GREENE V. UNITED STATES, 358 U. S. 326 (1959)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Greene v. United States, 358 U.S. 326 (1959)

Greene v. United States

No. 134

Argued January 13, 1959

Decided January 26, 1959

358 U.S. 326


Petitioner was convicted in a Federal District Court on each of 15 counts of an indictment for violations of the narcotic laws, and was sentenced to consecutive sentences of 20 months to 5 years on each of Counts 2, 4, and 7, and to sentences of 20 months to 5 years on each of the other 12 counts, to run concurrently with each other and "with the sentence imposed on Counts Two, Four and Seven." On petitioner's appeal challenging the validity of his conviction and sentence on each count, the Court of Appeals held that

"The record supports at least 5 of the sentences that were to run 'concurrently with' the 3 consecutive sentences. It therefore supports the aggregate sentence. We need not decide whether it supports the 'consecutive' sentences themselves,"

and it affirmed.

Held: the Court of Appeals should have passed upon the validity of the consecutive sentences. Pp. 358 U. S. 327-330.

(a) The 15 sentences here involved may not be treated as one "gross sentence" to imprisonment for a period of 5 to 15 years, because the recorded judgment explicitly imposed a separate sentence of from 20 months to the then permissible maximum of 5 years on each of the 15 counts. Pp. 358 U. S. 328-329.

(b) Because of the way the judgment is worded, imprisonment for an aggregate period of 5 to 15 years can be sustained in this case only if each of the consecutive sentences on Counts 2, 4, and 7 is valid. Pp. 358 U. S. 329-330.

100 U.S.App.D.C. 396, 246 F.2d 677, judgment vacated and cause remanded for further proceedings.

Page 358 U. S. 327

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