Edwards v. United States, 17704.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
Citation117 US App. DC 383,330 F.2d 849
Docket NumberNo. 17704.,17704.
PartiesThomas G. EDWARDS, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Decision Date12 March 1964

117 US App. DC 383, 330 F.2d 849 (1964)

Thomas G. EDWARDS, Appellant,
UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 17704.

United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit.

Argued September 26, 1963.

Decided March 12, 1964.

Petition for Rehearing Denied May 7, 1964.

Mr. Armin U. Kuder, Washington, D. C. (appointed by this court) for appellant.

Mr. Max Frescoln, Asst. U. S. Atty., with whom Messrs. David C. Acheson, U. S. Atty., Frank Q. Nebeker and Harold H. Titus, Asst. U. S. Attys., were on the brief, for appellee.

Before EDGERTON, Senior Circuit Judge, and WASHINGTON and BASTIAN, Circuit Judges.

Petition for Rehearing en Banc Denied May 7, 1964.

WASHINGTON, Circuit Judge.

This case raises questions concerning the proper conduct of a trial in the District Court of a juvenile accused of crime, where the Juvenile Court has waived its jurisdiction over him pursuant to the provisions of D.C.Code § 11-914. Principally involved are the scope and meaning

330 F.2d 850
of our decision in Harling v. United States, 111 U.S.App.D.C. 174, 295 F.2d 161 (en banc 1961), and our recent holding in Smith and Bowden v. United States, 117 U.S.App.D.C. ___, 324 F.2d 879 (1963)

At the trial of the present case it appeared that on the afternoon of July 31, 1962, three boys entered the offices of Dr. William F. Nelson in Northeast Washington and forcibly robbed him of his watch and wallet. After their escape, he called the police. At some later time, not specified, appellant Edwards and one Anthony Gross were apprehended and taken to the Fourteenth Precinct station. While there they confessed their participation in the robbery, and told the police that one Preston Berry was the third boy involved. The police brought in Berry, and asked Dr. Nelson to come to the station. He did so, identified the boys, and was given back his money and property. All three boys later appeared before the Juvenile Court, again on a date not specified. That court placed Berry on probation, and waived its jurisdiction over Edwards and Gross (who were over sixteen years of age). See D.C.Code § 11-914. The latter two were indicted for robbery by force and violence, D.C.Code § 22-2901, and were tried in the District Court under its usual procedures.

The prosecution's witnesses were Dr. Nelson, the complainant, and Berry, the third boy. Appellant Edwards objected to Berry's appearance as a witness, on the ground that his identity was learned "as a result of a confession obtained from one of the defendants while the defendant was in the custody of the Juvenile Court." Objection was made on somewhat similar grounds to the testimony of Dr. Nelson.1 Counsel cited and relied on our decision in Harling v. United States, supra. The objections were overruled.

Dr. Nelson identified the defendants and Berry in the courtroom, and described the robbery. Berry was then put on the stand by the prosecution. At first he attempted to exculpate the defendants. The prosecutor claimed surprise and asked permission to cross-examine Berry. This was granted. The prosecutor thereupon read Berry's testimony before the grand jury inculpating Edwards and Gross. Berry then stated that his testimony before the grand jury was the truth. The jury found the defendants guilty. Edwards was sentenced to imprisonment under the provisions of the Federal Youth Corrections Act, 18 U.S.C. § 5010(c), and this appeal followed.2 The question posed is whether our decision in the Harling case required the District Court to exclude the testimony of Dr. Nelson, the complaining witness, and that of Berry.

The Harling case bars the Government from using against an accused in a criminal trial a confession or admission officially obtained from him when he was a juvenile detained under the auspices of the Juvenile Court, where the latter court has subsequently waived its jurisdiction and transferred the accused for trial to the District Court. Our ruling in Harling resulted from the special practices which follow the apprehension of a juvenile. He may be held in custody by the juvenile authorities — and is available to investigating officers — for five days before any formal action need be taken. There is no duty to take him before a magistrate, and no responsibility to inform him of his rights. He is not booked. The statutory intent is to establish a non-punitive, non-criminal atmosphere. Harling is a simple recognition that it would be unfair to the individual juvenile and a mockery of the juvenile system to allow unrestricted use of evidence,

330 F.2d 851
gathered through such procedures, in the adult court. Thus, the Harling rule has two bases: principles of "fundamental fairness" to the juvenile, and preservation of the integrity of the juvenile...

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  • People v. Lara, Cr. 10061
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • September 29, 1967
    ...(murder); cf. Roberts v. Beto (S.D.Tex.1965) 245 F.Supp. 235 (murder).16 Further discussing this rule in Edwards v. United States (1964) 117 U.S.App.D.C. 383, 330 F.2d 849, 850--851, the court explained that 'The purpose of Harling is not to deter improper police conduct, since the interrog......
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    ...160, 344 F.2d 545 (1965) (testimony of two witnesses that defendants sold them stolen property is excludable); Edwards v. United States, 117 U.S.App.D.C. 383, 330 F.2d 849 (1964) (testimony of witness whose name was unlawfully obtained is In United States v. Ceccolini, 435 U.S. 268, 98 S.Ct......
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    • October 24, 1966
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    • July 27, 1978
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