Ladner v. United States

PETITIONER: Lovander Ladner
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Approximately half-way between Santa Marta, Colombia and Miami. Florida (by water)

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)

CITATION: 358 US 169 (1958)
ARGUED: Nov 19, 1957
REARGUED: Oct 22, 1958
DECIDED: Dec 15, 1958

Harold Rosenwald - acting under appointment by the Court reargued the cause for the petitioner
Leonard B. Sand - for the United States

Facts of the case


Media for Ladner v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Reargument - October 22, 1958 (Part 2) in Ladner v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Reargument - October 22, 1958 (Part 1) in Ladner v. United States

Earl Warren:

Number 2, Lovander Ladner, Petitioner, versus United States of America.

Mr. Rosenwald, you may proceed.

Harold Rosenwald:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

This case like the preceding case just before the Court reargued.

Present case finds its origin in an indictment of petitioner in -- in May of 1944 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division, the indictment had three counts, the first count alleged that the petitioner and the one Cameron, conspired to violate Section 254 of former title 18 and that by means or rather that they're conspired by a means of deadly and dangerous weapons to commit the assault on agents of the Alcohol Tax Unit of the Internal Revenue Service of the United States.

The second count alleges that -- that on or about the same date, May 22 of 1944, the defendant, by means and use of deadly and dangerous weapons, to wit, loaded shotguns forcibly assaulted a man named Reed, who was an agent of the Alcohol Tax Unit on account of its performance of his official duties and while he was engaged in the performance of such duties.

And that the two defendants shot and seriously wounded that patient.

The third count is the same as the second count, except that a different agent of the tax unit named Frost, was the victim of the alleged assault.

In June 1944, on the 23rd day of the month, the petitioner was arraigned, ended a plea of not guilty.

On that same day, he was tried by a jury and found guilty as charged on all counts and on the same day he was sentenced.

The practices he only matter was this before this Court held that the petitioner is conceded and he has been punished, we think, already for it.

The sentence on the first count, the conspiracy count, was for two years.

On the second count, 10 years and the sentence on the first count was to run concurrently with the sentence on the second count.

The sentence on the third year -- on the third count, was an additional 10 years and that was to be consecutive and meant running at the expiration of the sentence on the second count.

In other words, petitioner was sentenced for 20 years.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

How long has he served now, Mr. --

Harold Rosenwald:

He has served -- he's on parole now.

He actually served about I think 11 or 12 years.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

And on parole, extensively under what count -- on the third count?

Harold Rosenwald:

Yes, Mr. Justice Brennan.

I was -- about his own parole, on the -- on balance -- balance of his term, however it's -- there's a third count or second, I don't know.

Felix Frankfurter:

He's not distributively on parole, is he?

Harold Rosenwald:

He is.

All I know, Mr. Justice Frankfurter, he's on parole by order of the proper authority.

There is no transcript of evidence taken at the trial and no appeal from the original conviction.

The present proceedings commenced in January of 1955 and the petitioner, brought a motion in the trial court, where he was originally convicted and sentenced pursuant to Section 2255 of title 28, to correct his sentence.

His motion alleged, with the second and third count charged, with a single offense and start to have the sentences under those two counts amended so that they would run concurrently, and therefore, he would have served his full sentence.

Now, the motion was drawn by the petitioner without any professional assistance, I think, and it doesn't clearly state whether or not, there was only one shot fired in accordance with the allegations of the indictment.

But that claim is implicit in the brief in support of the motion and the case has been treated below on the assumption that the claim made by the petitioner is simply this.

That since he discharged the shotgun only once and struck to agents that the single discharge of the weapon was only a single violation of the statute and therefore, it was unlawful to -- to sentence him, at least, for two separate offenses under Section 254.