391 F.2d 981 (D.C. Cir. 1968), 21496, Wood v. United States

Docket Nº:21496.
Citation:391 F.2d 981
Party Name:Vance L. WOOD, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:January 19, 1968
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Page 981

391 F.2d 981 (D.C. Cir. 1968)

Vance L. WOOD, Appellant,


UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 21496.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

January 19, 1968

Page 982

Mr. Verginald L. Dolphin, Washington, D.C. (appointed by the District Court) was on the brief for appellant.

Messrs. David G. Bress, U.S. Atty., and Frank Q. Nebeker, Asst. U.S. Atty., were on the brief the appellee.

Before BURGER, LEVENTHAL and ROBINSON, Circuit Judges, in chambers.


Appellant was indicted for housebreaking, assault with a dangerous weapon, and robbery, and is awaiting trial on these charges. A judge of the Court of General Sessions, acting on a Bail Agency report and recommendation, denied release on personal recognizance and set bail at $10, 000. That order was reviewed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3146(d) (Supp. II, 1965-66) by another General Sessions

Page 983

judge, the first being unavailable, and the $10, 000 bail requirement was kept. The following reasons were given:

'Well, this is a very serious matter; robbery at gun point. I don't think there is sufficient showing here for me to reduce the bond in this case, the defendant being a user of narcotics for a period of fifteen years. I think it's been my experience that narcotics users are not too reliable, not too credible. I know he has several convictions of narcotics: in 1963 he was convicted of the Harrison Narcotics Act and received four years. He is not employed, he has lived on and off for a period of one year with his mother, father and two brothers, which doesn't give him too much stability. Based on his past record and insufficient community ties, and the fact that he is a narcotics user, I'll not change the conditions of release.'

Following the proper statutory procedure, appellant then moved the District Court to exercise its discretion to amend the conditions of release, and to grant release on personal recognizance. This the District Judge declined to do, although he did lower bail from $10, 000 to $5, 000. Appellant appeals that order, 1 as he is totally without funds and cannot raise that amount any more than he can $10, 000.

The Government urges that the District Judge's order is not ripe for review by this court pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3147(b) (Supp. II, 1965-66), contending that appellant must first avail himself of the opportunity of...

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