Mooney v. Holohan

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
PartiesMOONEY v. HOLOHAN, Warden of San Quentin Penitentiary. * No. ____
Decision Date21 January 1935

294 U.S. 103
55 S.Ct. 340
79 L.Ed. 791
MOONEY

v.

HOLOHAN, Warden of San Quentin Penitentiary.*

No. ____.
Decided Jan. 21, 1935.

Page 104

Messrs. Frank P. Walsh, of New York City, John F. Finerty, of Washington, D.C., and George T. Davis, of San Francisco, Cal., for petitioner.

Mr. U.S. Webb, Atty. Gen., of California, for the State of California.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 104-108 intentionally omitted]

Page 109

PER CURIAM.

Thomas J. Mooney asks leave to file petition for an original writ of habeas corpus. He states that he is unlawfully restrained of his liberty by the state of California under a commitment pursuant to a conviction, in February, 1917, of murder in the first degree and sentence of death subsequently commuted to life imprisonment. He submits the record of proceedings set forth in his petition for a writ of habeas corpus presented to the District

Page 110

Court of the United States for the Northern District of California and dismissed upon the ground that the petitioner had not exhausted his legal remedies in the state court. 7 F.Supp. 385. Applications to the judges of the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for allowance of an appeal to that court from the judgment of dismissal have severally been denied. In re Mooney, 72 F.(2d) 503.

Petitioner charges that the state holds him in confinement without due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The grounds of his charge are, in substance, that the sole basis of his conviction was perjured testimony, which was knowingly used by the prosecuting authorities in order to obtain that conviction, and also that these authorities deliberately suppressed evidence which would have impeached and refuted the testimony thus given against him. He alleges that he could not be reasonable diligence have discovered prior to the denial of his motion for a new trial, and his appeal to the Supreme Court of the state, the evidence which was subsequently developed and which proved the testimony against him to have been perjured. Petitioner urges that the 'knowing use' by the statute of perjured testimony to obtain the conviction and the deliberate suppression of evidence to impeach that testimony constituted a denial of due process of law. Petitioner further contends that the state deprives him of his liberty without due process of law by its failure, in the circumstances set forth, to provide any corrective judicial process by which a conviction so obtained may be set aside.

In support of his serious charges, petitioner submits a chronological history of the trials, appeals, and other judicial proceedings connected with his conviction, and of his applications for executive clemency. He sets forth the evidence which, as he contends, proves the perjury

Page 111

of the witnesses upon whose testimony he was convicted and the knowledge on the part of the prosecuting authorities of that perjury and the suppression by those authorities of impeaching evidence at their command. He also submits what he insists are admissions by the state that the testimony offered against him was perjured and that his conviction was unjustified. In amplification of these statements, he asks leave to incorporate in his petition, by reference, the voluminous details of the various proceedings as they were presented with his petition to the District Court.

In response to our rule to show cause why leave to file the petition should not be granted, the respondent has made return by the Attorney General of the state. With this return, he submits an appendix of exhibits setting forth the consent filed by the Attorney General with the Supreme Court of the state on July 30, 1917, that the judgment of conviction be reversed and the cause remanded for a new trial, and subsequent opinions of that court upon the cases presented to it, the statements of Governors of the state on applications for executive clemency made on behalf of this petitioner and of one Billings (who had been jointly indicted with petitioner and was separately tried and convicted), and the reports of justices of the Supreme Court of the state, and communications addressed by them, to the Governors of the state in connection with such applications.

The return does not put in issue any of the facts alleged in the petition. The return is in nature of a demurrer. It submits that the petitioner 'has failed to raise a Federal question and that, consequently, leave to file the petition should be denied.' Reviewing decisions relating to due process, the Attorney General insists that the petitioner's argument is vitiated by the fallacy 'that the acts or omissions of a prosecuting attorney can ever,

Page 112

in and by themselves, amount...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1554 practice notes
  • Bowers v. Walsh, No. 00-CV-6459L.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of New York
    • July 22, 2003
    ...3375, 87 L.Ed.2d 481 (1985) (quoting Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264, 79 S.Ct. 1173, 3 L.Ed.2d 1217 (1959) and citing Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 55 S.Ct. 340, 79 L.Ed. 791 (1935); Pyle v. Kansas, 317 U.S. 213, 63 S.Ct. 177, 87 L.Ed. 214 (1942)); see also United States v. Agurs, 427 U.......
  • Hays v. Farwell, No. 3:04-cv-0011-RLH-VPC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Nevada
    • March 22, 2007
    ...the Fourteenth Amendment. Napue v. People of State of Ill., 360 U.S. 264, 79 S.Ct. 1173, 3 L.Ed.2d 1217 (1959) citing, Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 55 S.Ct. 340, 79 L.Ed. 791 (1935); Pyle v. State, of Kansas, 317 U.S. 213, 63 S.Ct. 177, 87 L.Ed. 214 (1942); see also Alcorta v. State of ......
  • Keenan v. Bagley, CASE NO. 1:01 CV 2139
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • April 24, 2012
    ...of liberty through a deliberate deception of court and jury by the presentation of testimony known to be perjured." Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 112 (1935). Such conduct by the prosecution is "inconsistent with the rudimentary demands of justice." Id. This is also true "when the State, ......
  • Munchinski v. Solomon, 2:13cv1280.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Pennsylvania
    • June 27, 2017
    ...Brady v. Maryland , 373 U.S. at 87, 83 S.Ct. 1194. Brady was an "extension" of a line of cases beginning with Mooney v. Holohan , 294 U.S. 103, 55 S.Ct. 340, 79 L.Ed. 791 (1935), and Pyle v. Kansas , 317 U.S. 213, 63 S.Ct. 177, 87 L.Ed. 214 (1942), in which the Supreme Court held that a sta......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1553 cases
  • Bowers v. Walsh, No. 00-CV-6459L.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of New York
    • July 22, 2003
    ...3375, 87 L.Ed.2d 481 (1985) (quoting Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264, 79 S.Ct. 1173, 3 L.Ed.2d 1217 (1959) and citing Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 55 S.Ct. 340, 79 L.Ed. 791 (1935); Pyle v. Kansas, 317 U.S. 213, 63 S.Ct. 177, 87 L.Ed. 214 (1942)); see also United States v. Agurs, 427 U.......
  • Hays v. Farwell, No. 3:04-cv-0011-RLH-VPC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Nevada
    • March 22, 2007
    ...the Fourteenth Amendment. Napue v. People of State of Ill., 360 U.S. 264, 79 S.Ct. 1173, 3 L.Ed.2d 1217 (1959) citing, Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 55 S.Ct. 340, 79 L.Ed. 791 (1935); Pyle v. State, of Kansas, 317 U.S. 213, 63 S.Ct. 177, 87 L.Ed. 214 (1942); see also Alcorta v. State of ......
  • Keenan v. Bagley, CASE NO. 1:01 CV 2139
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • April 24, 2012
    ...of liberty through a deliberate deception of court and jury by the presentation of testimony known to be perjured." Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 112 (1935). Such conduct by the prosecution is "inconsistent with the rudimentary demands of justice." Id. This is also true "when the State, ......
  • Munchinski v. Solomon, 2:13cv1280.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Pennsylvania
    • June 27, 2017
    ...Brady v. Maryland , 373 U.S. at 87, 83 S.Ct. 1194. Brady was an "extension" of a line of cases beginning with Mooney v. Holohan , 294 U.S. 103, 55 S.Ct. 340, 79 L.Ed. 791 (1935), and Pyle v. Kansas , 317 U.S. 213, 63 S.Ct. 177, 87 L.Ed. 214 (1942), in which the Supreme Court held that a sta......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Violated Trust: Conceptualizing Prosecutorial Misconduct
    • United States
    • Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Nbr. 21-3, August 2005
    • August 1, 2005
    ...The zeal deal: Prosecutorial resistance to post-convictionclaims of innocence. Boston University Law Review,84, 125-183.Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103 (1935).Murphy, S. (2005, April 13). Judge throws out mobster’s sentence. Boston Globe,p. A1.Nagin, D. (1998). Criminal deterrence research ......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT