Ughbanks v. Armstrong

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Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

208 U.S. 481

Ughbanks  v.  Armstrong

 Argued: January 20, 1908. --- Decided: February 24, 1908

This writ of error brings up a judgment of the supreme court of Michigan, denying the application of the plaintiff in error for a writ of habeas corpus, to inquire into the cause of his detention in, and to obtain his discharge from, the state prison at Jackson.

It appears from the record that on the 17th of March, 1904, the plaintiff in error was proceeded against in the circuit court for the county of Washtenaw, in the state of Michigan, on an information filed by the prosecuting attorney for that county, charging the plaintiff in error with having committed the crime of burglary on the 15th of March, 1904. Upon being arraigned upon such information he pleaded guilty and was, on the day mentioned, sentenced under the indeterminate sentence act of the state to be confined in the state prison at Jackson at hard labor for a period not less than one year and not more than two years. Public Acts of Michigan, 1903, No. 136. His term of imprisonment, counting the maximum period for which he was sentenced, ended, as he asserts, on March 17, 1906, even without any deduction for good behavior.

In his petition for the writ, plaintiff in error stated that, by the record kept and retained by the warden of the Michigan state prison at Jackson, it appeared, as plaintiff in error was advised, that he had been twice before convicted of felony, and that he had served four years in Kingston, Canada, and four years in Jackson, Michigan, on account thereof, and that he was a resident of Canada, and had never resided in the state of Michigan or in the United States.

He made application at the end of the minimum term of his sentence to the advisory board, provided for by § 4 of the above act, for his discharge on parole, but he was notified that his application could not be heard or considered for the reason that it appeared that he had been twice before convicted of a felony, and the act provides that no person who has been twice previously convicted of a felony shall be eligible to parole.

After the expiration of the maximum term named in the sentence, being still detained in prison under the claim that the law provided a maximum term of imprisonment of five years in such a case as his, which term had not elapsed, the plaintiff in error applied to the supreme court of Michigan for a writ of habeas corpus to obtain his discharge, and, upon the denial of the application, brought the case here.

Messrs. John B. Chaddock and George E. Nichols for plaintiff in error.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 483-485 intentionally omitted]

Messrs.John E. Bird and Henry E. Chase for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice Peckham, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court:


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).