Edmonds v. Lewis, No. 75-2308

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore BUTZNER and RUSSELL, Circuit Judges, and HOWARD T. MARKEY; DONALD RUSSELL; BUTZNER
Citation546 F.2d 566
PartiesThomas Earl EDMONDS, Appellant, v. Major D. C. LEWIS, Superintendent of Caledonia Institution, and the State of North Carolina, Appellees.
Decision Date03 December 1976
Docket NumberNo. 75-2308

Page 566

546 F.2d 566
Thomas Earl EDMONDS, Appellant,
v.
Major D. C. LEWIS, Superintendent of Caledonia Institution,
and the State of North Carolina, Appellees.
No. 75-2308.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fourth Circuit.
Argued June 10, 1976.
Decided Dec. 3, 1976.

M. Douglas Berry, Greensboro, N.C., for appellant.

Richard N. League, Asst. Atty. Gen. of North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C. (Rufus L. Edmisten,

Page 567

Atty. Gen., Raleigh, N.C., on brief), for appellees.

Before BUTZNER and RUSSELL, Circuit Judges, and HOWARD T. MARKEY, Chief Judge, United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals. *

DONALD RUSSELL, Circuit Judge:

The petitioner, a state prisoner, who plead guilty to secret assault, discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, and murder in the second degree, and who received a sentence of 28-30 years imprisonment pursuant to a plea bargain, seeks, by a habeas petition filed in District Court, after exhaustion of state remedies, to invalidate his guilty plea on a number of grounds. The District Court dismissed the petition without a hearing and the petitioner has appealed. We affirm.

While the petitioner has asserted several grounds for relief, only one is sufficiently substantial to deserve any discussion. The petitioner alleged that his appointed counsel told him that he had better plead guilty if he wanted counsel to represent him, leaving him with the impression that "if he did not plead guilty that * * * (he) would be left alone and without any aid from counsel or anyone." He contends that this allegation, if sustained by proof, is sufficient to invalidate the voluntariness of his plea. Before entering his plea, however, the petitioner was examined by the Presiding Judge, and stated under oath that the charges against him had been explained to him and were understood by him, that he understood he had a right to plead not guilty and to be tried by a jury, that he was "in fact guilty" of the charges, that his lawyer had talked and conferred with him and he was "satisfied with his services," that "the Solicitor, or (his) lawyer, or any policeman, law officer or anyone else" had not made "any promise or threat to * * * influence (him) to plead guilty," and finally that he "freely, understandingly and voluntarily" entered his plea of guilty. Despite this examination on the record under oath, the petitioner in effect asked the Court to disregard his sworn asseverations at sentencing and to conduct an evidentiary hearing on whether his plea was induced by a threat of his lawyer consisting of the statement already quoted. We do not think the record of this case warrants disregarding the petitioner's positive denial under oath of threats inducing his plea.

The position of the petitioner in this case is not a new one either in this or other courts. Prisoners, dissatisfied with their sentences following the entry of a guilty plea, long overburdened the courts with petitions similar to that filed by the petitioner. Valuable judicial time was thereby consumed in evidentiary hearings on meritless claims that such plea had been induced by threats or a misunderstanding of the charges. In Boykin, 1 the Supreme Court sought to provide a means for relieving the courts of the burden of conducting evidentiary hearings on such claims. It counseled state courts to establish a procedure for examination on the record of a defendant before acceptance of a guilty plea to establish the voluntariness of the defendant's plea and its freedom from coercion by threat or promise. The purpose of such examination was, in the language of Boykin, to "forestall(s) the spin-off of collateral proceedings," later attacking the voluntariness of the plea, the very thing the petitioner seeks to do here. 2 The State in this case has followed the suggestion in Boykin and has adopted a procedure for doing just what the Supreme Court had recommended. Under this procedure, a defendant, before his guilty plea may be accepted, is examined under oath on the voluntariness of his plea, including particularly its freedom from coercion by threat. That procedure was followed here.

In keeping with the purposes of the procedure suggested in Boykin and as formulated

Page 568

for federal prisoners in Rule 11, Fed.R.Crim.P., we have adopted the firm rule that "the accuracy and truth" of a prisoner's denial of any threats inducing his plea of guilty, given during an examination on the record at his sentencing, either under Rule 11 or under a similar state procedure such as that involved here, will be considered " 'conclusively' established by that proceeding * * * unless he offers (by the allegations of his petition) a valid reason why he should be permitted to depart from the apparent truth of his earlier statement." Crawford...

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23 practice notes
  • Thompson v. McFadden, C/A No. 5:15-cv-01568-TMC-KDW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • April 8, 2016
    ...519 F.2d 347 (4th Cir. 1975), overruled on other grounds by United States v. Whitley, 759 F.2d 327, 350 (4th Cir. 1985); Edmonds v. Lewis, 546 F.2d 566, 568 (4th Cir. 1976). Insofar as the review of claims of ineffective assistance of counsel raised by persons who pleaded guilty is concerne......
  • Patrick v. Warden, C/A No. 5:14-cv-4367-BHH-KDW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • January 27, 2016
    ...519 F.2d 347 (4th Cir. 1975), overruled on other grounds by United States v. Whitley, 759 F.2d 327, 350 (4th Cir. 1985); Edmonds v. Lewis, 546 F.2d 566, 568 (4th Cir. 1976). Also, the Fourth Circuit has held that a PCR court's credibility findings are entitled to deference by this court. Wi......
  • Young v. Lewis, C/A No.: 5:18-3046-RMG-KDW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • April 11, 2019
    ...to depart from the truth of his statements." Id. (citing Crawford v. United States, 519 F.2d 347 (4th Cir. 1975); Edmonds v. Lewis, 546 F.2d 566 (4th Cir. 1976)). "In considering an allegation on PCR that a guilty plea was based on inaccurate advice of counsel, the transcript of the guilty ......
  • Pegues v. Kendall, C. A. 5:21-763-TMC-KDW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • November 4, 2021
    ...519 F.2d 347 (4th Cir. 1975), overruled on other grounds by United States v. Whitley, 759 F.2d 327, 350 (4th Cir. 1985); Edmonds v. Lewis, 546 F.2d 566, 568 (4th Cir. 1976). Insofar as the review of claims of ineffective assistance of counsel raised by persons who pleaded guilty is concerne......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • Thompson v. McFadden, C/A No. 5:15-cv-01568-TMC-KDW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • April 8, 2016
    ...519 F.2d 347 (4th Cir. 1975), overruled on other grounds by United States v. Whitley, 759 F.2d 327, 350 (4th Cir. 1985); Edmonds v. Lewis, 546 F.2d 566, 568 (4th Cir. 1976). Insofar as the review of claims of ineffective assistance of counsel raised by persons who pleaded guilty is concerne......
  • Patrick v. Warden, C/A No. 5:14-cv-4367-BHH-KDW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • January 27, 2016
    ...519 F.2d 347 (4th Cir. 1975), overruled on other grounds by United States v. Whitley, 759 F.2d 327, 350 (4th Cir. 1985); Edmonds v. Lewis, 546 F.2d 566, 568 (4th Cir. 1976). Also, the Fourth Circuit has held that a PCR court's credibility findings are entitled to deference by this court. Wi......
  • Young v. Lewis, C/A No.: 5:18-3046-RMG-KDW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • April 11, 2019
    ...to depart from the truth of his statements." Id. (citing Crawford v. United States, 519 F.2d 347 (4th Cir. 1975); Edmonds v. Lewis, 546 F.2d 566 (4th Cir. 1976)). "In considering an allegation on PCR that a guilty plea was based on inaccurate advice of counsel, the transcript of the guilty ......
  • Pegues v. Kendall, C. A. 5:21-763-TMC-KDW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • November 4, 2021
    ...519 F.2d 347 (4th Cir. 1975), overruled on other grounds by United States v. Whitley, 759 F.2d 327, 350 (4th Cir. 1985); Edmonds v. Lewis, 546 F.2d 566, 568 (4th Cir. 1976). Insofar as the review of claims of ineffective assistance of counsel raised by persons who pleaded guilty is concerne......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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