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Adams v. United States ex rel. McCann, 317 U.S. 269 (1942)

Adams v. United States ex rel. McCann

No. 79

Argued November 17, 18, 1942

Decided December 21, 1942

317 U.S. 269


1. A Circuit Court of Appeals has power to issue a writ of habeas corpus as an incident to an appeal pending before it. P. 317 U. S. 272.

2. The rule that a writ of habeas corpus will not serve as an appeal must be strictly observed. P. 317 U. S. 274.

3. Upon an appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals from a conviction of felony, the appellant assigned several errors, including the insufficiency of the evidence, but the preparation of a bill of exceptions was obstructed by peculiar difficulties, including the indigence of the appellant and his incarceration in jail. The appellate court having raised the question whether the trial was void because the defense had been conducted by the accused, and a jury had been waived by him, without the help or advice of counsel:

Held that, for its aid in deciding this question, the Circuit Court of Appeals had jurisdiction under Judicial Code § 262 to issue a writ of habeas corpus. P. 317 U. S. 274.

4. In a criminal prosecution in a federal court, an accused, in the exercise of a free and intelligent choice and with the considered approval of the court, may waive trial by jury, and so, likewise, may waive his constitutional right to the assistance of counsel. P. 317 U. S. 275.

126 F.2d reversed.

Certiorari, 316 U.S. 655, to review a judgment reversing a conviction and sentence in a prosecution for using the mails to defraud in violation of Criminal Code, § 215.

Page 317 U. S. 270

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