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United States v. Lester

decided: October 18, 1967.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
LAWRENCE LESTER, APPELLANT



Biggs and Kalodner, Circuit Judges, and Van Dusen, District Judge.

Author: Per Curiam

Opinion OF THE COURT

The defendant, Lester, was convicted of perjury. 18 U.S.C. ยง 1621. The testimony found to have been perjured occurred at a habeas corpus hearing in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The basis for seeking the writ was Lester's assertion that a guilty plea on his behalf had been entered against his will at a state court prosecution, the nature of which need not be described. In support of his contention Lester testified under oath at the habeas corpus proceeding as follows:

"Q. When the Judge concluded that remark*fn1 or remarks to you [Lester], what, if anything, did you say to either the Judge or to your attorney?

"A. I told the defense attorney that I didn't plead guilty.

"Q. Were you still at the Bar of the Court when this happened?

"A. Yes.

"Q. And what, if anything, was said to you by defense counsel?

"A. Counsel stated the same thing he said when I walked into court; for me to keep quiet and he knew what he was doing.

"Q. Did you at that time complain to Judge Hagan that you had not in fact pled guilty?

"A. I complained loudly, but complained directly to him, [sic] no, I didn't. I complained loudly to counsel and those who were in the courtroom could hear me."

The United States proved to the jury's satisfaction in the court below that Lester made the statements quoted knowing that he did not make any complaint at his trial.

We find no vital error in the indictment, that the evidence was sufficient to support the verdict, and that there was no substantial error in the trial court's charge. After careful consideration of the record we find Lester's contentions to be ...


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