2d 20 (6th Cir. 1965), 15876, United States v. Hoffa

Docket Nº:15876-15879.
Citation:349 F.2d 20
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. James R. HOFFA, Defendant-Appellant. UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Thomas Ewing PARKS, Defendant-Appellant. UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Larry CAMPBELL, Defendant-Appellant. UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Ewing KING, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:July 29, 1965
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

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349 F.2d 20 (6th Cir. 1965)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


James R. HOFFA, Defendant-Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Thomas Ewing PARKS, Defendant-Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Larry CAMPBELL, Defendant-Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Ewing KING, Defendant-Appellant.

Nos. 15876-15879.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit.

July 29, 1965

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Morris A. Shenker, St. Louis, Mo., for James R. Hoffa.

Cecil D. Branstetter, Nashville, Tenn., for Larry Campbell.

Jacques M. Schiffer, New York City, for Thomas Ewing Parks.

Harold E. Brown, Chattanooga, Tenn., for Ewing King.

James E. Haggerty, Detroit, Mich., for James R. Hoffa, Jacques M. Schiffer, New York City, for Thomas Ewing Parks, Cecil D. Branstetter, Nashville, Tenn., for Larry Campbell, Harold E. Brown, Chattanooga, Tenn., for Ewing King, on joint brief, for appellants.

Howard P. Willens and Nathan Lewin, Attys., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., for appellee, Herbert J. Miller, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., Philip R. Monahan, Ronald L. Gainer, Stuart R. Pollak, Attys., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., on the brief, John J. Hooker, James F. Neal, Nashville, Tenn., John H. Reddy, U.S. Atty., Chattanooga, Tenn., of counsel.

Osmond F. Fraenkel, New York City, on brief for amicus curiae, the American Civil Liberties Union, Melvin L. Wulf, New York City, of counsel.

Before WEICK, Chief Judge, and MILLER and CECIL, Circuit Judges.

WEICK, Chief Judge.

Appellants were found guilty by a jury in the District Court on charges of wilfully endeavoring to influence, intimidate and impede petit jurors in the discharge of their duties, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1503. 1 The petit jurors had been summoned for jury service in the trial of United States of America v. James R. Hoffa and Commercial Carriers, Inc. (Criminal Case No. 13,241) in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division. The latter case has been referred to as the Test-Fleet case, and involved a two count information charging violation of the Taft-Hartley Act (29 U.S.C. § 186). It was tried before District Judge William E. Miller of Nashville.

The unlawful endeavors which the Government's evidence tended to prove consisted of contacts through intermediaries with acquaintances, friends or relatives of two of the petit jurors and one venireman in an effort to influence their votes by bribery. Venireman James C. Tippens reported to the trial judge on the second day of the trial that his neighbor, Lawrence Medlin, had offered him $10,000. in $100. bills to influence his vote. Judge Miller excused Tippens from the jury.

The Government's evidence tended to prove that endeavors were made to bribe the son of juror Gratin Fields for the purpose of influencing his father; that contact was made with the juror's daughter for the same purpose; that contacts were made with Tennessee State Patrolman James Paschal, husband of juror, Mrs. James Paschal; that promises were made to Patrolman Paschal to obtain a promotion for him if he would influence his wife's vote as a juror. When these efforts were reported to District Judge Miller he excused jurors Fields and

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Paschal and filled their places with alternate jurors.

The trial of the Test-Fleet case lasted for about two months. It resulted in a 'hung jury.' Judge Miller then ordered that a grand jury be convened to investigate the attempts to influence the petit jurors, which resulted in the five count indictment in the present case. After entering the order, Judge Miller recused himself from further consideration of the case. District Judge Frank Gray, Jr., of Nashville, heard a number of preliminary matters, after which he recused himself and the case was assigned for trial to District Judge Frank Wilson. Judge Wilson transferred the case for trial from Nashville to Chattanooga. It lasted six and one-half weeks.

The record and exhibits in this case are voluminous.

Almost every question which the ingenuity of counsel could think of, was raised in the trial court.

In this Court Appellants have presented sixteen questions, subdivided into thirty-six parts. Counsel for both parties were granted leave to file briefs much longer than authorized by our rules. Each side was allowed two hours for oral arguments.

Was the Grand Jury Improperly and Illegally Impaneled?

A motion to dismiss the indictment was filed by Appellant Hoffa and later joined in by the other Appellants in the District Court, in which it was claimed that the grand jury did not represent a fair cross-section of the community; that the Jury Commissioner and the Clerk had delegated to other persons their duty to select the names for the jury box; and that the names in the jury box from which the grand jury was selected had been suggested substantially by United States officials, United States Postmasters, state officials, bankers and employers, resulting in a substantial discrimination against the defendants. Certain exhibits were attached to the motion, sociological values and attitudes of the purporting to show the names, addresses and description of the economic and suggesters.

On the day set for the hearing, Hoffa filed an Offer of Proof stating, among other things, that officers and officials of federally supervised banks and Postmasters serving the Middle District of Tennessee are, as a class, biased and prejudiced against Negroes, Jews, Catholics and manual or blue collar workers, and would not knowingly submit their names for jury service; that bankers, as a class, are also biased and prejudiced against persons not prompt in the payment of their bills, against persons taking any active part in the political or civic life of their communities, and against persons having reputations as liberals or progessives.

Neither the motion nor the offer of proof were verified. Neither stated in what manner nor by what means these charges would be proved.

Affidavits were filed by the Clerk of the District Court and the Jury Commissioner. It appeared therefrom that the 'Suggester System,' also referred to as 'Key Men System,' was used to procure names for the grand jury. The Clerk sent a letter 2 to various persons residing

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in the counties composing the Middle District of Tennessee. The Clerk's affidavit stated how the suggesters were chosen. 3

The Jury Commissioner's affidavit stated that he had written for names of qualified jurors to the Jury Commissioners for the Columbia and Cookeville Divisions of the Middle District of Tennessee. In addition he wrote a letter, identical in form to the letters sent by the Clerk, to a citizen residing in each of the twelve counties of the Nashville Division, excluding Wilson and Davidson Counties, requesting the names of persons from all walks of life, to serve as jurors. Males and females were included in the list. Many of the suggesters were known to him personally, and many others were known to him by reputation. Upon receiving the lists he reviewed them and compiled the list of names to be placed in the jury box. He added fifteen or twenty names of persons residing in Wilson County, who he knew were qualified. He met with the Clerk. Each alternated in placing one name at a time in the jury box until there were four hundred names in the box. They drew one hundred names from the box, from which they selected twenty-three persons, who made up the grand jury.

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Prior to the hearing District Judge Frank Gray, Jr. entered an order establishing the sequence of issues to be heard on the motion:

'1. Whether a suggester system for the selection of prospective grand jurors is invalid, per se, so as to invalidate actions of a grand jury so selected.

'2. Whether a sufficient showing has been made to authorize an inquiry whether the manner in which the suggester system was used in selecting the present grand jury was such as to invalidate the indictment.

'3. Whether the court failed to take proper precautions against seating grand jurors who may have been influenced by publicity, and, if so, whether the indictment is thereby invalidated.

'4. Whether a sufficient showing has been made to authorize an inquiry as to whether the grand jury was biased and prejudiced by publicity.'

The defense subpoenaed the Clerk, the Jury Commissioner and seventy-seven of the ninety-two suggesters listed in their exhibit. At the hearing the Court heard oral arguments from counsel for each defendant and for the Government. The Court called attention to his previous order and sought time after time to elicit from defense counsel proffers of proof as to the names of witnesses and what their testimony would be in support of the charges contained in the motion. In this effort the Court was unsuccessful. The most that could be secured was the statement of counsel that the proof would come from the testimony of the Clerk, the Jury Commissioner, and the seventy-seven suggesters. Defense counsel had talked to only one suggester at that time. The Court would not permit their interrogation because the defense had not established the necessary foundation therefor. 4

The Court did permit proof to be offered on the charge that the Clerk had placed in the jury box the name of a man of Jewish faith, knowing that he was represented by defense counsel Osborn and would likely be challenged for cause...

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