People v. Pettigrew

CourtNew York Court of General Sessions
Writing for the CourtTHOMAS DICKENS
Citation226 N.Y.S.2d 500,34 Misc.2d 114
Decision Date29 March 1962
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York v. Jacob PETTIGREW, Defendant.

Page 500

226 N.Y.S.2d 500
34 Misc.2d 114
The PEOPLE of the State of New York
v.
Jacob PETTIGREW, Defendant.
Court of General Sessions, New York County.
March 29, 1962.

Page 501

Frank S. Hogan, Dist. Atty. (Edward M. Davidowitz, New York City, of counsel), for the People.

Jacob Pettigrew, in por. per.

THOMAS DICKENS, Judge.

This coram nobis motion charges the district attorney with 'permit[ting] the Court Jury [sic] and the defendant to be a victim of fraud.'

The introductory statement leading to this accusation is, 'That the District Attorney * * * failed to either, through inadvertence or otherwise, apprise the jury that the Peoples [sic] principle witness Frederick Walker for his Co-operation and testimony, did receive, prior to the trial Here--in [sic] A Suspended Sentence in the Federal District Court, Southern District, New York.'

[34 Misc.2d 115] In both the prosecution conducted in the Federal Court and the prosecution conducted in this Court, the subject matter of the crimes was narcotics.

This witness, when cross-examined by defendant's attorney in the trial at bar, flatly and unequivocally denied that any 'deals' (the term used by the attorney) had ever been made with the Federal Attorney General or with the arresting federal agents or with anybody else, in consideration of the testimony which the witness had given in that tribunal after entering a plea of guilty. In explanation of the course he had followed, he avowed that in order to escape a hovering fear of a stiff sentence as the forthcoming consequence of what he thought might prove a losing battle with the law, he voluntarily decided to plead guilty and then to throw himself on the mercy of the Court. No coercive measures were used by the federal authorities. His cooperation with them was volitional. He exculpated the district attorney from having had any hand in the discussions with the federal authorities regarding his plea of guilty.

Page 502

Assuming, arguendo, that the Federal Attorney General had dealt with the witness in the manner asserted by defendant, how can one, in legal principle, fairly say that the district attorney should be held responsible for the alleged 'deals' made with the federal authorities? If anything, it seems to me that the conviction in the Federal Court, had, in effect, resolved itself into nothing more than the usual prior conviction, and, had, as such, become merely a component of the witness's record. This record the district...

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3 practice notes
  • People v. Portner
    • United States
    • New York Court of General Sessions
    • June 4, 1962
    ...People v. White, 309 N.Y. 636, 132 N.E.2d 880, certiorari denied 352 U.S. 849, 77 S.Ct. 69, 1 L.Ed.2d 60; People v. Pettigrew, Gen.Sess., 34 Misc.2d 114, 226 N.Y.S.2d 500; People v. Wurzler, 280 App.Div. 1020, 116 N.Y.S.2d 756. For such charge to be of consequence in law, there must be a fa......
  • People v. Virga
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court
    • May 25, 1965
    ...and of the absence of any adminicular proof for bolstering defendant's present contention,--I cite the case of People v. Pettigrew, 34 Misc.2d 114, 226 N.Y.S.2d 500, affd. 20 A.D.2d 970, 251 N.Y.S. 414, in which I had the occasion to write the In the cited Pettigrew case, defendant charged ......
  • People v. Pettigrew
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • April 21, 1964
    ...respondent. F. L. Santangelo, New York City, for defendant-appellant. Order, entered on April 4, 1962, unanimously affirmed. No opinion. 34 Misc.2d 114, 226 N.Y.S. 2d...
3 cases
  • People v. Portner
    • United States
    • New York Court of General Sessions
    • June 4, 1962
    ...People v. White, 309 N.Y. 636, 132 N.E.2d 880, certiorari denied 352 U.S. 849, 77 S.Ct. 69, 1 L.Ed.2d 60; People v. Pettigrew, Gen.Sess., 34 Misc.2d 114, 226 N.Y.S.2d 500; People v. Wurzler, 280 App.Div. 1020, 116 N.Y.S.2d 756. For such charge to be of consequence in law, there must be a fa......
  • People v. Virga
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court
    • May 25, 1965
    ...and of the absence of any adminicular proof for bolstering defendant's present contention,--I cite the case of People v. Pettigrew, 34 Misc.2d 114, 226 N.Y.S.2d 500, affd. 20 A.D.2d 970, 251 N.Y.S. 414, in which I had the occasion to write the In the cited Pettigrew case, defendant charged ......
  • People v. Pettigrew
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • April 21, 1964
    ...respondent. F. L. Santangelo, New York City, for defendant-appellant. Order, entered on April 4, 1962, unanimously affirmed. No opinion. 34 Misc.2d 114, 226 N.Y.S. 2d...

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