Carter v. United States

Decision Date31 May 1962
Docket NumberNo. 16645.,16645.
Citation113 US App. DC 123,306 F.2d 283
PartiesRichard B. CARTER, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit

Mr. William J. Lippman, Washington, D. C. (appointed by this court) with whom Mrs. Amy Scupi, Washington, D. C., was on the brief, for appellant.

Mr. Paul A. Renne, Asst. U. S. Atty., with whom Messrs. David C. Acheson, U. S. Atty., Nathan J. Paulson, and Arthur J. McLaughlin, Asst. U. S. Attys., were on the brief, for appellee.

Before WILBUR K. MILLER, Chief Judge, FAHY and BURGER, Circuit Judges.

BURGER, Circuit Judge.

On June 2, 1961, appellant, age 20, pleaded not guilty to a four count indictment charging housebreaking and grand larceny. On June 19, 1961, he withdrew that plea and pleaded guilty to petty larceny in violation of 22 D.C.Code Ann. § 2202, a misdemeanor for which the statute provides a maximum one year imprisonment. The record makes clear that at the time he entered the guilty plea the appellant understood the potential one-year duration of a misdemeanor sentence.1 Although he had counsel present at all pertinent steps of the proceedings, the record does not disclose whether he was aware that any alternative sentence might be imposed. However, the court sentenced appellant under the Youth Corrections Act, 18 U.S.C. § 5010 (b) (1958), carrying a maximum rehabilitative confinement of no more than four years provided he meets behavior standards. The court then granted the government's motion to dismiss the housebreaking and grand larceny counts. At sentencing, the appellant protested the sentence for the longer period under the Youth Corrections Act, preferring rather to serve the conventional one year misdemeanor sentence at Occoquan prison. The District Court granted an appeal in forma pauperis on the question presented by the Youth Corrections Act sentence. Appellant has not filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

Appellant's contention respecting the time in excess of one year which he may have to remain in custodial care under Youth Correction authorities for a crime which would otherwise have caused confinement for no more than a year must be resolved against him. We consider Cunningham v. United States, 256 F.2d 467 (5th Cir. 1958), as correctly interpreting the statute. There the court decided that a sentence under the Youth Corrections Act could constitutionally and legally be imposed for a misdemeanor carrying a one year penalty. Inasmuch as the appellant in that case had already served a year at the time he sought unsuccessfully to have his sentence under the Youth Corrections Act vacated, the court's additional holding, by clear implication, was that commitment under the Youth Corrections Act may be longer than one year in cases of misdemeanors, essentially because such confinement cannot be equated with incarceration in an ordinary prison. We agree. Furthermore, the clear language of the Act is that a court may, "in lieu of the penalty of imprisonment otherwise provided by law" commit a convicted defendant to the custody of Youth Correction authorities. This language is silent with respect to limiting the number of years under the Act to the term ordinarily ordered for the particular crime in question. Actual confinement under the Youth Corrections Act may be greater or may be less depending on many factors we cannot know or anticipate. But the basic theory of that Act is rehabilitative and in a sense this rehabilitation may be regarded as comprising the quid pro quo for a longer confinement but under different conditions and terms than a defendant would undergo in an ordinary prison. The reasoning of the Cunningham court is relevant in this connection. The court there noted that the Youth Corrections Act "provides for and affords youthful offenders, in the discretion of the judge, not heavier penalties and punishment than are imposed upon adult offenders, but the opportunity to escape from the physical and psychological shocks and traumas attendant upon serving an ordinary penal sentence while obtaining the benefits of corrective treatment, looking to rehabilitation and social redemption and restoration." 256 F.2d at 472.

Appellant's second point is that if the sentence is legal, then the guilty plea was not knowingly and intelligently made and this court should remand the case with directions to the District Court to vacate the plea. The basis for his assertion that the plea was not knowingly made is the further assertion that the plea was entered in reliance upon the trial court's explanation concerning the maximum punishment available, one year for the misdemeanor. The record does not disclose that such reliance was in fact placed. Indeed the appellant had already pleaded guilty earlier when the court explained the nature of his crime and punishment; after that he reiterated his guilt. As noted he has made no motion before the District Court to withdraw that plea.

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88 cases
  • People v. Olivas
    • United States
    • California Supreme Court
    • June 22, 1976
    ...same flaw present in Minnesota and Liddell. On this point, then, Cunningham does little to aid the People's position. In Carter v. United States, supra, 306 F.2d 283, the federal act was directly challenged on equal protection grounds. Judge (now Chief Justice) Burger reaffirmed Cunningham ......
  • U.S. v. Won Cho
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • April 10, 1984
    ...obtaining the benefits of corrective treatment, looking to rehabilitation and social redemption and restoration.' " Carter v. United States, 306 F.2d 283, 285 (D.C.Cir.1962) (quoting Cunningham v. United States, 256 F.2d 467, 472 (5th Cir.1958)). The Chief Justice concluded that the rehabil......
  • United States v. R.L.C.
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • March 24, 1992
    ...He contends that longer juvenile sentences are only justified by a rehabilitative purpose. See, e.g., Carter v. United States, 113 U.S.App.D.C. 123, 125, 306 F.2d 283, 285 (1962) (imposing a longer juvenile sentence under the now-repealed Youth Corrections Act) ("[R]ehabilitation may be reg......
  • Heard v. Rizzo, Civ. A. No. 44151
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • June 17, 1968
    ...for treatment of juveniles appear to be answered by Cunningham v. United States, 256 F. 2d 467 (5th Cir. 1958); Carter v. United States, 113 U.S.App.D.C. 123, 306 F.2d 283 (1962); Rogers v. United States, 326 F.2d 56 (10th Cir. 1 Through agreement reached by counsel in December, 1967, the c......
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1 books & journal articles
  • Pronouncements of the U.s. Supreme Court Relating to the Criminal Law Field: 1981-1982
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Lawyer No. 11-9, September 1982
    • Invalid date
    ...sense the rehabilitation may be regarded as comprising the quid pro quo for a longer yet less severe confinement. Carter v. United States, 306 F.2d 283 (D.C. Cir. 1962) (quoting Cunningham v. United States, 256 F.2d 467, 472 (5th Cir. 1958). Rehabilitation is enhanced by the broad authority......

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