McCarthy 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 Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 394 US 459 (1969)
ARGUED: Dec 09, 1968
DECIDED: Apr 02, 1969

Facts of the case


Media for McCarthy v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 09, 1968 in McCarthy v. United States

Earl Warren:

Mr. McCarthy.

Maurice J. McCarthy:

May it please the Court.

Maurice J. McCarthy appearing on behalf of the petitioner, William J. McCarthy.

I'm sure that the question has occurred to the Court as well, cleared up initially the petitioner and I are not related, the fact that we have the same last name is purely coincidence.

The facts in this case are not complicated.

On April 1, 1966, a three-count indictment was returned against the petitioner charging income tax evasion under Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code and alleging that there were deficiencies and taxes of approximately $900.00 for the year 1959, $5,000.00 for the year 1960, and $1,200.00 for the year 1961.

On April 14, 1966, the petitioner appeared in the District Court with retained counsel and at that time counsel waived the reading of the indictment and entered a plea of not guilty to each of the three counts.

The court set the trial for the 13th of June 1966, thereafter, which the record does not disclose the trial was reset for June 30, 1966.

On June 29, 1966, Government counsel appearing ex parte informed the court that the petitioner's illness made it impossible to try the case and asked for a continuance.

The district judge reset the case to the 15th of July.

On the 15th of July the petitioner, again occurring with retained counsel appeared for the trial of the case at that time counsel for the petitioner informed the court that he would like to withdraw the plea of not guilty to count 2 of the indictment and to offer a plea of guilty to that count which was the allegation of approximately $500.00 in unpaid taxes for the year 1960.

The court interrogated counsel for the Government who indicated that upon the plea of guilty, the acceptance of the plea of guilty rather, the Government counsel would move to dismiss counts 1 and 3.

The circuit -- the district judge at that time questioned the defendant personally as to two matters.

First of all, he asked the defendant in the trial level, if he was aware that by pleading guilty, he waived his right to a jury trial the defendant responded in the affirmative.

He then asked concerning the statutory penalties of five years imprisonment and a maximum five-year imprisonment and a maximum $10,000 fine.

Upon receiving affirmative responses, the district judge entered a finding of guilty.

At this point, the Government counsel asked the district judge to inquire of the defendant whether any threats or premises had been made.

The district judge did inquire and received negative responses that no threats had been made and no promises had been given.

No further questioning was had either of the defendant or of retained counsel and the case was set for a sentencing hearing in September 1966 on September 14.

At that time, the petitioner again appeared with retained counsel and the district judge in the elocution procedure as the defendant personally if he had anything to say.

The defendant response was that if it were not for his health and the things that he had gone through, that had never would have happen and that it was not deliberate.

No further questions were asked of the defendant.

The petitioner's counsel at that time was present and the District Court directed its attention to him.

He was asked if he had a statement and he made a brief statement.

The court then indicated that in view of the size of the amount involved that the debtor in effect of the sentence was necessary and entered a sentence of one year imprisonment and a fine of a $2,500.00.

Counsel for the petitioner on the District Court level then asked to be heard.

He addressed the district judge and informed the district judge of the facts concerning the character of the defendant himself.

He indicated to the court that the defendant was at that time of the proceedings, 65 years old that he had never been familiar with any federal offense of any sort that he had a fine family.

He further informed the court that the defendant had just recently approximately two months prior to the sentencing hearing which was at approximately the same time as the tender of the plea of guilty that the petitioner had become a member of Alcoholics Anonymous because he had been an acute alcoholic for some time.

He further informed the court that at the time that the crime was allegedly committed, that being the time of the filing of the Income Tax Return that the petitioner had been involved in what counsel called a protracted drinking situation from which he was hospitalized.