United States v. Adams

CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
Writing for the CourtL. HAND, SWAN and CHASE, Circuit
Citation126 F.2d 774
Decision Date30 April 1942
PartiesUNITED STATES ex rel. McCANN v. ADAMS, Warden, et al.

126 F.2d 774 (1942)

UNITED STATES ex rel. McCANN
v.
ADAMS, Warden, et al.

Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

March 27, 1942.

Writ of Certiorari Granted April 30, 1942.


Frank J. Walsh, of New York City, for relator.

Richard J. Burke, of New York City, opposed.

Before L. HAND, SWAN and CHASE, Circuit Judges.

Writ of Certiorari Granted April 30, 1942. See 62 S.Ct. 1048, 86 L.Ed. ___.

L. HAND, Circuit Judge.

This case comes before us upon the return to a writ of habeas corpus, issued by a judge of this court. The relator was convicted on July 22, 1941, after a trial to a judge without a jury upon an indictment in six counts for using the mails to defraud. (§ 338, Title 18 U.S.C.A.) He took an appeal and the trial judge fixed his bail at $10,000; being unable to procure this, he has been in custody since sentence. As the minutes have never been typed and until very recently he has had no lawyer to represent him and has no money, he has hitherto been unable to prepare any bill of exceptions, and it is at least doubtful whether any can ever be made up on which the appeal can be heard. Although his time has been extended again and again, so far little progress has been made. Moreover if any bill is ever settled, it is certain to be an unsatisfactory record of what took place at the trial. He has now, however, secured the assistance of an attorney, who first applied to us for his release on bail — more accurately for a reduction of the bail. We did reduce the amount to $1,000; but at the same time we suggested that he take out a writ of habeas corpus returnable before us, to raise the question of the jurisdiction of the district court for reasons that will appear. It is upon a return to that writ before this court in banc that the case now comes up.

The first question is of our own jurisdiction to entertain the writ and consider the point. Whitney v. Dick, 202 U. S. 132, 26 S.Ct. 584, 50 L.Ed. 963, decided that a circuit court of appeals might not issue a writ of habeas corpus to review a judgment of conviction of the district court when the case was not already before it on writ of error; but the opinion declared that "cases may arise in which the writ of habeas corpus is necessary to the complete exercise of the appellate jurisdiction." 202 U.S. at page 136, 26 S.Ct. at page 586, 50 L.Ed 963. What those "cases" were the court did not find it necessary to say; but it was assumed that when they did arise, jurisdiction to issue the writ could be found in that section of the Revised Statutes which is now § 377 of Title 28 U.S.C.A. In the particular circumstances of the case at bar, it seems to us that the writ is "necessary to the complete exercise" of our appellate jurisdiction because for the reasons we have given there is a danger that it cannot be otherwise exercised at all and a certainty that it must in any event be a good deal hampered. Moreover, we think that the writ is good on another ground. Rule VI of the rules governing criminal appeals, 18

126 F.2d 775
U.S.C.A. following section 688, confers upon us jurisdiction over bail once an appeal has been taken; and obviously it cannot be an objection that in deciding that an appellant should be released without bail, we incidentally decide that the appeal will succeed. If, however, we did so decide, our order would not dispose of the appeal, because we have no such power under Rule VI; and the appellant would be compelled to go on with the preparation of his bill of exceptions. It is true that a bill of exceptions might here be prepared which would be confined to the single point raised by this writ, but that would make the relator stake his whole case on that point, which is not fair. Therefore, it seems to us that the situation falls within the dictum of Whitney v. Dick, supra, 202 U.S. 132, 26 S.Ct. 584, 50 L.Ed. 963, and that § 377 of Title 28 U.S.C.A. gives us power to entertain the writ

The facts are as follows. From the time of his arraignment on February 18, 1941, the relator conducted his case without the assistance of an attorney. After several interlocutory matters had been disposed of and he was called upon to plead, he refused to do so and a plea of not guilty was entered for him. He was then advised to retain an attorney but refused, saying that he wished to represent himself which he could do better than any attorney could do for him. More interlocutory proceedings were had, in which again he represented himself; and finally the case came on for trial on July 7, 1941, when, in answer to an inquiry of the...

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27 practice notes
  • United States v. Dougherty, No. 24318-24324.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • June 30, 1972
    ...that results from that group's determination of guilt or innocence." See Judge Learned Hand in United States ex rel. McCann v. Adams, 126 F.2d 774, 775-776 (2d Cir. The institution of trial by jury — especially in criminal cases — has its hold upon public favor chiefly for two reasons. The ......
  • U.S. v. Ruggiero, Nos. 1158
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • January 18, 1984
    ...it, "tempering [the law's] rigor by the mollifying influence of current ethical conventions." United States ex rel. McCann v. Adams, 126 F.2d 774, 776 (2d Cir.), rev'd on other grounds, 317 U.S. 269, 63 S.Ct. 236, 87 L.Ed. 268 (1942). Though courts refuse to inform a jury of this prerogativ......
  • Wofford v. Woods, No. 18-2367
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • August 13, 2020
    ...its rigor by the mollifying influence of current ethical conventions." Thomas , 116 F.3d at 615, quoting U.S. ex rel. McCann v. Adams , 126 F.2d 774, 776 (2d Cir. 1942) (Hand, J.), rev'd on other grounds , 317 U.S. 269, 63 S.Ct. 236, 87 L.Ed. 268 (1942).On the other hand, juror nullificatio......
  • U.S. v. Polizzi, No. 06-CR-22 (JBW).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • April 1, 2008
    ...of law, tempering its rigor by the mollifying influence of current ethical conventions,'" id. (quoting U.S. ex rel. McCann v. Adams, 126 F.2d 774, 776 (2d Cir.1942) (Hand, J.)); and the federal courts' common acknowledgment of the "de facto power of a jury to render general verdicts `in the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
27 cases
  • United States v. Dougherty, No. 24318-24324.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • June 30, 1972
    ...that results from that group's determination of guilt or innocence." See Judge Learned Hand in United States ex rel. McCann v. Adams, 126 F.2d 774, 775-776 (2d Cir. The institution of trial by jury — especially in criminal cases — has its hold upon public favor chiefly for two reasons. The ......
  • U.S. v. Ruggiero, Nos. 1158
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • January 18, 1984
    ...it, "tempering [the law's] rigor by the mollifying influence of current ethical conventions." United States ex rel. McCann v. Adams, 126 F.2d 774, 776 (2d Cir.), rev'd on other grounds, 317 U.S. 269, 63 S.Ct. 236, 87 L.Ed. 268 (1942). Though courts refuse to inform a jury of this prerogativ......
  • Wofford v. Woods, No. 18-2367
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • August 13, 2020
    ...its rigor by the mollifying influence of current ethical conventions." Thomas , 116 F.3d at 615, quoting U.S. ex rel. McCann v. Adams , 126 F.2d 774, 776 (2d Cir. 1942) (Hand, J.), rev'd on other grounds , 317 U.S. 269, 63 S.Ct. 236, 87 L.Ed. 268 (1942).On the other hand, juror nullificatio......
  • U.S. v. Polizzi, No. 06-CR-22 (JBW).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • April 1, 2008
    ...of law, tempering its rigor by the mollifying influence of current ethical conventions,'" id. (quoting U.S. ex rel. McCann v. Adams, 126 F.2d 774, 776 (2d Cir.1942) (Hand, J.)); and the federal courts' common acknowledgment of the "de facto power of a jury to render general verdicts `in the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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