Hawkins v. United States

RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Union Station

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

CITATION: 358 US 74 (1958)
ARGUED: Oct 14, 1958
DECIDED: Nov 24, 1958

Facts of the case


Media for Hawkins v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 14, 1958 in Hawkins v. United States

Earl Warren:

Number 20, James Clifton Hawkins, Petitioner, versus United States of America.

Mr. King.

Kenneth R. King:

May it please the Court.

This case has arisen out of the conviction of the petitioner James Clifton Hawkins in the northern district of Oklahoma for the offense of knowingly transporting one Lola Fay Moudy in interstate commerce for immoral purpose.

Petition for a writ of certiorari were filed and granted in this Court.

The facts of this case are that one Lola Fay Moudy and the petitioner had a conservation in the State of Oklahoma and the witness, later became the witness Lola Fay Moudy, told the petitioner that she would like to make more money while she was working there in the tavern.

And the petitioner asked her if she would like to go over to Tulsa and work with Jane.

The witness Lola Moudy understood that working with Jane meant working as prostitute.

Thereafter the petitioner and Lola Fay Moudy journeyed from a point in -- from a town in Oklahoma to a point in a town in Arkansas and then back across the line to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

They arrived in Tulsa, Oklahoma at approximately 3:30 or 4 o' clock in the morning, when the petitioner got out his automobile which was identified as the car that the two people were traveling in by other witnesses, he got out of the car and made a telephone call and shortly thereafter a person named Jane and another person named Tommy came out to the car and Jane, Tommy and Lola Fay who was then being called Tommy McGuire went to a hotel where Tommy McGuire did not register but stayed in the room with Jane and Tommy and there they instructed her on various items of that business.

And then later that day the petitioner by the way did not go to the hotel, but left, but later that day the -- Johnny McGuire or Lola Fay Moudy her real name, the main witness went to another hotel and there engaged in prostitution where she was arrested and then Tommy went down and paid a fine and got her out.

Later she decided to quit and Jane, Tommy and Johnny, the three girls went back across to the State of Arkansas where the petitioner met them and then the prosecuting witness Lola Fay Moudy known as Johnny went back to the State of Oklahoma and thereafter did not engage in any prostitution.

Now, this case was brought up on the main point that in this -- in the trial of this case, the petitioner's wife was allowed to testify as a government witness.

She testified to only one or two facts which were not otherwise in evidence and those two facts were that she was the wife of petitioner and the person known as Jane Wilson.

Was this a jury trial?

Kenneth R. King:

This was a jury trial Your Honor.

Felix Frankfurter:

When you say the main point, is there any other point except the competence of this particular witness?

Kenneth R. King:

There the --

Felix Frankfurter:

Before us, is there any other point except that?

Kenneth R. King:

Yes, Your Honor there is the point of where the evidence offered by the wife was prejudicial to the petitioner.

There are two points; one the harmless error.

Now as far as the harmless is concerned or the prejudicial testimony of the wife --

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Where would we find that testimony in record?

Kenneth R. King:

The testimony of the petitioner --

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Of the wife --

Kenneth R. King:

Wife in the record, she is known as (Inaudible) Hawkins, it is at page 48, I beg your pardon.

William O. Douglas:

Page 40?


Kenneth R. King:

Page 54.

When she was called to the stand, the petitioner's counsel objected to her testimony because they were still married at that time and the court overruled the objection and she testified to -- about her.