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In re Stewart

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
571 F.2d 958 (1978)


Facts

Murray Stewart (defendant) was the supervisor of Thomas Stubblefield, a county employee working as a laborer on a bridge crew. Stubblefield was called for jury duty in federal court, and Stewart subsequently transferred Stubblefield to a different crew. Stewart told Stubblefield that the transfer was not because of the jury duty, and also told Stubblefield that the pay would be the same. Stubblefield informed Judge Cox, who had presided over the jury trial in federal court. Stewart was arrested and held in custody until his trial. Judge Cox directed the United States attorney to serve as the prosecutor. Stewart had no counsel, and there was no record of Stewart being informed of his right to counsel or waiving that right. At trial, Stubblefield testified while Stewart cross-examined Stubblefield, gave his own testimony, and was questioned by both the prosecutor and Judge Cox. Judge Cox stated that he wished to “make an example” of Stewart, and imposed a $100 fine and probation. Stewart appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Godbold, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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