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ROBINS v. U.S - 404 U.S. 1049 (1972)

U.S. Supreme Court

ROBINS v. U.S. , 404 U.S. 1049 (1972)

404 U.S. 1049

Robert Joe ROBINS
No. 71-5405.

Supreme Court of the United States

January 17, 1972

On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Mr. Justice BRENNAN, with whom Mr. Justice DOUGLAS and Mr. Justice MARSHALL join, dissenting.

On March 4, 1964 petitioner was arraigned in the United States District Court on charges of prison escape and accompanying assaults. Counsel was appointed that day, and after petitioner and the attorney assured the court they had had sufficient time earlier in the day to

Page 404 U.S. 1049 , 1050

confer, the court accepted petitioner's guilty pleas. On June 22, 1964, petitioner returned for sentencing, and the following occurred:

    'The Court: Mr. Robbins [sic], when [last] before the Court, was represented by appointed counsel, Mr. Sheldon Crossette, a member of the bar of Wyandotte County and of this Court.
    'I excused Mr. Corssette [sic] from further representation of Mr. Robbins [sic] since he is in Kansas City and this hearing is in Leavenworth.

* * * * *

    'Mr. Robbins [sic], do you desire that other counsel be appointed to represent you at this hearing?
    'Defendant Robbins [sic]: No.
    'The Court: You understand that you have the right to have counsel?
    'Defendant Robbins [sic]: Yes.
    'The Court: And you waive that right?
    'Defendant Robbins [sic]: Yes, sir.'

Petitioner was then sentenced to consecutive five-year terms of imprisonment on two counts and a concurrent five-year term on a third, all to follow any sentence then being served.

Petitioner subsequently filed a motion in the sentencing court to vacate sentence under 28 U.S.C. 2255, contending, first, that in summarily relieving his appointed attorney, the trial court had denied him his constitutional right to the assistance of counsel and, second, that he had not validly waived his right to counsel. In particular, petitioner alleges that he did not accept the court's offer to appoint new counsel from fear of angering the court, and because he did not think a new attorney, unfamiliar with the case, could help him. The District Court in an unreported order denied relief without a [404 U.S. 1049 , 1051]

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