Kercheval v. United States, No. 705

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBUTLER
Citation47 S.Ct. 582,71 L.Ed. 1009,274 U.S. 220
Decision Date02 May 1927
Docket NumberNo. 705
PartiesKERCHEVAL v. UNITED STATES

274 U.S. 220
47 S.Ct. 582
71 L.Ed. 1009
KERCHEVAL

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 705.
Argued January 19, 1927.
Decided May 2, 1927.

Page 221

Messrs. William E. Leahy and William J. Hughes, Jr., both of Washington, D. C. (Mesrs. Edward J. Callahan, George R. Smith, and Wm. B. Movery, all of Minneapolis, Minn., Paul Jones and Paul Jones, Jr., both of Texarkana, Ark., H. C. Wade, of Fort Worth, Tex., and Samuel B. Wilson, Jr., of Mankato, Minn., of counsel), for petitioner.

Messrs. William D. Mitchell, Sol. Gen., of Washington, D. C., William J. Donovan, Asst. Atty. Gen., and William D. Whitney, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., for the United States.

Mr. Justice BUTLER delivered the opinion of the Court.

Petitioner was indicted in the District Court for the Western District of Arkansas under section 215 of the Criminal Code (Comp. St. § 10385) for using the mails to defraud. He pleaded guilty, and thereupon the court sentenced him to the penitentiary for three years. Afterwards he filed a petition alleging that he was induced so to plead by the promise of one of the prosecuting attorneys to recommend to the court that he be punished by sentence of three months in jail and by fine of $1,000, and by the statement of such attorney that the court would impose that sentence. The petition asserted that the sentence given was excessive and prayed to have it set aside and the punishment alleged to have been promised substituted. The United States denied the allegations of the petition. After hearing evidence on the issue, the court declined so to change the sentence, but, on petitioner's motion, set aside the judgment and allowed him to withdraw his plea of guilty and to plead not guilty. At the trial the court, against objection by petitioner, permitted the prosecution as a

Page 222

part of its case in chief to put in evidence a certified copy of the plea of guilty. The petitioner in defense introduced the court's order setting aside the sentence and granting leave to withdraw that plea. Then both sides gave evidence as to matters considered by the court in setting aside the conviction. The court charged the jury:

'The plea of guilty is introduced as evidence by the government. * * * If you find that Mr. Kercheval made that plea of guilty and that no promise was held out to him for the purpose of getting him to make that plea, or if you find that he was notified before he made the plea that nothing that was ever said to him with reference to it theretofore would be met, then it is evidence for you to consider in connection with the other evidence in the case. If * * * you find that he was deceived, that this was brought about by conversations that he had had with reference to it, and that he made that plea of guilty when as a matter of fact he was not guilty, then you will disregard that particular part of it and consider just the other testimony in the case.'

The jury returned a verdict of guilty, and the court sentenced petitioner to the penitentiary for three years. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment. 12 F.(2d) 904. It said (page 907):

'In the motion made by defendant to set aside the judgment he admits that he had pleaded guilty. The purpose was to reduce the punishment, but if this failed he asked to withdraw his plea, and that the judgment be set aside. We know of no reason why the plea of guilty was not admissible under all these circumstances for what it might be worth. It was not conclusive of guilt, and the court so instructed the jury. The defendant probably knew better than any one else whether or not be was guilty. Under the evidence in this case a plea of guilty upon his part would have seemed a very reasonable thing. We see no substantial or prejudicial error in the admission of any of

Page 223

the evidence complained of.'

The case is here on certiorari. 273 U. S. 685, 47 S. Ct. 244, 71 L....

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998 practice notes
  • Rowe v. Miller, No. 02 Civ.2898(LAK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • January 14, 2004
    ...intelligent acts done with sufficient awareness of the relevant circumstances and likely consequences."); Kercheval v. United States, 274 U.S. 220, 223, 47 S.Ct. 582, 71 L.Ed. 1009 (1927) ("[C]ourts are careful that a plea of guilty shall not be accepted unless made voluntarily after proper......
  • Wood v. United States, No. 7863.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • March 9, 1942
    ...is not admissible at the trial, when it has been withdrawn and a plea of not guilty substituted. Kercheval v. United States, 1927, 274 U.S. 220, 47 S.Ct. 582, 71 L.Ed. 1009; Heim v. United States, 1918, 47 App. D.C. 485, L.R.A.1918E, 87. But it urges that the reasons for this, as given in t......
  • U.S. v. Jackson, Nos. 90-1836
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • January 4, 1993
    ...to sentencing, which the court may grant "upon a showing by the defendant of any fair and just reason." See Kercheval v. United States, 274 U.S. 220, 224, 47 S.Ct. 582, 583, 71 L.Ed. 1009 (1927). On this issue the defendant bears the burden, and we defer to the district court's discretion. ......
  • People v. Howard, No. S004562
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • February 27, 1992
    ...p. 1712, fn. 5; Machibroda v. United States (1962) 368 U.S. 487, 493, 82 S.Ct. 510, 511, 7 L.Ed.2d 473; Kercheval v. United States (1927) 274 U.S. 220, 223, 47 S.Ct. 582, 583, 71 L.Ed. 1009.) The new question that the high court addressed in Boykin was whether it was permissible to infer su......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
999 cases
  • Rowe v. Miller, No. 02 Civ.2898(LAK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • January 14, 2004
    ...intelligent acts done with sufficient awareness of the relevant circumstances and likely consequences."); Kercheval v. United States, 274 U.S. 220, 223, 47 S.Ct. 582, 71 L.Ed. 1009 (1927) ("[C]ourts are careful that a plea of guilty shall not be accepted unless made voluntarily after proper......
  • Wood v. United States, No. 7863.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • March 9, 1942
    ...is not admissible at the trial, when it has been withdrawn and a plea of not guilty substituted. Kercheval v. United States, 1927, 274 U.S. 220, 47 S.Ct. 582, 71 L.Ed. 1009; Heim v. United States, 1918, 47 App. D.C. 485, L.R.A.1918E, 87. But it urges that the reasons for this, as given in t......
  • U.S. v. Jackson, Nos. 90-1836
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • January 4, 1993
    ...to sentencing, which the court may grant "upon a showing by the defendant of any fair and just reason." See Kercheval v. United States, 274 U.S. 220, 224, 47 S.Ct. 582, 583, 71 L.Ed. 1009 (1927). On this issue the defendant bears the burden, and we defer to the district court's discretion. ......
  • People v. Howard, No. S004562
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • February 27, 1992
    ...p. 1712, fn. 5; Machibroda v. United States (1962) 368 U.S. 487, 493, 82 S.Ct. 510, 511, 7 L.Ed.2d 473; Kercheval v. United States (1927) 274 U.S. 220, 223, 47 S.Ct. 582, 583, 71 L.Ed. 1009.) The new question that the high court addressed in Boykin was whether it was permissible to infer su......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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