Moon v. State, No. 287

CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtBefore HAMMOND; HAMMOND; There is no indication that Judge Pugh increased Moon's sentence because he had elected to have a new trial or for any other unworthy or improper motive. There is substantial indication that the second sentence reflected the
Citation250 Md. 468,243 A.2d 564
Docket NumberNo. 287
Decision Date03 July 1968
PartiesDennis Mullene MOON v. STATE of Maryland.

Page 468

250 Md. 468
243 A.2d 564
Dennis Mullene MOON
v.
STATE of Maryland.
No. 287.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
July 3, 1968.

Page 469

[243 A.2d 565] Robert Anthony Jacques, Rockville, for appellant.

Edward F. Borgerding, Asst. Atty. Gen. (Francis B. Burch, Atty. Gen. and Thomas A. Garland, Asst. Atty. Gen., on the brief), for appellee.

Before HAMMOND, C. J., and MARBURY, BARNES, McWILLIAMS, SINGLEY and SMITH, JJ.

HAMMOND, Chief Judge.

Dennis Mullene Moon was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to twelve years. Schowgurow v. State, 240 Md. 121, 213 A.2d 475, gave him the opportunity to elect to have his indictment nullified, and he did. On retrial he was again found guilty of armed robbery and also of larceny and assault with intent to murder for which he had not been tried the first time. Judge Pugh, of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, sentenced him to twenty years for armed robbery. With credit for the time he had served, and suspended ten-year sentences on each of the other counts. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed the judgment and sentence in Moon v. State, 1 Md.App. 569, 232 A.2d 277, on the authority of 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 (1963), in which we held that after the convicted man had won a reversal on appeal the judge on retrial could impose a greater punishment than had been previously imposed.

We granted certiorari because since Hobbs we had decided State v. Barger, 242 Md. 616, 220 A.2d 304, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit had decided Patton v. State of North Carolina,

Page 470

381 F.2d 636 (1967), and the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland had decided Reeves v. State, 3 Md.App. 195, 238 A.2d 307.

Barger held that where there had been a regular trial, upon a valid indictment, at which the accused had been convicted of murder in the second degree but explicitly acquitted of murder in the first degree, his appeal and the granting of a new trial did not waive his right successfully to plead double jeopardy to the charge of first degree murder at the second trial. In answer to the State's reliance on Hobbs ('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'), we said Barger and Hobbs were distinguishable, and added 242 Md. at p. 627, 220 A.2d at p. 311:

'But even if the cases were indistinguishable, the result would be the [243 A.2d 566] same, for under the circumstances of this case, the rule with respect to double jeopardy is such as to preclude a retrial of the defendant at the instigation of the State for murder in the first degree.'

The opinion went on to say (pp. 627-628, 220 A.2d p. 311) that:

'The further contention of the State that the appeal by the defendant in the first Barger case (235 Md. 556, 202 A.2d 344) from his conviction of second degree murder had the effect of waiving the question of double jeopardy, or barring a plea to that effect, as to the charge of first degree murder of which he was acquitted, based on the premise that the granting of a new trial completely nullified the prior trial, is not only unreasonable under the circumstances of this case, but is not supported by the cases in this and other states. The contention (that Barger's appeal was a waiver) is unreasonable (a) because to hold that the appeal and consequent granting of a new trial constituted a waiver would be inconsistent with the fact that the defendant sought only to reverse so much of the verdict as supported his conviction of second degree murder and (b) because the opening of the whole case for reconsideration would place too great a price on the right of an accused to appeal.'

Page 471

In Patton the Court said the question to be answered was whether a defendant may be sentenced to a longer term of imprisonment at his second trial than he received after his first conviction, vacated on constitutional grounds. Its answer was that under no circumstances can he be. Three reasons were given-denial of due process, lack of equal protection, and double jeopardy. The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, said the Court, does not permit the 'fiction' that a reversal on appeal wipes out all that went before, and that by appealing the accused is deemed to have assumed the risk of a greater sentence. The Court said (381 F.2d pp. 639-641):

'the District Court (at 256 F.Supp. 225) declared that predicating Patton's constitutional right to petition for a fair trial on the fiction that he has consented to a possibly harsher punishment, offends the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It would confront the prisoner with the unhappy choice of either abandoning his constitutional right to a fair trial and serving out his prison term under the invalid sentence, or exercising that right under the hazard, in the event of a second conviction, of being treated as though the years of imprisonment already served had never occurred.

'This is like the 'grisly choice' discountenanced in Fay v. Noia, 372 U.S. 391, 83 S.Ct. 822, 9 L.Ed.2d 837 (1963). 'The law should not, and in our judgment does not, place the defendant in such an incredible dilemma.' Green v. United States, 355 U.S. 184, 78 S.Ct. 221, 2 L.Ed.2d 199 (1957). North Carolina deprives the accused of the constitutional right to a fair trial, then dares him to assert his right by threatening him with the risk of a longer sentence. It may not exact this price. Enjoyment of a benefit or protection provided by law cannot be conditioned upon the 'waiver' of a constitutional right.

'The District Court held that Patton's punishment could not be increased unless evidence justifying a

Page 472

harsher sentence appeared in the record, and that the State must bear the burden of showing that such facts were introduced at the second trial, since 'where the record disclose(d) no colorable reason for harsher punishment,' the effect would be to inhibit the constitutional right to seek a new trial. 256 F.Supp. at 236. We agree with the District Court that it is an impossible task for the prisoner to prove improper motivation of the trial judge. It is equally impossible, and most distasteful, for federal courts to pry into the sentencing judge's motivation to ascertain whether vindictiveness played a part.

[243 A.2d 567] 'We do not think, however, that a defendant's rights are adequately protected even if a second sentencing judge is restricted to increasing sentence only on the basis of new evidence. We are in accord with the First Circuit, which has recently held that a sentence may not be increased following a successful appeal, even where additional testimony has been introduced at the second trial.

'* * * improper motivation is characteristically a force of low visibility. In order to prevent abuses, the fixed policy must necessarily be that the new sentence shall not exceed the old. Seldom will this policy result in inadequate punishment. Against the rare possibility of inadequacy, greater weight must be given to the danger inherent in a system permitting stiffer sentences on retrial-that the added punishment was in reaction to the defendant's temerity in attacking the original conviction. Even the appearance of improper motivation is a disservice to the administration of justice.'

On equal protection the Court said (p. 642):

'If the State wishes to institute a system permitting upward revision of sentences, it must proceed upon a rational basis in selecting the class of prisoners it will subject to this threat. It may not discriminate in this

Page 473

regard against those who have availed themselves of the right to a fair trial. This is an arbitrary classification offensive to the equal protection clause.'

On double jeopardy the Court's thought was (pp. 643-644, 645-646):

'Double jeopardy, rather than being a single doctrine, is actually comprised of three separate though related rules, prohibiting (1) reprosecution for the same offense following acquittal, (2) reprosecution for the same offense following conviction, and (3) multiple punishment for the same offense. * * *

'* * * Thus, unless a defendant is held to waive this double jeopardy protection in seeking a new trial, a harsher penalty may not be imposed. And we have already declared, in Part II of this opinion, that we decline to predicate a prisoner's exercise of his right to seek a new trial on the fiction that he has 'waived' the benefits of his initial sentence, because of the restrictive effect this has on access to post-conviction remedies.'

In Reeves the accused was convicted of rape and given life. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vitiated his conviction and on his second trial he was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment, the maximum allowed by statute under the jury's verdict, with no allowance for the approximately six years he had served under his first sentence. The Court of Special Appeals said (3 Md.App. pp. 203-204, 238 A.2d p. 312):

'In Moon, as here, the twenty year sentence imposed on retrial was the maximum allowed under the statute (Md. Code, 1967 Repl. Vol., Art. 27, Sec. 488). Credit, however, was given Moon for all the time he had served in jail following his arrest. Thus, the case at bar reaches us in a different factual posture than Moon, for, by giving no credit for...

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13 practice notes
  • North Carolina v. Pearce Simpson v. Rice, Nos. 413 and 418
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 23, 1969
    ...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. State, 239 Miss. 874, 125 So.2d 923, 85 A.L.R.2......
  • Percy v. State of South Dakota, No. 19672.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • June 4, 1971
    ...Court thrice granted certiorari on this question, but in each case the writ was dismissed as improvidently granted. Moon v. Maryland, 250 Md. 468, 243 A. 2d 564 (1968), cert. granted 395 U.S. 975, 89 S.Ct. 2135, 23 L.Ed.2d 764 (1969), petition for cert. dismissed 398 U.S. 319, 90 S.Ct. 1730......
  • Briggs v. State, No. 75
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • November 10, 1980
    ...there were no limitations such as those imposed by Pearce on the imposition of a new sentence in the second trial. See also Moon v. State, 250 Md. 468, 243 A.2d 564 5 After North Carolina v. Pearce, 395 U.S. 711, 89 S.Ct. 2072, 23 L.Ed.2d 656 (1969), several of our sister jurisdictions spli......
  • Wayne v. State, 436
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • October 15, 1969
    ...Maryland law prior to Pearce that an increased sentence on retrial was within the discretion of the second trial judge, Moon v. State, 250 Md. 468, 243 A.2d 564, we will reject the contention and hold Pearce not to be retroactive. We point out, however, Wayne's right to petition for post co......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • North Carolina v. Pearce Simpson v. Rice, Nos. 413 and 418
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 23, 1969
    ...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. State, 239 Miss. 874, 125 So.2d 923, 85 A.L.R.2......
  • Percy v. State of South Dakota, No. 19672.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • June 4, 1971
    ...Court thrice granted certiorari on this question, but in each case the writ was dismissed as improvidently granted. Moon v. Maryland, 250 Md. 468, 243 A. 2d 564 (1968), cert. granted 395 U.S. 975, 89 S.Ct. 2135, 23 L.Ed.2d 764 (1969), petition for cert. dismissed 398 U.S. 319, 90 S.Ct. 1730......
  • Briggs v. State, No. 75
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • November 10, 1980
    ...there were no limitations such as those imposed by Pearce on the imposition of a new sentence in the second trial. See also Moon v. State, 250 Md. 468, 243 A.2d 564 5 After North Carolina v. Pearce, 395 U.S. 711, 89 S.Ct. 2072, 23 L.Ed.2d 656 (1969), several of our sister jurisdictions spli......
  • Wayne v. State, 436
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • October 15, 1969
    ...Maryland law prior to Pearce that an increased sentence on retrial was within the discretion of the second trial judge, Moon v. State, 250 Md. 468, 243 A.2d 564, we will reject the contention and hold Pearce not to be retroactive. We point out, however, Wayne's right to petition for post co......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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