Gregg v. United States

RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1967-1969)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 394 US 489 (1969)
ARGUED: Feb 25, 1969
DECIDED: Apr 02, 1969

Facts of the case


Media for Gregg v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 25, 1969 in Gregg v. United States

Earl Warren:

Number 453, Gregg against United States.

Mr. Richards.

Dean E. Richards:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

My name is Dean Richards in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Because the facts of this case can be summarized easily, I will begin with a brief summary.

The petitioner was convicted of a crime in the Western District of Kentucky Federal Court.

Immediately after the jury returned its verdict without pause or recess, the Court ordered the petitioner before the bench to take -- the Court asked if the petitioner had any res -- comment to make and, after a brief response, the petitioner had been quiet.

At this time, the Court started to make final disposition of the case and, at this time, defense counsel asked that a presentence investigation be made.

The Court, interrupting counsel, stated that a presentence investigation had been made.

It was before him and he had read it.

And then, the Court pronounced sentence.

This was complained of in a direct appeal to the Sixth Circuit and the findings and holdings in the Sixth Circuit were that there was no basis for inferring prejudice from the facts that the district judge had seen the presentence investigation report prior to the time when the jury returned its verdict, and the district judge sentenced the defendant immediately thereafter.

Upon -- counsel, upon noting that in a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals case, Collin versus United States, and a summary case, in fact, the Court held just the opposite, in that, in the Seventh Circuit case, the Court stated that the facts in the record before us effectively rebut the presumption of prejudice from an apparent violation of rule 32 (c) (1).

Thurgood Marshall:

But, Mr. Richards, matter of fact, there's nothing in this record to show that a judge saw it while the jury was out, is there?

Dean E. Richards:

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals had a set of facts presented in the record to them.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals stated that there is nothing to -- no basis for inferring prejudice from the facts that the district judge had seen the presentence investigation.

Thurgood Marshall:

Well, I'm familiar with that statement, but where in any record is there anything showing that he saw it while the jury was out?

Dean E. Richards:

The jury returned its verdict.

The defendant was in the courtroom.

The Court-- the trial judge was on the bench.

The petitioner was asked to come immediately before the bench.

There was no pause and no recess.

The defendant was asked if he had any response.

He made a response, and then the judge started to dispose of the case.

Thurgood Marshall:

Well, did the judge say that “I read this while the jury was out”?

Dean E. Richards:

No, the judge--

Thurgood Marshall:

Did anybody see and read it while the judge was out?

Dean E. Richards:

Did anyone?

Thurgood Marshall:

Yes, sir.

Dean E. Richards:

There is no record on this.