was guilty of murder in the first degree and the sentence imposed of life imprisonment was not contrary to the law of Pennsylvania, nor did it deny the petitioner any rights given to him by the Constitution of the United States. The imprisonment is, therefore, proper.
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law are hereby ordered together with an appropriate Order.
Findings of Fact
1. That the petitioner, Irvin C. Herge, pleaded guilty on the 11th day of March, 1946, to an indictment returned in the Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, at No. 59 March Term, 1946, which was certified to the Court of Oyer and Terminer of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, to No. 1 March Term, 1946.
2. That said indictment charged the petitioner with unlawfully, willfully and maliciously, and with malice aforethought, did make a certain assault on the body of Jean Fatur, and did kill and murder the said Jean Fatur.
3. That after a plea of guilty was entered on the 11th day of March, 1946, the trial judge proceeded to hear testimony which either the Commonwealth or the defendant desired to present in order to determine the degree of murder.
4. That on the 9th day of April, 1946, the Court heard the argument of counsel for the Commonwealth and the defendant in which consideration was thoroughly given to the applicable principle of law when considered in the light of the record.
5. That on April 22, 1946, the court adjudged petitioner to be guilty of murder in the first degree, and imposed upon him the penalty of life imprisonment in the Western State Penitentiary, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
6. That subsequent to the arrest of the petitioner, two competent and capable members of the bar were secured by relatives of the petitioner to act as his legal counsel.
7. That prior to the petitioner appearing before the court and entering his plea of guilty on the 11th day of March, 1946, full and ample opportunity existed for the petitioner to confer and consult with his legal counsel.
8. That the petitioner's legal counsel was experienced, well informed, qualified and suitable to represent the interests of the petitioner in connection with the crime for which he was charged.
9. That prior to the entry of the plea of guilty, the petitioner was fully notified and informed, both by information and indictment, of the charge of which he was accused.
10. That the petitioner was represented by counsel at the time the plea of guilty was entered, during the whole of the period that testimony was presented, and at the time of the argument before the court on the question of the degree of murder.
11. That no appeal was taken by the petitioner from the sentence imposed by the trial judge.
12. That the County of Lawrence has introduced in evidence the full and complete records which relate to the offense for which the petitioner was sentenced to the Western State Penitentiary.
Conclusions of Law
1. That the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in denying the writ of habeas corpus did not decide a federal question.
2. That since the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania did not decide a federal question, it is proper for the federal district court to consider the petition.
3. That the petitioner was not denied a right to trial by jury.
4. That the petitioner entered a plea of guilty to the murder indictment.
5. That the petitioner was mentally competent to understand the nature of his acts-
(a) At the time of the commission of the crime, and
(b) At the time he entered a plea of guilty.
6. That the trial judge heard and disposed of the plea of guilty in accordance with the law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
7. That the Court of Quarter Sessions and Court of Oyer and Terminer of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, had jurisdiction.
8. That the petitioner has not been denied any rights given to him under the Constitution of the United States.
9. That the petition for writ of habeas corpus must be denied.
And now, the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is denied.
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