Moorer v. State of South Carolina, No. 10526.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation368 F.2d 458
Decision Date26 September 1966
Docket NumberNo. 10526.
PartiesLouis MOORER, Appellant, v. STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA and Ellis C. MacDougall, Director, South Carolina State Board of Corrections, Appellees.

368 F.2d 458 (1966)

Louis MOORER, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA and Ellis C. MacDougall, Director, South Carolina State Board of Corrections, Appellees.

No. 10526.

United States Court of Appeals Fourth Circuit.

Argued May 30, 1966.

Memorandum and Order July 18, 1966.

Opinion Filed September 26, 1966.


368 F.2d 459

Jack Greenberg, New York City (Norman C. Amaker, James M. Nabrit, III, Michael Meltsner, New York City, Matthew J. Perry, Columbia, S. C., and F. Henderson Moore, Charleston, S. C., on the brief) for appellant.

E. N. Brandon, Asst. Atty. Gen. of South Carolina (Daniel R. McLeod, Atty. Gen. of South Carolina, and Julian S. Wolfe, Sol., First Judicial Circuit, on the brief) for appellees.

Before SOBELOFF, BOREMAN and J. SPENCER BELL, Circuit Judges.

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

PER CURIAM:

On August 18, 1965, the District Court conducted a hearing on a petition by Louis Moorer for a writ of habeas corpus. Moorer, a Negro, is under sentence of death after conviction in a jury trial in a South Carolina state court for the rape of a white woman.

In support of his petition he alleges, inter alia, that in South Carolina the death penalty for rape has been applied in a racially discriminatory manner. On the day of the hearing, counsel for Moorer sought a 60-day extension in order to produce statistical analysis of 355 schedules which detail the circumstances of rape cases in South Carolina from 1945 to 1965. The District Court denied the extension. Attorneys for the appellant then offered to introduce into evidence the 355 schedules. The District Court refused to admit the documents, but took them into custody and ordered them sealed and subject to removal or copying only upon good cause shown. On August 23, 1965, counsel for appellant filed a motion for leave to withdraw the 355 schedules, and a hearing on the motion was held on October 4, 1965. The District Court has not yet issued a ruling, but the documents have been forwarded to this court with the record on appeal.

The schedules are the product of a study initiated by appellant's counsel in 1965 to examine in eleven states the circumstances in which the death penalty

368 F.2d 460
was imposed in rape cases.* Under the guidance of Professor Anthony Amsterdam of the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania and Professor Marvin Wolfgang, graduate chairman of the Department of Sociology of the University of Pennsylvania, questionnaires were framed to elicit, in addition to data appearing in court records, all "available and known factors which * * * are likely to affect the discretion of jurors and executive officials in sustaining or modifying a sentence imposed upon one convicted of rape." (Affidavit of Professor Wolfgang.) Twenty-eight law students volunteered to conduct the supplemental field research, and were briefed at the University of Pennsylvania on the legal and methodological aspects of the study, instructed extensively on the methods of gathering and recording data, and thoroughly familiarized with the schedule to be used. They then spent from ten to twelve weeks during the summer of 1965 conducting the survey. The affidavits submitted with the motion recite that state officials and local private attorneys were found co-operative in their responses. The affidavits further show that "because of the voluminous and complex nature of the data whose examination is required in order to arrive at such valid and reliable conclusions, considerable time is needed for analysis before even preliminary opinions can be formed concerning the effect of race on capital sentencing and executions in the State of South Carolina."

After the District Court denied on its merits the petition for a writ of habeas corpus, Moorer appealed, and as a preliminary matter his attorneys urged this court to order the release of the 355 schedules so that they might be statistically analyzed.

Because the schedules constitute the work product of the attorneys for the appellant and of other responsible parties, and because the information contained in them might prove useful in this and other litigation, and because there appears no reason for withholding these documents from the attorneys,

It is now hereby ordered that the Clerk of this court release the 355 schedules and deliver them to counsel for the appellant. The court intimates no opinion on the merits of the case and retains jurisdiction of the appeal.

OPINION

SOBELOFF, Circuit Judge.

Louis Moorer is currently under sentence of death imposed by the General Sessions Court of Dorchester County, South Carolina, following his 1962 conviction for rape. After exhausting all available state remedies,1 he petitioned the District Court for a writ of habeas corpus, which was denied without a hearing. After a hearing ordered by this court,2 the petition was again denied, and Moorer appeals. Because the jury at his state trial was apprised of an inculpatory statement taken from Moorer after his arrest, but was given no opportunity to determine the voluntariness of the statement, we reverse. Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368, 84 S.Ct. 1774, 12 L.Ed.2d 908 (1964); Rogers v. Richmond, 365 U.S. 534, 81 S.Ct. 735, 5 L. Ed.2d 760 (1961).

In the course of Moorer's trial, a deputy sheriff testified in the jury's presence that he had been at a "conference" during which Moorer made a statement. In response to the prosecuting attorney's questions, the deputy stated that no threats, promises, or force

368 F.2d 461
had been used to procure the statement, and that it had been given "freely and voluntarily."3 The prosecutor then offered the statement in evidence, but the trial judge excluded it after defense counsel objected that Moorer had not been advised of his right to counsel during the "conference."4

The prosecutor then called the County Sheriff, who reiterated the deputy's testimony and stated specifically that Moorer had been advised of his right to counsel....

To continue reading

Request your trial
9 practice notes
  • People v. Doherty, Cr. 10097
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 10, 1967
    ...Cal.Rptr. 733; People v. Anderson (1966) 243 Cal.App.2d 243, 244, 52 Cal.Rptr. 201; cf. Moorer v. State of South Carolina (4th Cir. 1966) 368 F.2d 458, 462; contra, Jenkins v. State (Del. 1967) 230 A.2d 262; People v. Worley (Ill.1967) 227 N.E.2d 746; People v. LaBelle (County Ct. 1967) 53 ......
  • Jenkins v. Delaware, No. 748
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 2, 1969
    ...Cir. 1966). Without discussion, the Fourth Circuit appears to have reached a contrary result by implication. Moorer v. South Carolina, 368 F.2d 458 C.A.4th Cir. 1966). 4. E.g., United States v. Phillips, supra; People v. Doherty, supra. 5. E.g., People v. Worley, supra; State v. Vigliano, s......
  • Maxwell v. Bishop, No. 18746.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • December 16, 1968
    ...(8 Cir. 1964). 4 The study is said to be the same one with which the Fourth Circuit was concerned in Moorer v. State of South Carolina, 368 F.2d 458 (4 Cir. 5 However, the transcript of the state trial reveals that the defense in its opening statement made no less than five references to an......
  • Morris v. Boles, No. 11247.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • October 25, 1967
    ...voluntariness or a new trial, failing 386 F.2d 402 which Stevenson would be entitled to his release. In Moorer v. State of South Carolina, 368 F.2d 458 (4 Cir. 1966), we ordered the release of the accused unless he was afforded a new trial, where the trial judge excluded a confession on the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • People v. Doherty, Cr. 10097
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 10, 1967
    ...Cal.Rptr. 733; People v. Anderson (1966) 243 Cal.App.2d 243, 244, 52 Cal.Rptr. 201; cf. Moorer v. State of South Carolina (4th Cir. 1966) 368 F.2d 458, 462; contra, Jenkins v. State (Del. 1967) 230 A.2d 262; People v. Worley (Ill.1967) 227 N.E.2d 746; People v. LaBelle (County Ct. 1967) 53 ......
  • Jenkins v. Delaware, No. 748
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 2, 1969
    ...Cir. 1966). Without discussion, the Fourth Circuit appears to have reached a contrary result by implication. Moorer v. South Carolina, 368 F.2d 458 C.A.4th Cir. 1966). 4. E.g., United States v. Phillips, supra; People v. Doherty, supra. 5. E.g., People v. Worley, supra; State v. Vigliano, s......
  • Maxwell v. Bishop, No. 18746.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • December 16, 1968
    ...(8 Cir. 1964). 4 The study is said to be the same one with which the Fourth Circuit was concerned in Moorer v. State of South Carolina, 368 F.2d 458 (4 Cir. 5 However, the transcript of the state trial reveals that the defense in its opening statement made no less than five references to an......
  • Morris v. Boles, No. 11247.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • October 25, 1967
    ...voluntariness or a new trial, failing 386 F.2d 402 which Stevenson would be entitled to his release. In Moorer v. State of South Carolina, 368 F.2d 458 (4 Cir. 1966), we ordered the release of the accused unless he was afforded a new trial, where the trial judge excluded a confession on the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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