him the various aspects and implications of his allegations.
I was assisted by Mr. Kenneth Markison, sitting in court, a senior law student at George Washington University, who was present with me during these conferences.
I have shown Mr. Curtis all of the affidavits and exhibits which have been filed in connection with this matter, and, of course, he has a copy of the order of the Court of Appeals.
There has been nothing submitted to date by Mr. Curtis under oath. I have advised him, and I think this should be perfectly clear on the record, that in the event that he should testify, that he would be subject to cross examination and that his testimony would constitute, in my judgment, a waiver of the attorney-client privilege, whatever attorney-client privilege he had with his former counsel, Mrs. Harris.
"THE COURT: It would most certainly constitute that, and also, depending on the circumstances, lay him open to perjury charges.
"MR. GARBER: Yes. I submit, Your Honor, before Mr. Curtis takes this step, that the Court should be satisfied that he fully understands these implications, and that he will make his own decision on these matters based upon the Court being satisfied that he does understand what his rights are in this situation.
Also, I think the record should clearly demonstrate from him that he understands the implications of taking the stand in this case.
"THE COURT: Does he wish to take the stand?
"MR. GARBER: Your Honor, I would like him to answer that before the Court and on the record.
"THE COURT: Well, come forward here, Mr. Curtis.
Mr. Curtis, if you take the stand, before you take the stand you will be put under oath. You will then be allowed to give your story, and you will, of course, have waived any attorney-client privilege that you may have, and you will then be subject to cross examination by the Government.
"DEFT. CURTIS: Yes, sir, I understand.
"THE COURT: Just a minute.
Should it later turn out that your testimony on the stand was untrue, I personally will request the United States Attorney's office to bring perjury action against you.
With that in mind, do you wish to take the stand?
"DEFT. CURTIS: Judge Hart, I'd like -- see, if I do take the stand, I know what the D.C., District Attorney probably will do, throw big words at me and words I don't understand, you know.
"THE COURT: Well, we will see that you understand the questions.
"DEFT. CURTIS: Can I talk to my lawyer again before -
"THE COURT: You may talk to your lawyer again.
"MR. GARBER: I think that would be wise, Your Honor.
"THE COURT: All right.
[Brief pause.] [10 minutes] Initialled GLH
[Following pause, defendant present]
"THE COURT: Yes, Mr. Garber?
"MR. GARBER: Do you want to address the Court?
"DEFT. CURTIS: Judge, Your Honor, the only reason that I am going to let the record stay as it is, because I don't want to be hooked up in -- I don't want the D.A., I know he will do it, to catch me up in some kind of lie.
"THE COURT: He won't catch you up in any lies if you don't tell any lies.
"DEFT. CURTIS: Well, I am not going to go through with it anyway.
"THE COURT: All right. You may be seated."
In view of all the foregoing, it is crystal clear and this Court so finds that defendant's allegations against his original counsel, Patricia Roberts Harris, are without the slightest foundation in fact, are deliberate untruths, and are as completely frivolous as the Trial Court deemed them to be on March 30, 1971, when it first denied defendant's Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
Every day in our trial courts appointed counsel represent defendants in criminal cases. There are many hundreds of such representations each year. While these counsel now receive some remuneration, their services are essentially public service since they seldom, if ever, receive full compensation for their work. These counsel are a very dedicated group, for the most part, who represent the interests of the defendants conscientiously and well. As it is with all attorneys, whether their practice be civil or criminal, the reputation of these appointed attorneys is their most important asset and possession. If the reputation of appointed defense counsel is to be put in public question by the Courts in the cavalier fashion and on the unsworn, unsupported allegations of convicted felons as was done in this case, and in the Simpson case, then the members of our bar would be justified in declining appointments to defend.
Defendant's Motion under 18 U.S.C. § 2255 is again denied.
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