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UNITED STATES v. BOLDEN
October 27, 1977
UNITED STATES of America
James F. BOLDEN
The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREEN
JUNE L. GREEN, District Judge.
Defendant James F. Bolden has moved, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, to vacate or correct the sentence imposed on him by this Court on the grounds that he was denied effective assistance of counsel.
Mr. Bolden was indicted on March 30, 1972, on a number of charges arising out of the robbery of a Safeway store during which the security guard was fatally shot. In January of 1973, following a jury trial before this Court, defendant was convicted of first degree (felony) murder, robbery and carrying a dangerous weapon. On these three counts he was sentenced respectively to twenty years to life, five to fifteen years and three to ten years, concurrently. In July, 1975, the Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions for robbery and carrying a dangerous weapon, but reversed the conviction for felony murder because of the Court's response to a question submitted by the jury during deliberations. The Court of Appeals remanded for a new trial on that charge. On October 14, 1975, a second trial began before this Court on the felony murder charge, but it ended in a mistrial. The Court then set December 14, 1975, as the date for the third trial. On December 18, 1975, defendant entered a plea to second degree murder before this Court. The facts regarding the Court's discretion to impose the maximum sentence on Mr. Bolden were elaborated on the record at the plea hearing. Attorneys for Mr. Bolden's co-defendant first made the following representations:
MR. HURLEY: As the Court knows, we have had many, many discussions with the defendants before the Court. I can speak only as to Mr. Jones and many conferences with the Government.
After a series of more recent conferences, the Government has offered to Mr. Jones to dispose of this case a plea to the charge of murder in the second degree.
Now the Government's position as stated on the record by Mr. Hanny this morning is that they still reserve the right to allocute at the time of sentencing, and as of that time they are not going to recommend a specific sentence to the Court.
It is my understanding that they will recommend to the Court that the Court impose a substantial and meaningful sentence.
What allocution in addition to that the Government will provide I am unaware of at this time.
MR. GARBER: . . . [Mr. Jones] has been told that whatever the Government recommends, whatever the Government says, the matter of sentence would be strictly up to the Court.
THE COURT: That is correct.
MR. GARBER: And that he could receive a sentence up to life imprisonment, but not less than twenty years.
We have explained to him how that works, that if he was sentenced to imprisonment for life, in the maximum, the minimum could not exceed fifteen years, and the Court ...
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