Case Brief

382 F.2d 479
127 U.S.App.D.C. 263
Joseph L. NEWMAN, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
No. 20637.

Appellant, Newman, and Anderson were indicted for breaking and entering and petty larceny. Anderson’s counsel was able to get him a plea agreement, which included only the misdemeanor charges of petty larceny and attempted housebreaking. The US attorney declined to give the same offer to Newman, who brought appeal.
Procedural History
Appellant and Anderson were indicted for housebreaking and petty larceny. Negotiations between Anderson's counsel and an Assistant United States Attorney led to Anderson's being allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanors of petty larceny and attempted housebreaking. The United States Attorney declined to consent to the same plea for Appellant.
Issue Statement
Can the defendant can appeal an indictment when he is not given an equal plea as his co-defendant.
Holdings or Rulings
Affirmed. The court declined to decide on this matter, except to state that the Attorney General’s office is an extension of the Executive Branch, and it was not in the province of the court to tell them who to indict and which charges to press.
This case serves to show that courts will not take up every plea agreement in an attempt to make things fair among defendants.
Concurring and Dissenting opinions
The concurring opinion would reserve judicial power to review 'irrational' decisions of the prosecutor. We do our assigned task of appellate review best if we stay within our own limits, recognizing that we are neither omnipotent so as to have our mandates run without limit, nor omniscient so as to be able to direct all branches of government.