Smith v. Director, Patuxent Institution, 42

Decision Date08 September 1971
Docket NumberNo. 42,42
Citation13 Md.App. 53,280 A.2d 910
PartiesWilliam Ronald SMITH v. DIRECTOR, PATUXENT INSTITUTION. Post Conviction
CourtCourt of Special Appeals of Maryland

Stanley J. Katz, Laurel, for appellant.

Francis B. Burch, Atty. Gen., Arthur A. Marshall, Jr., State's Atty., for Prince George's County, for appellee.

Presented to MORTON, ORTH and GILBERT, JJ.

GILBERT, Judge.

On July 13, 1970, the applicant's attorney, in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, withdrew a previous plea of not guilty, and entered a plea of guilty, to robbery with a deadly weapon. The following exchange occurred:

'THE COURT: Smith, do you understand that in the first count of case No. 9909 you are accused of robbing with a deadly weapon George P. Day and taking from him $70 on December 3, 1969; do you understand that?

DEFENDANT SMITH: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Do you understand that you have an absolute right to stand on your plea of not guilty, and that if you do, you could not be punished until the State's Attorney had produced here witnesses and other competent evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did these acts; do you understand that?

DEFENDANT SMITH: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Do you understand that as long as you plead not guilty you are presumed to be innocent until that presumption is overcome by evidence at a trial; do you understand that?

DEFENDANT SMITH: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Now, do you understand that your attorney has offered to plead you guilty to this count?

DEFENDANT SMITH: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: And that if you agree in that plea and plead guilty, you will no longer be presumed to be innocent but rather you will be conclusively and forever hereafter be presumed to have committed these acts and to be guilty; do you understand that?

DEFENDANT SMITH: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Do you understand that the maximum punishment for this offense is twenty years confinement in prison?

DEFENDANT SMITH: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Do you understand that if the Court accepts your plea, it could forthwith sentence you to twenty years in prison without any further proceedings?

DEFENDANT SMITH: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Other than such arrangements as you may have made with the State's Attorney through your counsel or directly with respect to other charges in this indictment or any other criminal matters pending, has anyone promised you anything or threatened you in any way to induce you to plead guilty?

DEFENDANT SMITH: No, sir.

THE COURT: And if I understand you correctly, the reason you are offering to plead guilty is because you did take this $70 from George P. Day with the help of a deadly weapon on December 3, 1969?

DEFENDANT SMITH: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Are you satisfied with the representation that your attorney has given you up to this point?

DEFENDANT SMITH: Yes, sir.'

Trial counsel asked no questions of applicant, nor did he elaborate on the plea of guilty.

Applicant, who was 15 years old, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and was referred to the Patuxent Institution. The State nol prossed the other charges against the applicant.

Applicant filed a post conviction petition, in proper person, on November 5, 1970. Counsel was appointed and the petition for post conviction was subsequently amended. The amended petition asserted:

1. That the trial judge failed to effectively explain to the applicant the possible consequences of a plea of guilty in view of the fact that the applicant was subject to an evaluation at the Patuxent Institution.

2. That the applicant's trial counsel failed to advise applicant of his right to appeal the conviction.

3. That the applicant's trial counsel failed to advise the applicant of his right to appeal the waiver of jurisdiction by the Juvenile Court.

4. That the applicant's counsel failed to explain to him the right to file a motion for a new trial.

5. That the trial judge failed to properly explain to the applicant the constitutional rights he was waiving.

6. That the order of the Juvenile Court waiving jurisdiction fails for 'proper form.'

An evidentiary hearing was held on March 23, 1971, and it was found as a fact that applicant's trial counsel had thoroughly explained to the applicant his right of appeal of the conviction, his right of appeal of the Juvenile Waiver, and his right to make a motion for a new trial. Such a finding disposes of applicant's contentions 2, 3 and 4.

The trial court further found that the Waiver hearing before the Juvenile Court complied with the provisions of Article 26, § 70-16. We have carefully examined the transcript of the Juvenile proceeding and agree.

It has not been mandated that a trial judge is required to notify a defendant in a criminal case of his intention to refer that defendant to the Patuxent Institution. In fact, it is entirely possible that at the time the inquiry is made into the voluntariness of a plea of guilty, that the trial judge may not know that he will be so disposed at the time of sentencing. Perhaps a pre-sentence investigation or probation report will lead the trial judge to conclude that the proper disposition would be a referral to Patuxent. See Perry v. State, 11 Md.App. 302, 304, 273 A.2d 635 (1971).

We turn now to the applicant's fifth contention that the trial judge failed to properly explain to him the constitutional rights he waived. Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 89 S.Ct. 1709, 23 L.Ed.2d 274 (1969), held that it is error for a trial judge to accept a plea of guilty without an affirmative showing on the record that such a plea was intelligently and voluntarily made. It is not constitutionally mandated that the trial judge should personally conduct the examination of a defendant as to the defendant's understanding of and the effect of...

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9 cases
  • State v. DENISYUK
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • March 29, 2010
    ...id.; or that he may be referred to Patuxent Institution for a potentially indefinite (at that time) period, Smith v. Director, 13 Md.App. 53, 280 A.2d 910 (1971). Id. at 526, 531 A.2d 1026 (emphasis Our opinion explained that the underlying and unifying rationale for all of those specific i......
  • State ex rel. LeBlanc v. Henderson
    • United States
    • Louisiana Supreme Court
    • March 8, 1972
    ...record. See Clark v. State, Fla., 256 So.2d 551 (1972); Bennett v. Commonwealth, Ky., 463 S.W.2d 331 (1971); Smith v. Director, Patuxent Institution, Md.App., 280 A.2d 910 (1971); Evans v. State, Ark., 471 S.W.2d 346 (1971); Grass v. State, Me., 263 A.2d 63 (1970); State v. Elledge, 81 N.M.......
  • State v. Denisyuk, No. 1819, September Term, 2008 (Md. App. 3/29/2010)
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • March 29, 2010
    ...id.; or that he may be referred to Patuxent Institution for a potentially indefinite (at that time) period, Smith v. Director, 13 Md. App. 53, 280 A.2d 910 (1971). Id. at 526 (emphasis Our opinion explained that the underlying and unifying rationale for all of those specific instances was t......
  • Mathews v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • July 6, 1972
    ...the examination of a defendant so as to determine the defendant's understanding of, and the effect of, a guilty plea, Smith v. Director, 13 Md.App. 53, 280 A.2d 910 (1971), and there is no Maryland Rule to that effect, although an on the record personal inquiry by the trial judge, we think,......
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