People v. Hawkins

CourtNew York Court of General Sessions
Writing for the CourtDICKENS
Citation224 N.Y.S.2d 457,32 Misc.2d 821
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York v. Isaiah HAWKINS and John Jones, Defendants.
Decision Date15 February 1962

Page 457

224 N.Y.S.2d 457
32 Misc.2d 821
The PEOPLE of the State of New York
v.
Isaiah HAWKINS and John Jones, Defendants.
Court of General Sessions, New York County.
Feb. 15, 1962.

Page 458

[32 Misc.2d 822] Frank S. Hogan, Dist. Atty., New York City (by Edward M. Davidowitz, New York City, of counsel), for the People.

Isaiah Hawkins, in pro per.

DICKENS, Judge.

In this coram nobis motion, defendant Jones questions the integrity and the propriety of the district attorney in the official conduct of this prosecution instituted several years ago.

Defendant maintains the district attorney had suppressed material evidence from the inquiring grand jury. Such evidence, contends defendant, indicates a homicide by misadventure, not, as charged here, a homicide by felony.

The homicide occurred at the time when defendant had snatched a pocketbook from the person of the woman, the victim of the homicide.

Other than the charge of suppression, the district attorney is not accused of official malversation.

Defendant enlarges on the scope of the alleged misfeasance as charged to the district attorney, with this consequent statement, to wit: 'The fraudulent indictment for murder in the first degree put petitioner in constant fear of the 'ELECTRIC-CHAIR' * * * and mentally coerced petitioner into pleading guilty to the crime of murder in the second degree to avoid facing the ELECTRIC-CHAIR * * * .' Petition, page 3. And, he had 'no intention to commit any other crime whatever' (Petition, page 2), evidently meaning, thereby, that all he intended to do, was no more than to snatch the pocketbook.

From a reasonable reading of the context of defendant's petition, I gather that such fear came to defendant from a disturbed and agitated mind engendered by the aftermath of his own wrongdoing, and not from anything said or done by the district attorney that 'mentally coerced petitioner into pleading guilty.' Cf. People v. Battice, 6 A.D.2d 773, 174 N.Y.S.2d 625, affirmed 5 N.Y.2d 946, 183 N.Y.S.2d 564, 156 N.E.2d 920.

As a prelude to the law appertaining to the merits of the chief issue, it should be borne in mind that the prerogative of charging an offense vests in the district attorney, if he believes the charge to be proper (People, on Complaint of Kane v. Lefkowitz, 232 App.Div. 18, 248 N.Y.S. 615, affirmed 257 N.Y. 560, 178 N.E. 794), for it lies within the province of the district attorney to chart the course of a prosecution (People v. [32 Misc.2d 823] Edwards, 19 Misc.2d 412, 189 N.Y.S.2d 39; see also, People

Page 459

ex rel. Gardenier v. Board of Supervisors, etc., 134 N.Y. 1, 5, 31 N.E. 322, 323); that the assumption is a district attorney will present all the evidence in a case in his possession (People v. Brancazio, 22 Misc.2d 302, 304 middle, 196 N.Y.S.2d 167, 170 bottom; People v. Klein, 6 Misc.2d 289, 166 N.Y.S.2d 240, affirmed 4 A.D.2d 755, 165 N .Y.S.2d 704, affirmed 4 N.Y.2d 985, 177 N.Y.S.2d 505, 152 N.E.2d 529); and that the general presumption is an official does not act contrary to...

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6 practice notes
  • People v. Elfe
    • United States
    • New York Court of General Sessions
    • 7 Mayo 1962
    ...fear of the electric chair, arising out of imaginary circumstances, an available cause. People v. Hawkins and Jones, Gen .Sess., 32 Misc.2d 821, 224 N.Y.S.2d 457; People v. Williams, Gen.Sess., 33 Misc.2d 538, 225 N.Y.S.2d 333. See also generally, People v. Cruz, Gen.Sess., 202 N.Y.S.2d No ......
  • Richard C., Matter of
    • United States
    • New York Family Court
    • 4 Agosto 1982
    ...whether or not any act alleged to be a crime will be prosecuted (People v. Elfe, 34 Misc.2d 206, 228 N.Y.S.2d 220; People v. Jones, 32 Misc.2d 821, 224 N.Y.S.2d 457; Hassan v. Magistrates Court, 20 Misc.2d 509, 191 N.Y.S.2d 238) and the unique power to decide when a cause will be moved for ......
  • People v. O'Neill
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 13 Diciembre 1975
    ...It lies within his province to chart the course of a prosecution (People v. Edwards, 19 Misc.2d 412, 189 N.Y.S.2d 39; People v. Jones, 32 Misc.2d 821, 224 N.Y.S.2d 457; People v. Elfe, 34 Misc.2d 206, 228 N.Y.S.2d Any interference with the performance of a District Attorney's office should ......
  • People v. Bar-Noy, BAR-NO
    • United States
    • New York City Court
    • 8 Noviembre 1978
    ...perhaps surpassing its obligation to prosecute. (People v. Elfe, 34 Misc.2d 206, 228 N.Y.S.2d 220; People v. Hawkins, 33 Misc.2d 821, 224 N.Y.S.2d 457; Hassan v. Magistrates Court of City of New York, 20 Misc.2d 509, 191 N.Y.S.2d 238.) Moreover, its duty of investigation cannot be contained......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • People v. Elfe
    • United States
    • New York Court of General Sessions
    • 7 Mayo 1962
    ...fear of the electric chair, arising out of imaginary circumstances, an available cause. People v. Hawkins and Jones, Gen .Sess., 32 Misc.2d 821, 224 N.Y.S.2d 457; People v. Williams, Gen.Sess., 33 Misc.2d 538, 225 N.Y.S.2d 333. See also generally, People v. Cruz, Gen.Sess., 202 N.Y.S.2d No ......
  • Richard C., Matter of
    • United States
    • New York Family Court
    • 4 Agosto 1982
    ...whether or not any act alleged to be a crime will be prosecuted (People v. Elfe, 34 Misc.2d 206, 228 N.Y.S.2d 220; People v. Jones, 32 Misc.2d 821, 224 N.Y.S.2d 457; Hassan v. Magistrates Court, 20 Misc.2d 509, 191 N.Y.S.2d 238) and the unique power to decide when a cause will be moved for ......
  • People v. O'Neill
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 13 Diciembre 1975
    ...It lies within his province to chart the course of a prosecution (People v. Edwards, 19 Misc.2d 412, 189 N.Y.S.2d 39; People v. Jones, 32 Misc.2d 821, 224 N.Y.S.2d 457; People v. Elfe, 34 Misc.2d 206, 228 N.Y.S.2d Any interference with the performance of a District Attorney's office should ......
  • People v. Bar-Noy, BAR-NO
    • United States
    • New York City Court
    • 8 Noviembre 1978
    ...perhaps surpassing its obligation to prosecute. (People v. Elfe, 34 Misc.2d 206, 228 N.Y.S.2d 220; People v. Hawkins, 33 Misc.2d 821, 224 N.Y.S.2d 457; Hassan v. Magistrates Court of City of New York, 20 Misc.2d 509, 191 N.Y.S.2d 238.) Moreover, its duty of investigation cannot be contained......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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