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CAMMACK v. NEW YORK

September 11, 1978

Louis CAMMACK, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF NEW YORK, Respondent



The opinion of the court was delivered by: NEAHER

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Louis Cammack, a prisoner at New York State's Clinton Correctional Facility, *fn1" has petitioned the court Pro se for a writ of Habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The Attorney General for the State of New York, as Attorney for the respondent, has filed an affidavit in opposition to the petition, and has provided the court with transcripts of the various State court proceedings here in issue.

 On June 6, 1963, petitioner and a co-defendant Jesse Smalls, pleaded not guilty in New York State Supreme Court, Kings County, to an indictment charging them with first degree murder. Thereafter, on August 1, 1963, both withdrew their previous pleas, and petitioner, who was then represented by counsel, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree, unarmed. See former New York Penal Law § 1050, amended, 1965. The record of that proceeding reflects the following exchange between petitioner and the State court judge, Justice Helfand, after counsel had indicated petitioner's intention to change his plea and before the plea was accepted by the court:

 
"THE COURT: Now, Louis Cammack, did you hear and understand what Mr. Ashmead (one of petitioner's attorneys) said?
 
"THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
 
"THE COURT: You have, I take it, conferred with Mr. Ashmead and Mr. Kammel, your lawyers, on a number of occasions, concerning this matter?
 
"THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir, I have.
 
"THE COURT: You know, do you not, that they in turn have consulted and conferred with the District Attorney and the Court?
 
"THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
 
"THE COURT: And you are satisfied that they offer this plea on your behalf?
 
"THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
 
"THE COURT: And that is what you wish to do, withdraw your prior plea of not guilty, and you want to plead guilty to the felony charge of manslaughter in the first degree, unarmed, to cover the indictment . . . which charges you with the crime of murder in the first degree? Is that what you wish to do?
 
"THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
 
"THE COURT: And are you, Louis A. Cammack, pleading guilty to manslaughter in the first degree, unarmed, because you are guilty, that on or about April 25, 1963, here in Brooklyn, acting together with your co-defendant, you shot and killed one, Prince Edward Green, and as a ...

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