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Adams v. Peterson

filed: June 24, 1992.


Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. D.C. No. CV-86-6224-PA. Owen M. Panner, District Judge, Presiding.

En Banc. Before: Wallace, Chief Judge, Tang, Pregerson, Norris, Wiggins, Brunetti, Kozinski, O'Scannlain, Trott, Fernandez, and Kleinfeld, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge O'Scannlain; Concurrence by Judge Kozinski; Dissents by Judges Tang and Pregerson.

Author: O'scannlain

O'SCANNLAIN, Circuit Judge:

David Adams appeals from the district court's dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Adams claims that his Oregon convictions for burglary, rape, and sodomy violated his right to due process of law because a state court Judge entered judgment on stipulated facts and failed to advise him on the record of the legal consequences of the stipulation. We now affirm.


In November 1981, Adams, who was seventeen years old at the time, was indicted in the Lane County Circuit Court on charges of first-degree rape, sodomy, and burglary of a female schoolteacher. Adams agreed to stipulate to certain facts at trial rather than to proceed through the more usual presentations of evidence by both the prosecution and the defense. Adams so agreed on the advice of his attorney, who indicated that Adams's prior juvenile record, along with the nature and circumstances of his crime, might lead to a harsher sentence if he was convicted following an extended trial. In addition, in return for Adams's agreeing to a stipulated-facts trial, the state agreed to dismiss two other indictments then pending against him.

Adams repeatedly told his attorney that he wanted to testify. On three separate occasions, however, his attorney explained to Adams that, if he agreed to a stipulated-facts trial, he could testify only at sentencing.

The written stipulation, which tracked the language of the indictment, provided that "the evidence of the State would establish the following facts beyond a reasonable doubt": on September 7, 1981, (1) Adams, without consent, legal authority, or other justification, entered and remained in the residence of one Marylee Donley with the intent to commit the crimes of rape, sodomy, and sexual abuse (Count I); (2) Adams unlawfully and knowingly caused his penis to penetrate Donley's vagina, and at the time of this sexual intercourse, Donley was subjected by Adams to forcible compulsion (Count II); and (3) Adams unlawfully and knowingly caused his penis to contact Donley's anus, and at the time of this deviate sexual intercourse, she was subjected by Adams to forcible compulsion (Count III). Stipulation at 1, State v. Adams, No. 10-81-10777 (Or. Cir. Ct., Lane County) (Jan. 18, 1982) [hereinafter "Stipulation"]. The stipulation concluded that "based on this stipulation, it is the expectation of the parties that the defendant will be found guilty of Count I, Count II, and Count III." Id. at 2.

During the stipulated-facts trial, the following colloquy took place between the state trial Judge and Adams:


You've discussed your manner of trial with your attorney?


Yes, I did.


You are freely and voluntarily waiving your right to trial by jury?




Election to waive jury will be entered. You're consenting to have this matter tried by stipulated facts?


Yes, your Honor.


Your Honor, we've both


reviewed the stipulation and


executed it.


Stipulated facts will be filed with the clerk, and I'll read those over. You may be seated.

All right, I would find the Defendant guilty of Count I, Burglary in the First Degree; Count II, Rape in the First Degree, and Count III, Sodomy in the First Degree.

Transcript of Proceedings, State v. Adams, No. 10-81-10777 (Jan. 18, 1982) [hereinafter "Trial Transcript"].

Between conviction and sentencing, Adams gave his attorney a written statement of his version of the assault in which he denied committing the crimes of rape and sodomy. However, Adams told his attorney that he did not want his attorney to withdraw the previously stipulated facts. At the sentencing hearing, the court questioned Adams on the circumstances of the rape. After listening to Adams's testimony, the court imposed the statutory maximum of twenty years of imprisonment for the rape, a consecutive maximum of twenty years for the sodomy, but no additional sentence for the burglary. Adams appealed on the ground that the sentence was excessive. The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed without opinion. State v. Adams, 59 Ore. App. 771, 652 P.2d 888 (Or. App. 1982).

Adams subsequently petitioned for post-conviction relief in Oregon state court, contending that his stipulated-facts trial was constitutionally invalid. He argued that he had not voluntarily and intelligently agreed to such a trial. At a hearing on this petition, the following colloquy took place between Adams and his new attorney:

Q Okay did you - did - when did you have Discussions with your attorney regarding the stipulated facts trial? When in relationship to when you actually did it?

A Weeks prior to it.

Q Okay what did he tell you that a stipulated facts trial was?

A That I would be waiving my right to a jury and it would be my testimony against the victims sic. That I would get up and go to a regular trial without the jury.

Q Did you assume that the Judge would make the decision?

A Yes. That I would just go in front of the Judge.

Q Did you assume that you would have the right to give testimony on your behalf?

A Yes. Yes I did.

Q - so during that stipulated facts trial it kind of came to your attention that this isn't a regular trial?

A Yes.

Q Did you say anything to your attorney about it?

A Well my attorney - I kind of looked at him and he gave me a nod and I guess he knew what he was doing.

Q Okay did you talk with him specifically about it while you were doing it?

A No.

Q Did you simply believe that he had things under control?

A Yes.

Q Okay were there any of these charges that you didn't believe you were guilty of?

A Yes.

Q What, if any, of those?

A The rape and sodomy.

Transcript of Proceedings at 6, 8, 11-12, Adams v. Sullivan, No. 140,109 (Or. Cir. Ct., Marion County) (Nov. 4, 1983) [hereinafter "Post-Conviction Transcript"]. Adams was ...

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