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HEFLIN V. UNITED STATES, 358 U. S. 415 (1959)

U.S. Supreme Court

Heflin v. United States, 358 U.S. 415 (1959)

Heflin v. United States

No. 137

Argued January 14-15, 1959

Decided February 24, 1959

358 U.S. 415


Petitioner was indicted and convicted on three counts charging violations of the Federal Bank Robbery Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2113, by taking property by force and violence and assaulting and jeopardizing the lives of several persons in the course of the taking, in violation of § 2113(d), receiving the stolen property, in violation of § 2113(c), and conspiring to violate the Act. He was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment on the first of these counts, three years on the conspiracy count, and a year and a day on the count charging receipt of the stolen property, the three sentences to run consecutively. While still in custody under the admittedly valid 10-year sentence, he moved for correction of the sentence, claiming that he could not be lawfully convicted under both subsection (c) and (d) of § 2113 for feloniously receiving and feloniously taking the same property.


1. Relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is available only to attack a sentence under which the prisoner is in custody, but relief was available to petitioner under Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which authorizes the correction of an illegal sentence "at any time." Pp. 358 U. S. 417-418.

2. The separate sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 2113(c) for receiving the stolen property was invalid, since that subsection was not designed to increase the punishment for one who robs a bank, but only to provide punishment for those who receive the loot from the robber. Prince v. United States, 352 U. S. 322. Pp. 358 U. S. 419-420.

251 F.2d 69, reversed.

Page 358 U. S. 416

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