Swicegood v. State

Decision Date01 May 1973
Docket Number3 Div. 191
Citation277 So.2d 380,50 Ala.App. 105
PartiesHenry Ford SWICEGOOD v. STATE.
CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals

C. Lanier Branch, Montgomery, for appellant.

William J. Baxley, Atty. Gen., and David W. Clark, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the State.


Appellant was convicted of grand larceny and, after due and proper allocution in the presence of his appointed counsel, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment in the penitentiary. He elected to begin serving his sentence pending appeal.

The indictment charges that defendant feloniously took and carried away one 1968 Dodge Station Wagon, the property of Brewbaker Motors, Inc., a corporation, of the value of $2,395.00. The circumstances of the alleged theft are outside the common variety of automobile thefts.

According to the State's evidence, none being adduced by the defendant, the indictee on Saturday, April 24, 1972, approached one Lawrence Earl Hooks, used car sales manager for Brewbaker Motors, about buying the Dodge Station Wagon described in the indictment. The negotiations between the two culminated in the defendant's signing a written order, also signed by Baker for his employer, whereby defendant received credit for the Thunder bird Ford, in the sum of $600.00, leaving a balance due of $1,822.00, including $27.00 sales tax which was not included in the original value of the Dodge.

It appears from the evidence of the sales manager that the defendant did not have the money to pay the balance of the agreed purchase price, but indicated that he desired to borrow the balance due from the First National Bank of Trussville, in Jefferson County, instead of seeking financial arrangements in Montgomery. The manager let the defendant take the Dodge for transportation to Jefferson County, to return on Monday, April 26, 1971, with the money at which time the manager would make out and deliver a bill of sale to the defendant. The defendant never returned with the Dodge or the money. A city detective of Montgomery apprehended him in Montgomery on March 22, 1972, and took him in custody.

This detective testified at the trial of defendant as to certain inculpatory and confessory statements relative to the transaction made by defendant to him while under detention.

The trial judge heard evidence outside the presence of the jury and determined that these statements were voluntarily made. The State at this hearing propounded a question to the witness and received an answer as follows:

'Q. Did you advise him of his rights?

'A. Yes sir.'

Before the jury, the same question was propounded and answered as follows:

'A. Yes, we did.'

The admissibility of the evidence was raised by defendant's objection. The question is ambiguous, uncertain, and very general, with a marked absence of specificity. It may be that the prosecuting attorney had in mind the mandates of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, 10 A.L.R.3d 974, wherein the Supreme Court of the United States impressed certain guidelines to be followed by a police officer when questioning a detained suspect in an effort to obtain inculpatory or confessory statements. Miranda explicates the precise warnings which the officer must give the defendant and the consequence of failure to give such 'warnings.' These guidelines appear not only in Miranda but in Greathouse v. State, 47 Ala.App. 71, 250 So.2d 609; and Bridges v. State, 284 Ala. 412, 225 So.2d 821. An informative and interesting analysis of Miranda may be found in the New Confession Standards, Miranda v. Arizona, authored by Honorable Nathan R. Sobel, Justice of the Supreme Court, Kings County, New York.

It does not appear in the appeal record before us that the defendant was effectively and fairly informed of his rights under...

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14 cases
  • Arthur v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • May 25, 1990
    ... ... Miranda v. Arizona; Ex parte Crowe, 485 So.2d 373 at 377-78; Shula v. State, 465 So.2d 448, 450 (Ala.Cr.App.1984), rev'd on other ground, 465 So.2d 452 (Ala.1985). The generalized statement that "[Arthur] was read his Miranda rights" is not a sufficient predicate. See Swicegood v. State, 50 Ala.App. 105, 277 So.2d 380 (1973) ...         The "plain error" was exacerbated by the prosecutor's references to Arthur's assertions of his right to remain silent and his right to consult with an attorney ... "[I]t is impermissible to penalize an individual for ... ...
  • Smith v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • December 19, 1997
    ...police informed him of his rights, as required by Miranda. Ex parte Callahan, 471 So.2d 463 (Ala.1985). See, also, Swicegood v. State, 50 Ala.App. 105, 277 So.2d 380 (1973). To this end, the State must spell out with clarity and precision the specific Miranda warning the police gave to the ......
  • Ex parte Clark
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • May 15, 1998
    ...to overcome the presumption of inadmissibility. See Ex parte Johnson, 620 So.2d 709 (Ala.1993), citing Swicegood v. State, 50 Ala.App. 105, 277 So.2d 380 (Ala.Cr. App.1973). Furthermore, Clark argues that the length of time between any Miranda warnings given to him on April 17 in Montana an......
  • Ex parte Callahan
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • February 8, 1985
    ...States v. Robinson, 439 F.2d 553, 142 U.S.App.D.C. 43 (D.C.Cir.1970). It is then clear that Cagle, supra, and Swicegood v. State, 50 Ala.App. 105, 277 So.2d 380 (1973), have a solid foundation in constitutional law and are hereby affirmed. Indeed, to attempt to overrule these cases would be......
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