People v. McQueen

CourtNew York Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtVAN VOORHIS; SCILEPPI; KEATING; While we speak of the justice of the proposition, we must keep in mind yet another factor. Until the Supreme Court handed down the opinion in Miranda; DESMOND; Opinion by VAN VOORHIS; All concur, SCILEPPI and KEATING,
Citation221 N.E.2d 550,274 N.Y.S.2d 886,18 N.Y.2d 337
Decision Date27 October 1966
Parties, 221 N.E.2d 550 The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Charlie Mae McQUEEN, Appellant.

Page 886

274 N.Y.S.2d 886
18 N.Y.2d 337, 221 N.E.2d 550
The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent,
v.
Charlie Mae McQUEEN, Appellant.
Court of Appeals of New York.
Oct. 27, 1966.

Page 888

[221 N.E.2d 551] Loe F. McGinity, Mineola, for appellant.

[18 N.Y.2d 339] William Cahn, Dist. Atty. (Henry P. DeVine, Mineola, of counsel), for respondent.

[18 N.Y.2d 340] Louis J. Lefkowitz, Atty. Gen. (Samuel A. Hirshowitz and Barry Mahoney, New York City, of counsel), amicus curiae.

[18 N.Y.2d 341] Leonard Rubenfeld, Dist. Atty. (Benj. J. Jacobson, Jackson Heights, James J. Duggan, Tuckahoe, and Francis J. Valentino, of counsel), for New York State District Attorneys Association, amicus curiae.

Isidore Dollinger, Dist. Atty., of Bronx County (Roy Broudny and Peter R. DeFilippi, New York City, of counsel), amicus curiae.

VAN VOORHIS, Judge.

The conviction of appellant of murder in the second degree should be affirmed unless its correctness is controlled by Miranda v. State of Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694. The disposition[18 N.Y.2d 342] of the appeal depends upon whether the prearraignment confessions of appellant and her re-enactment of the crime should have been excluded for the reason that she was not informed before the law enforcement officers started to question her that she need not answer, that whatever she said might be used against her or that she was entitled to counsel and that, if indigent, she was entitled to have counsel assigned, as required by the Miranda decision. Her trial commenced November 9 and was concluded November 25, 1964. It was, therefore, not subject to Miranda v. Arizona (supra, decided June 13, 1966) unless the courts of New York apply

Page 889

Miranda retroactively beyond the requirements of the Federal Constitution (Johnson v. State of New Jersey, 384 U.S. 719, 86 S.Ct. 1772, 16 L.Ed.2d 882). The Johnson case leaves the State courts free to apply a greater measure of retroactivity to such decisions as Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081, 84 A.L.R.2d 933; Griffin v. State [221 N.E.2d 552] of California, 380 U.S. 609, 85 S.Ct. 1229, 14 L.Ed.2d 106, and Miranda v. State of Arizona (supra), than the Supreme Court has held to be required by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in Linkletter v. Walker, 381 U.S. 618, 85 S.Ct. 1731, 14 L.Ed.2d 601; Tehan v. United States ex rel. Shott, 382 U.S. 406, 86 S.Ct. 459, 15 L.Ed.2d 453 and Johnson v. State of New Jersey (supra). Before the latter cases were decided by the Supreme Court, we held, that Mapp v. Ohio was applicable to cases on direct appeal to this court, People v. Loria, 10 N.Y.2d 368, 223 N.Y.S.2d 462, 179 N.E.2d 478, but that it was not to be applied retroactively in postconviction remedies where the appellate process had been exhausted (People v. Muller, 11 N.Y.2d 154, 227 N.Y.S.2d 421, 182 N.E.2d 99). For so long as the postconviction remedies of habeas corpus and Coram nobis were restricted to testing the jurisdiction of the sentencing court over the person of the defendant and the crime charged, or to matters which could not be raised on appeal, the distinction which we drew between People v. Loria and People v. Muller imported a large degree of finality to criminal convictions against the changing winds of legal doctrine. The expansion of postconviction remedies, however, by such Federal and State decisions as Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368, 84 S.Ct. 1774, 12 L.Ed.2d 908, 1 A.L.R.3d 1205; Fay v. Noia, 372 U.S. 391, 83 S.Ct. 822, 9 L.Ed.2d 837; Townsend v. Sain, 372 U.S. 293, 83 S.Ct. 745, 9 L.Ed.2d 770; Sanders v. United States, 373 U.S. 1, 83 S.Ct. 1068, 10 L.Ed.2d 148; Brown v. Allen, 344 U.S. 443, 73 S.Ct. 397, 97 L.Ed. 469; and People v. Huntley, 15 N.Y.2d 72, 255 N.Y.S.2d 838, 204 N.E.2d 179, would render a large and increasing number of criminal convictions subject to being vacated even though the defendants [18 N.Y.2d 343] had been tried and convicted in accordance with the law as it was understood and applied at the time. The past can seldom be reformed in the image of the present, and it is manifest that not every type of conviction can be set aside where the wisdom of the present does not coincide with that of the past. In view of the expansion of postconviction remedies, the distinction between review by habeas corpus or Coram nobis and direct appeal has become less meaningful insofar as finality is concerned.

The Supreme Court said in Johnson v. State of New Jersey (supra) that law enforcement agencies fairly relied on prior decisions, now no longer binding, in obtaining incriminating statements before Escobedo (Escobedo v. State of Illinois, 378 U.S. 478, 84 S.Ct. 1758, 12 L.Ed.2d

Page 890

977) and Miranda (supra) respectively were decided, and stated categorically that 'these decisions should apply only to trials begun after the decisions were announced * * * Even though the cases may still be on direct appeal' (384 U.S. 732--733, 86 S.Ct. 1780; italics supplied).

We are aware that the convictions of Miranda, Vignera, Westover and Stewart were reversed or their reversal upheld by the Supreme Court, and that, in this respect, the procedure differed from that considered in Great Northern Ry. Co. v. Sunburst Oil & Refining Co., 287 U.S. 358, 53 S.Ct. 145, 77 L.Ed. 360, 85 A.L.R. 254, and in Chief Judge Cardozo's address to the New York State Bar Association (55 N.Y. State Bar Assn. Rep. 263, 296--297 (1932) in that there the existing rule was to be followed in the case at bar coupled with an announcement that in the future the rule would be otherwise. It is true that the defendants in the Miranda cases were themselves tried before June 13, 1966, but, at the same time, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in many other cases of apparently similar import. Quite evidently the Supreme Court was considering its function in establishing the law of the land in regard to such situations, and any seeming inequalities which may thereby have resulted to these particular individuals were considered to be of secondary importance. The effect, regardless of the reversal of the convictions of Miranda and the other defendants, was similar to the pronouncement of an edict that those defendants who were tried before [221 N.E.2d 553] June 13, 1966 are not required by the Federal Constitution to be governed by the Miranda rulings. Although this procedure may have been unusual, it is not unprecedented [18 N.Y.2d 344] and bears some resemblance to that adopted by the English House of Lords, for instance, in the issuance of the celebrated McNaughten Rules.

We have endeavored to adapt our State procedures in such matters as nearly as may be to the Federal practice (cf. People v. Huntley, 15 N.Y.2d 72, 255 N.Y.S.2d 838, 204 N.E.2d 179, supra), and in applying the changes in the law effectuated by Miranda v. State of Arizona (supra) there is no reason on account of which we should go beyond what the Supreme Court has required in applying these rules to prior convictions. Anything held to the contrary in People v. Loria (supra) should be regarded as overruled.

If an issue of voluntariness were involved, as in Haynes v. State of Washington, 373 U.S. 503, 83 S.Ct. 1336, 10 L.Ed.2d 513, or any of our previous New York State decisions, we recognize that the omission to give the warnings prescribed by Miranda during the prearraignment custodial interrogation could properly be invoked 'as part of an involuntariness claim' (Johnson v. State of New Jersey, supra, p. 730, 86 S.Ct. at 1779; Davis v. State of North Carolina, 384 U.S. 737, 86 S.Ct. 1761, 16 L.Ed.2d 895). There is no basis in this record, however, for any possible ruling that appellant's confessions should have been excluded

Page 891

as involuntary. In affirming, the Appellate Division said (24 A.D.2d 499, 261 N.Y.S.2d 313): 'In our opinion, under the circumstances here, namely: (1) the defendant's failure to object to the admission of her confessions on the ground that they had been involuntarily made, and (2) the absence from the trial court's charge of any instruction concerning the issue of the voluntariness of defendant's confessions, a Jackson-Denno hearing to determine such issue is not required to be held (People v. Huntley, 15 N.Y.2d 72, 77, 255 N.Y.S.2d 838, 842, 204 N.E.2d 179, 182; Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368, 84 S.Ct. 1774, 12 L.Ed.2d 908 (1 A.L.R.3d 1205)).'

Not only does the absence of objection preclude review by this court (People v. Friola, 11 N.Y.2d 157, 159--160, 227 N.Y.S.2d 423, 424, 182 N.E.2d 100, 101), but also there is no basis in the record for any contention of involuntariness. A brief review of the circumstances makes this clear.

The victim of this homicide was stabbed with a knife on the street outside of a bar and grill in Hempstead, New York, following an altercation inside just before it closed at 3:00 A.M. on November 20, 1960. The body was discovered at about 3:30 A.M., and suspicion soon attached to appellant who resided with two other women in an apartment three and one-half blocks away. One of these women testified that appellant admitted [18 N.Y.2d 345] to her that she had committed the homicide on returning to the apartment 10 or 15 minutes after the bar had closed, and appellant's daughter, who saw her the next morning, testified that appellant told her that 'she cut a man' because 'He kicked me.'

Her confession or confessions to the law enforcement officers, the admission of which is alleged to have constituted error, occurred as follows: She was taken to the police station about three hours after discovery of the homicide, and within 5 or 10 minutes confessed to the whole thing. She thereupon voluntarily went with the police officers to her apartment and showed them the knife with which she said that she had stabbed the deceased. She then accompanied the police officers to the scene of the homicide which she re-enacted for their benefit.

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91 practice notes
  • People v. Morhouse
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • December 7, 1967
    ...process.' (See Johnson v. State of New Jersey, 384 U.S. 719, 728--729, 86 S.Ct. 1772, 16 L.Ed.2d 882; see, also, People v. McQueen, 18 N.Y.2d 337, 341--344, 274 N.Y.S.2d 886, 888--890, 221 N.E.2d 550, 551--553.) On the other hand, if the court orders authorizing these eavesdrops were improp......
  • People v. Sanders
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • December 11, 2013
    ...100 A.D.3d at 238, 953 N.Y.S.2d 55; see People v. Pereira, 26 N.Y.2d 265, 268–269, 309 N.Y.S.2d 901, 258 N.E.2d 194; People v. McQueen, 18 N.Y.2d 337, 274 N.Y.S.2d 886, 221 N.E.2d 550). “However, even with a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent waiver of one's Miranda rights, there are [976 ......
  • People v. Dunbar
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • January 30, 2013
    ...secure those confessions is unavailing (see e.g. Matter of Jimmy D., 15 N.Y.3d 417, 912 N.Y.S.2d 537, 938 N.E.2d 970; People v. McQueen, 18 N.Y.2d 337, 345–346, 274 N.Y.S.2d 886, 221 N.E.2d 550, cert. denied sub nom. Moccio v. New York, 387 U.S. 946, 87 S.Ct. 2080, 18 L.Ed.2d 1333; People v......
  • People v. Aveni
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • October 17, 2012
    ...50 N.Y.2d at 11, 427 N.Y.S.2d 944, 405 N.E.2d 188;People v. Pereira, 26 N.Y.2d 265, 309 N.Y.S.2d 901, 258 N.E.2d 194;People v. McQueen, 18 N.Y.2d 337, 346, 274 N.Y.S.2d 886, 221 N.E.2d 550). Here, the defendant argues that his statements should be suppressed because the detectives improperl......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
91 cases
  • People v. Morhouse
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • December 7, 1967
    ...process.' (See Johnson v. State of New Jersey, 384 U.S. 719, 728--729, 86 S.Ct. 1772, 16 L.Ed.2d 882; see, also, People v. McQueen, 18 N.Y.2d 337, 341--344, 274 N.Y.S.2d 886, 888--890, 221 N.E.2d 550, 551--553.) On the other hand, if the court orders authorizing these eavesdrops were improp......
  • People v. Sanders
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • December 11, 2013
    ...100 A.D.3d at 238, 953 N.Y.S.2d 55; see People v. Pereira, 26 N.Y.2d 265, 268–269, 309 N.Y.S.2d 901, 258 N.E.2d 194; People v. McQueen, 18 N.Y.2d 337, 274 N.Y.S.2d 886, 221 N.E.2d 550). “However, even with a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent waiver of one's Miranda rights, there are [976 ......
  • People v. Dunbar
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • January 30, 2013
    ...secure those confessions is unavailing (see e.g. Matter of Jimmy D., 15 N.Y.3d 417, 912 N.Y.S.2d 537, 938 N.E.2d 970; People v. McQueen, 18 N.Y.2d 337, 345–346, 274 N.Y.S.2d 886, 221 N.E.2d 550, cert. denied sub nom. Moccio v. New York, 387 U.S. 946, 87 S.Ct. 2080, 18 L.Ed.2d 1333; People v......
  • People v. Aveni
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • October 17, 2012
    ...50 N.Y.2d at 11, 427 N.Y.S.2d 944, 405 N.E.2d 188;People v. Pereira, 26 N.Y.2d 265, 309 N.Y.S.2d 901, 258 N.E.2d 194;People v. McQueen, 18 N.Y.2d 337, 346, 274 N.Y.S.2d 886, 221 N.E.2d 550). Here, the defendant argues that his statements should be suppressed because the detectives improperl......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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