United States v. Richmond, No. 314

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation295 F.2d 83
PartiesUNITED STATES ex rel. Benjamin REID, Petitioner-Appellee, v. Mark S. RICHMOND, Warden of Connecticut State Prison, Respondent-Appellant.
Decision Date19 September 1961
Docket NumberNo. 314,Docket 26601.

295 F.2d 83 (1961)

UNITED STATES ex rel. Benjamin REID, Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
Mark S. RICHMOND, Warden of Connecticut State Prison, Respondent-Appellant.

No. 314, Docket 26601.

United States Court of Appeals Second Circuit.

Argued March 27, 1961.

Decided September 19, 1961.

Rehearing Denied October 11, 1961.

Certiorari Denied December 18, 1961.


295 F.2d 84

William D. Graham, Hartford, Conn. (Joseph LaPlante, Hartford, Conn., on the brief), for petitioner-appellee.

John D. LaBelle, State's Attorney, Manchester, Conn. and J. Read Murphy, Assistant State's Attorney, Hartford, Conn. (George D. Stoughton, Assistant State's Attorney, Hartford, Conn., on the brief), for respondent-appellant.

Before LUMBARD, Chief Judge, and CLARK, WATERMAN, MOORE and FRIENDLY, Circuit Judges.

Certiorari Denied December 18, 1961. See 82 S.Ct. 390.

LUMBARD, Chief Judge.

The warden of the Connecticut State Prison appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut which vacated the first degree murder conviction of Benjamin Reid entered in the Superior Court for Hartford County and directed that he be discharged from custody unless given a new trial within a reasonable time. The decision of the district court was made upon remand of the case after we reversed an earlier discharge of the writ of habeas corpus. We instructed the district court to reconsider its determination in light of the complete transcript of the trial and to decide whether the delay in assigning counsel to Reid was so prejudicial as to render his conviction unconstitutional. 2 Cir., 1960, 277 F.2d 702. Judge Smith took testimony with respect to Reid's intelligence and considered the state court record. He then made detailed findings of fact and concluded that "in a capital case involving one of Reid's age, mentality and schooling, provision of counsel was necessary at least as soon as the formal accusation of murder was made in the Police Court and that the use of statements elicited from him thereafter while kept in ignorance of his rights made the trial fundamentally unfair."1 It is from this finding and conclusion of law that the appeal is taken.2

295 F.2d 85

The events having to do with Reid's part in the death of Florine McCluney and his actions thereafter are hardly in dispute. In relating them, we adopt the findings of the district court with such nuances as are most favorable to the relator, but his own testimony at the trial, aside from his admissions which are now complained of, leave no doubt that he was solely responsible for Florine McCluney's death.

About nine o'clock on the night of January 15, 1957, in Hartford, Reid waylaid his neighbor, Mrs. McCluney, struck her on the head with a hammer, dragged her a short distance to her automobile, again struck her with the hammer, and placed her in the rear seat of the car where she was found dead and frozen the next morning. Although he had robbery in mind at first, Reid took no money from Mrs. McCluney.

He disposed of his outer clothing and took an early morning train to New Haven and went to his sister's home where he arrived at 2:45 a.m. on January 16, and it is there that the New Haven police found him at 9:10 p. m. following a request from the Hartford police that he be apprehended. Reid was taken to New Haven headquarters and was questioned briefly. The Hartford police arrived later that night and drove Reid to Hartford. On the way back Reid said he would talk if he could first see his wife with whom he had not been living for some weeks.

Mrs. Reid was at Hartford police headquarters when Reid arrived there at 1:10 a. m. on January 17. After several minutes of conversation with his wife. Reid was interrogated and was told that anything he said could be used against him. Reid then confessed that he had participated in the killing the night before, but he said that a friend of his, one Eddie Green, had struck the blow with the hammer. He stated that Green had told him that he (Green) was broke and needed money, and that he would see whether Mrs. McCluney had any. When Mrs. McCluney came by, Reid then said, Green hit her with a hammer and Reid helped Green drag the body to the car.

The confession was typed in narrative form by a police captain, signed by Reid, and witnessed by his wife, in whose presence it had been given. At 4:30 a. m. Reid was booked for murder and locked in a cell which was equipped with a cot. At about 9:00 a. m. on January 17, he was brought before the Hartford Police Court, where the following colloquy took place:

"Prosecutor James Egan: In this case, if it please Your Honor, there is a request for a continuance for three weeks for further investigation. This man is alleged to have committed a murder in Hartford at 246 Pleasant Street, yesterday.
"The Court: What date do you want? How much time do you need on it?
"Officer: Better give us about three weeks, anyhow, on it.
"The Court: Give you a month on it?
"Officer: All right.
"The Court: Continued to February 14th without bond."

Reid was not required to plead. No counsel was appointed for him, and he was not informed by the court of his right to counsel under Connecticut law, Conn.Rev.Gen.Stat. § 6-62 (1958). Reid

295 F.2d 86
was of "dull-normal" intelligence and had become 19 years of age on December 27, 1956; the police knew he was a minor, but they did not inform the court of this fact. No guardian ad litem was appointed; the court did not advise him of his right to counsel or of his right to remain silent

Although Reid had been remanded to the Hartford County Jail, he was taken from the Police Court back to the Detective Bureau. Upon his arrival there, Reid was urged to tell the truth and he had a crying spell which lasted ten or fifteen minutes. He again asked that his wife be present, and when she arrived, at about 10:00 a. m., he volunteered a second confession in which he said that he alone lay in wait for and hit Mrs. McCluney with the intent of robbing her. The statement was elicited without any notice to Reid that he could retain or be assigned counsel and without mention of his right to remain silent.

After the second statement had been transcribed and signed, Reid accompanied the Hartford police on a tour of his movements on the day of the crime. The tour lasted from approximately 1:30 p. m. to 3:30 p. m. At 4:00 p. m. he was taken to the Hartford Health Department where a blood sample was taken from his arm. He was then returned to the Hartford County Jail at about 4:15 p. m.

On January 18 Reid led the police to the place where he had thrown the hammer with which the murder had been committed. The hammer head and the key to Mrs. McCluney's car were found by the police in that vicinity. On the same day he was also given a mental examination by a Dr. Bancroft, who filed a report on the interview with the State Attorney's Office. Both confessions, as well as statements made by Reid during the tours and the mental examination, were used by the prosecution at the state trial.3

It was not until March 7, 1957, the date on which he was called before the grand jury, that Reid first conferred with an attorney. Public Defender James D. Cosgrove had a short conversation with Reid before the grand jury hearing although he was not formally appointed to represent Reid until April 5. On April 26, 1957, William D. Graham was appointed Special Assistant Public Defender to assist in the preparation of Reid's case.4

Reid's trial began on June 20, 1957. On the second day of the trial, when Captain MacDonald was on the stand, the prosecution offered to introduce into evidence the two confessions made by Reid on January 17 and the following transpired:

"Mr. Wright (Assistant State\'s Attorney): Your Honor, at this time I am going to offer evidence concerning confessions, and I want the defense to know that before I go ahead.
295 F.2d 87
"The Court: Any objection?
"Mr. Cosgrove: I can state that the State has not established a proper foundation, but as long as I know what it plans to do, I would move for a preliminary inquiry, in any event, so that we\'d save that much time.
"The Court: The jury may be excused."

The preliminary hearing related not only to the two confessions but also to the later statements made by Reid during the tour of the scene of the crime and the search for the hammer and key. Several police officers were examined and thoroughly cross-examined with regard to the treatment Reid received at the hands of the Hartford Police and the procedures followed in the Police Court. The hearing consumed the greater portion of the afternoon session of the second day of the trial and part of the morning of the third day. When the State finished putting in its evidence, the following ensued:

"Mr. Wright: That is all the State has to offer on the preliminary inquiry, Your Honor.
"Mr. Cosgrove: Your Honor, this preliminary inquiry was requested by us, Mr. Graham and myself, representing the accused, and we did it feeling that we should explore all the circumstances leading to any written statement or oral statements by the accused. We are satisfied now that we will not object to the admission of any of — either of the written statements or any of the testimony concerning this alleged tour."

After some more discussion on a tangential question, the colloquy returned to the subject of the admissibility of the confessions:

"The Court: The defense doesn\'t care to offer any testimony?
"Mr. Cosgrove: No, Your Honor.
"The Court: There is no objection to the introduction of the two statements by the defendant and this officer\'s report and the oral testimony?
"Mr. Cosgrove: Yes, based upon the testimony that has been produced at this preliminary inquiry, we will not direct any motion to the Court, at this time."

The jury was then recalled, and in its presence the captain of detectives testified to the circumstances under which the confessions were made. When the Assistant...

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39 practice notes
  • Walters v. Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc., No. 15
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • 14 de janeiro de 1963
    ...of labor dispute. Aff'd 370 U.S. 254, 82 S.Ct. 1346, 8 L.Ed.2d 474 (1962). 18. United States ex rel. Reid v. Richmond, 2 Cir., 295 F.2d 83. Decided September 19, 1961. Involved alleged denial of constitutional rights in a state murder conviction. Cert. denied 368 U.S. 948, 82 S.Ct. 390, 7 L......
  • Brubaker v. Dickson, No. 17583
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 20 de dezembro de 1962
    ...The Defendant's Rights 124-25 (1958). 52 See generally 68 Yale L.J. 98, 101 (1958). 53 See United States ex rel. Reid v. Richmond, 295 F.2d 83 (2d Cir. 1961). See also Oyler v. Boles, 368 U.S. 448, 82 S.Ct. 501, 7 L.Ed.2d 446 (1962); Hamilton v. Alabama, 368 U.S. 52, 54, 82 S.Ct. 157, 7 L.E......
  • United States v. Soblen
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 3 de novembro de 1961
    ...such withheld evidence in a subsequent proceeding under 28 U.S.C. § 2255."; Cf. United States ex rel. Reid v. Richmond (2d Cir. 1961) 295 F.2d 83 per Lumbard, Ch. J.: "Every defendant must, of course, be accorded a fair trial. But the state is also entitled to a fair trial. When, after an e......
  • United States v. Reincke, Civ. No. 9841.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • 24 de abril de 1964
    ...bar the use of the unconstitutionally seized evidence in any human, practical or legal sense. See United States ex rel. Reid v. Richmond, 295 F.2d 83, 91 (2d Cir.) (dissenting opinion of Clark, J.), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 948, 82 S.Ct. 390, 7 L.Ed.2d 344 The Effect of Mapp Notwithstanding t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
39 cases
  • Walters v. Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc., No. 15
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • 14 de janeiro de 1963
    ...of labor dispute. Aff'd 370 U.S. 254, 82 S.Ct. 1346, 8 L.Ed.2d 474 (1962). 18. United States ex rel. Reid v. Richmond, 2 Cir., 295 F.2d 83. Decided September 19, 1961. Involved alleged denial of constitutional rights in a state murder conviction. Cert. denied 368 U.S. 948, 82 S.Ct. 390, 7 L......
  • Brubaker v. Dickson, No. 17583
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 20 de dezembro de 1962
    ...The Defendant's Rights 124-25 (1958). 52 See generally 68 Yale L.J. 98, 101 (1958). 53 See United States ex rel. Reid v. Richmond, 295 F.2d 83 (2d Cir. 1961). See also Oyler v. Boles, 368 U.S. 448, 82 S.Ct. 501, 7 L.Ed.2d 446 (1962); Hamilton v. Alabama, 368 U.S. 52, 54, 82 S.Ct. 157, 7 L.E......
  • United States v. Soblen
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 3 de novembro de 1961
    ...such withheld evidence in a subsequent proceeding under 28 U.S.C. § 2255."; Cf. United States ex rel. Reid v. Richmond (2d Cir. 1961) 295 F.2d 83 per Lumbard, Ch. J.: "Every defendant must, of course, be accorded a fair trial. But the state is also entitled to a fair trial. When, after an e......
  • United States v. Reincke, Civ. No. 9841.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • 24 de abril de 1964
    ...bar the use of the unconstitutionally seized evidence in any human, practical or legal sense. See United States ex rel. Reid v. Richmond, 295 F.2d 83, 91 (2d Cir.) (dissenting opinion of Clark, J.), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 948, 82 S.Ct. 390, 7 L.Ed.2d 344 The Effect of Mapp Notwithstanding t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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