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HILL V. UNITED STATES, 368 U. S. 424 (1962)

U.S. Supreme Court

Hill v. United States, 368 U.S. 424 (1962)

Hill v. United States

No. 68

Argued December 5, 1961

Decided January 22, 1962

368 U.S. 424


In a Federal District Court, petitioner was convicted of two federal crimes and sentenced to imprisonment. He was represented by counsel both at the trial and when sentence was imposed, but, before imposing sentence, the judge failed to comply with the requirement of Rule 32(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that he afford petitioner an opportunity to make a statement in his own behalf. Petitioner took no appeal; but five years later he moved under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate the sentence because of the judge's failure to comply with Rule 32(a).


1. Failure to follow the formal requirements of Rule 32(a) is not of itself an error that can be raised by collateral attack under 28 U.S. C. § 2255. Pp. 425-429.

2. Though petitioner denominated his motion as one brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, it may be considered as a motion to correct an illegal sentence under Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure; but the narrow function of that Rule is to permit correction of an illegal sentence, not to reexamine errors occurring at the trial or other proceedings prior to the imposition of sentence. P. 368 U. S. 430.

282 F.2d 352 affirmed.

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