North Carolina v. Pearce

PETITIONER: North Carolina
LOCATION: United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1969-1970)

CITATION: 395 US 711 (1969)
ARGUED: Feb 24, 1969
DECIDED: Jun 23, 1969

Facts of the case


Media for North Carolina v. Pearce

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 24, 1969 in North Carolina v. Pearce

Earl Warren:

Number 418, Curtis M. Simpson, warden, versus William S. Rice.

Mr. Gish.

Paul T. Gish, Jr.:

If the Court please, Mr. Chief Justice.

I'm Paul Gish, Assistant Attorney General of Alabama representing Warden Simpson as the petitioner in the case of Simpson against Rice.

In this case, Mr. Rice was convicted in 1960 of four separate cases of second-degree burglary.

It was seen on a plea of guilty in each case four years in one case and two years in each of the other three cases, making a total of ten.

His plea of guilty was entered without aid of counsel to a post-conviction remedy.

He received a new trial some two-and-a-half years later.

Our counsel was appointed for a new trial and he was tried I believe in December 1964, I think that's where I'm in, in two of the cases.

He was convicted by a jury, a second judge who passed an earlier sentence, gave him 10 years on each of those two convictions.

The next part in making a -- took Rule 20.

The next point, he was tried on a third case, (Inaudible) case was convicted by a jury and the same judge sentenced him to five years imprisonment and this time, the time of the last trial, the state prosecuting officer with a motion to nisi prius for us before the case and that is what the trial did, fourth case was now before us.

Now, this case if the Court please is similar of course to the North Carolina v. Pearce case.

However, those who are summoned caucasians over argued by counsel that we don't have here.

Of course, this man did receive harsher punishment.

He received much harsher punishment on the second trial than he did on the first.

He's not only did that but Your Honor I'm searching for word technically at least he received no credit for the two-and-a-half years served between the first convictions and his post convictions remedy.

Now, our position is that the trial did as complete discretion to our sentence after a judgment of guilt having that complete discretion he uses many factors, some of which are connected with the crime itself.

Some of which may be connected with the man, some of which are -- can be connected with the issue of the case itself, some of which if the Court please depends upon how much the trial judge knows about this particular case at this time.

In other words, on a plea of guilty, I have seen in the record that showed here what I've seen in years of good experience that all of the current cases in which the, I believe until May were doing the prosecuting officer and the accused that we will go -- entertain a plea of guilty if all of those that I have ever seen (Inaudible) that would not --

Earl Warren:

Mr. Gish, would you suggest that among those things that the judge takes into consideration might puzzle the fact that a man who appeals and gets a reversal should be punished more than a man who did not take an appeal?

Paul T. Gish, Jr.:

Of course Mr. Chief Justice I must agree with -- I must agree with you.

Some judges I'm sure would do that but our position is that the judge who is an elected or appointed official who in Alabama does not say and does not have any way of prescribed violation cited by the courts but why I've given you more --

Earl Warren:

How was the defendant ever raised a question as to whether the judge had that in his mind or not when he sentenced him?

Paul T. Gish, Jr.:

I don't feel that he could, Your Honor.

Earl Warren:

But you don't think that would be permissible do you to have that ordered?

Paul T. Gish, Jr.:

I don't -- Your Honor, if I disagree with you that he couldn't I think that if there are second chances that we don't know about.

We have vindication now.

Vindictiveness could be shown then we would have the case where a man could show that my rights are vindictive judge who did this just punish me.

But what I'm saying my position is that the mere fact that he receives -- that the accused receives a harsher punishment and in this case in my judgment can be and should be contributed as much to other sentencing factors and not to give vindictiveness.