Hayes v. United States

Decision Date29 June 1962
Docket NumberNo. 17099.,17099.
Citation305 F.2d 540
PartiesHiller Arthur HAYES, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit

Before JOHNSEN, Chief Judge, and MATTHES, Circuit Judge.


The conviction of appellant for violation of the Federal Kidnaping Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 1201, was affirmed by us in Hayes v. United States, 8 Cir., 296 F.2d 657. This action was taken after a thorough consideration, on an exhaustive opinion, and with a representation of appellant by able and experienced counsel. Certiorari was denied by the Supreme Court, 369 U.S. 867, 82 S.Ct. 1033, 8 L.Ed.2d 85, and mandate was thereupon issued by us.

Within ten days, appellant filed a motion under 28 U.S.C.A. § 2255, for vacation of his sentence — a step which seems now to have become an almost automatic and continuous prisoner practice, especially as to sentences of more than five years. The trial court denied the motion without a hearing; allowed appellant, however, to file notice of appeal without payment of fee; but refused him leave to prosecute the appeal in forma pauperis on the ground that it was frivolous. He now requests permission from us so to prosecute the appeal.

Paragraph 2 of the motion alleged the following basis for seeking to have the sentence vacated:

"That prior to, during and following the trial, the petitioner was suffering from mental derangement which was the result of severe beatings and heavy sedation, and a motorcycle accident which occurred in 1945. The condition became progressively worse after the beatings by the police in 1960, and prevented petitioner from being fully aware of the charges against him, therefore rendering petitioner incompetent to prepare an adequate defense."

An affidavit attached to the motion made specification and enlargement on these allegations as follows:

(a) That the Missouri police, who pursued and caught appellant in the course of the venture involved beat him into unconsciousness; "stomped" on his stomach and back, "until his kidneys were ruptured and freely flowed blood"; and brought about such a condition that he had to be given hospital treatment and heavy sedation.
(b) That, after appellant was turned over to the federal authorities, and through the period that he was kept in the St. Louis city jail as a federal prisoner, there was administered to him "heavy sedation of an unknown narcotic * * * up to and during the entire trial, rendering affiant mentally incompetent to conduct his trial".
(c) That appellant had sustained head injuries in a motorcycle accident in 1945, from which there had never been a full recovery, and these, in conjunction with and by aggravation from the alleged police beatings which occurred on his arrest, prevented him from being fully aware of the charges against him and rendered him incompetent "to conduct or assist at his trial".
(d) "The gist of affiant\'s allegations is, that until he was received at the U. S. penitentiary, at Leavenworth, Kansas, and was given an opportunity to recover from the severe beatings and the heavy sedation of narcotics, he did not realize that he had been convicted of a serious crime and was sentenced to a long term of imprisonment".

Appellant's assertions that he was not "fully aware of the charges against him" and "did not realize that he had been convicted of a serious crime and was sentenced to a long term of imprisonment", until after his arrival at the Leavenworth Penitentiary, would generally impress as being without substance, when the record of his expressions, conduct and actions in the arraignment, trial and sentencing proceedings is read.

Thus, appellant had stated before the jury, "I am on trial for kidnaping". In his cross-examination of the kidnaped victims, he had engaged in emphasizing that he had not harmed any of them and that, although he had held a gun on them, he had told them that they would not be hurt as long as they obeyed his commands. Also, he assumed to argue to the court that, since a federal offense would not be committed until there had been a crossing of state line, there was no jurisdiction to try him in Missouri but only in Illinois, where the crime had come into existence. Again, when he made his election to represent himself and not have counsel try the case for him, he had stated that he was "standing trial for my life"; that he had theretofore been tried and convicted on a number of other criminal charges, where he had had attorneys represent him; and that on the basis of those experiences he wanted to try his own case, because "I can't do no worse...

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25 cases
  • Nelms v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • May 10, 1963
    ...charges of mental incompetency to stand trial for the purpose simply of obtaining an excursion from the penitentiary. Hayes v. United States, 305 F.2d 540 (8th Cir. 1962). A balance must be struck between the practical and the theoretical, and this can best be done by the district Here, the......
  • Fisher v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • May 10, 1963
    ...v. McNicholas, 298 F.2d 914, 916 (4th Cir. 1962); Hartman v. United States, 310 F.2d 447, 448 (6th Cir. 1962); Hayes v. United States, 305 F.2d 540, 543 (8th Cir. 1962); Santos v. United States, 305 F.2d 372, 373 (1st Cir. 1962); Burrow v. United States, 301 F.2d 442, 443 (8th Cir. 1962). 5......
  • Stoner v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri
    • November 2, 2011
    ...an excursion from the penitentiary." Simmons v. United States, 227 F. Supp. 778, 785 (W.D. Ark. 1964) (citing Hayes v. United States, 305 F.2d 540, 543 (8th Cir. 1962) (per curiam)). Before movant would be entitled to a hearing on his motion, he must support his claim of incompetence by fac......
  • Bradley v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit
    • June 25, 1965
    ...charges and self-serving general proclamations are insufficient. Burrow v. United States, supra, p. 443 of 301 F.2d; Hayes v. United States, 305 F.2d 540, 543 (8 Cir. 1962); Wheeler v. United States, supra, p. 121 of 340 Judge Stephenson's order denying without a hearing Bradley's petition ......
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