Hobbs v. State

Decision Date06 June 1963
Docket NumberNo. 312,312
Citation191 A.2d 238,231 Md. 533
PartiesJoseph HOBBS, Jr., etc. v. STATE of Maryland.
CourtMaryland Court of Appeals

Lee Vogelstein, Baltimore, for appellant.

Robert F. Sweeney, Asst. Atty. Gen. (Thomas B. Finan, Atty. Gen., William J. O'Donnell, State's Atty. and Russell J. White, Asst. State's Atty., on the brief), Baltimore, for appellee.



On this appeal appellant's sole contention is that judgments and sentences of twenty years and five years, to run consecutively, were illegal in that they exceeded the total sentences imposed in 1947 at his original trial, this second trial being a new one, the result of appellant's habeas corpus efforts in the federal courts.

On January 7, 1947, appellant pleaded guilty to three charges of robbery with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to twenty years on each charge, the sentences to run concurrently. Since that time, he has filed forty-eight petitions for relief in both state and federal courts, contending he was deprived of due process of law because he was not represented by counsel at his original trial. These efforts were all fruitless until, on appeal from a denial of his eighth habeas corpus petition by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held his petition alleged grounds requiring a hearing in the District Court. Hobbs v. Pepersack, 301 F.2d 875 (4th Cir.). Acting under the mandate of the Fourth Circuit opinion, Judge Thomsen, of the District Court, held a hearing, in which the State of Maryland conceded appellant did not have counsel at the original trial. The Court held that the original trial was a nullity and that the State had seven days in which to elect to retry the case, and that if the State did not do so, appellant was to be released. Hobbs v. Pepersack, 206 F.Supp. 301 (D.C.Md.). The State elected to have a new trial.

On October 4, 1962, after having had counsel appointed for him, appellant was tried in the Criminal Court of Baltimore, before Judge Carter and a jury. He pleaded not guilty to three indictments of armed robbery. The jury found him guilty on two of the three indictments and Judge Carter sentenced him to twenty years in one case, and five years in the other, the sentences to run consecutively from the date of his original sentences. This amounted to five years more than his previous sentences.

Appellant raises no question of his guilt on this appeal. He only contends that the court below could not increase his sentences of confinement over those originally imposed, and that such increase is cruel and unusual punishment under the facts of this case in violation of Articles 16 and 25, Maryland Declaration of Rights.

Appellant argues that when a new trial is granted under Code (1962 Cum.Supp.), Article 27, § 645A et seq. it is improper for the trial court to increase the defendant's sentence. However, this new trial was not brought about due to proceedings under the Uniform Post Conviction Procedure Act, but was the result of the original trial being found a nullity by the Federal District Court, so that the U.P.C.P.A. has no application to this case at all. Even if it did, nothing in the terms of the above mentioned sections of the Code would prevent a greater sentence upon a new trial. In this case we are concerned only with the results of a trial de novo where the accused was charged with the same crimes upon which he had been convicted in the original trial.

On a trial de novo the court hears the case as if it were being tried for the first time, and considers the entire matters of verdict, judgment and sentence as if there had been no prior trial. Moulden v. State, 217 Md. 351, 142 A.2d 595. In that case there was involved an appeal from the sentences of the People's Court of ...

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  • North Carolina v. Pearce Simpson v. Rice
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • June 23, 1969
    ...210 N.W. 465 (1926); State v. Morgan, 145 La. 585, 82 So. 711 (1919); State v. Young, 200 Kan. 20, 434 P.2d 820 (1967); Hobbs v. State, 231 Md. 533, 191 A.2d 238 (1963); Moon v. State, 250 Md. 468, 243 A.2d 564 (1968); Hicks v. Commonwealth, 345 Mass. 89, 185 N.E.2d 739 (1962); Sanders v. S......
  • State v. Barger
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • April 20, 1966
    ...majority of the Court has made an unwarranted and untimely departure from the legal principle enunciated by the Court in Hobbs v. State, 231 Md. 533, 191 A.2d 238 (1963), cert. den., 375 U.S. 914, 84 S.Ct. 212, 11 L.Ed.2d 153 In Hobbs, the federal courts had held that because the defendant ......
  • U.S. v. Hoffecker
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • June 16, 2008
    ...if there had been no prior trial.' Id. at 1148 (footnotes omitted) (emphasis and alterations in original) (quoting Hobbs v. Maryland, 231 Md. 533, 191 A.2d 238, 239 (1963)). The court The mere fact that the same judge happened to be sitting did not entitle counsel to assume that the judge w......
  • Hartley v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • July 1, 1968
    ...on retrial under the same indictment, the trial judge could impose a greater sentence than had been previously imposed. Hobbs v. State, 231 Md. 533, 191 A.2d 238, cert. den. 375 U.S. 914, 84 S.Ct. 212, 11 L.Ed.2d 153. In Hobbs v. State, supra, the Court 'It has been held by this Court in nu......
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