United States v. Valenzuela-Bernal Page 2

United States v. Valenzuela-Bernal general information

Media for United States v. Valenzuela-Bernal

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 20, 1982 in United States v. Valenzuela-Bernal

Carter G. Phillips:

Originally, it was thought that the tape recording of respondent's statement had malfunctioned and there was no statement from him but it turned out that the malfunction was -- occurred during the time that the statements of the --

John Paul Stevens:

So in fact there is no written or recorded statement from those released?

Carter G. Phillips:

No, not a specific written or recorded statement; although I think typically there would be, moreover, we do of course have the statement from the remaining illegal alien, Romero-Morales, and the statements from the Border Patrol agents, and all the statements by all of the agents -- or excuse me, by all of the illegal aliens are essentially the same.

John Paul Stevens:

And when did you get -- when did they get the statement from Morales?

Sometime --

Carter G. Phillips:

Subsequently when he testified at the -- at the hearing, they received -- they obtained that statement and there's nothing to indicate that his statement at the hearing on the motion to dismiss was different from the statement given to the Border Patrol agents at the time of his arrest.

The Assistant United States Attorney authorized the release of two of the three illegal aliens chosen at random and they were released on March 30th of --

Sandra Day O'Connor:

Mr. Phillips --

Carter G. Phillips:

Yes, ma'am.

Sandra Day O'Connor:

-- I assume the Government could have prosecuted the witnesses who were deported --

Carter G. Phillips:

Yes, ma'am.

Sandra Day O'Connor:

-- for a criminal offense.

Carter G. Phillips:

Yes, ma'am.We could have prosecuted them for illegal entry into this country.

Sandra Day O'Connor:

But it is the general practice not to do that and to simply deport them.

Carter G. Phillips:

It is significantly easier, Your Honor, our resources to do that.

Yes, ma'am.

William H. Rehnquist:

There's no claim, I take it here, that the respondent himself transported the illegal aliens across the border --

Carter G. Phillips:

No.

William H. Rehnquist:

-- just they transported them after they were in the country, and they hadn't been here for a year.

Carter G. Phillips:

That's correct.

That's correct, Your Honor.

The two illegal aliens were returned on March 30 concededly prior to the time the respondent's counsel had any opportunity to interview them.The respondent was indicted on one count of transporting --

Harry A. Blackmun:

Was the respondent represented and did the prosecutor know that at the time they were released?

Carter G. Phillips:

No, the respondent was not represented by a counsel.

Harry A. Blackmun:

He was not represented?

Carter G. Phillips:

No, Your Honor.

Harry A. Blackmun:

Ultimately, did -- was he represented by a retained or appointed counsel?

Carter G. Phillips:

I believe it was appointed counsel.

Respondent was indicted on one count of transporting an illegal alien, Romero-Morales, within this country in violation of 8 U.S.C. 1324(a)(2).

Soon thereafter, he filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on the ground that the deportation of the two illegal aliens had the prior -- had violated his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights.