The petition for writ of habeas corpus is refused.
An appropriate order is entered.
On July 6, 1951, the Court refused the petitioner's application for writ of habeas corpus since there was a failure to exhaust state remedies.
The petitioner has forwarded to the Court a written paper, which will be considered as a motion, in which he earnestly implores the Court to reconsider the conclusion reached.
I am appreciative that the petitioner has endeavored over a period of time to secure a hearing in open court before a state tribunal which has been to no avail.
Regardless, extraordinary circumstances of such peculiar urgency do not exist in this case which require or justify the Court to depart from the rule that the United States District Court should not assume jurisdiction of a habeas corpus proceeding which arises out of a state proceeding until there has been an exhaustion of state remedies.
The members of this Court have consistently held to the rule that exhaustion of state remedies in Pennsylvania means-
(a) Filing of petition with Court of Common Pleas.
(b) Appeal of adverse decision to Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
(c) Filing of application for writ of certiorari, review or appeal from the Superior Court of Pennsylvania to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
(d) Filing of application for writ of certiorari from the decision of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to the Supreme Court of the United States.
By recent action of the legislature in Pennsylvania, jurisdiction in habeas corpus matters was transferred from the judicial district in the state where the prisoner was confined to the judicial district where the petitioner was convicted and sentenced.
As to the right of appeal, the legislature provided that when the basis of the petition is an alleged defect or illegality in a criminal proceeding the appeal shall be to the court which has appellate jurisdiction in cases involving the crime with which the person imprisoned or detained has been convicted. In all other cases appeals shall be to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Act Number 98, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, approved and effective May 25, 1951.
Under the law of Pennsylvania, the only criminal actions which are appealable direct to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from the decrees and orders of the trial court are homicide and voluntary manslaughter. 19 Pa.P.S. 1182.
In view of the foregoing it is self-evident that the law of Pennsylvania is now in accord with the rule of law previously enunciated by this Court as to what constitutes an exhaustion of state remedies in a habeas corpus proceeding of this nature (confinement by virtue of a state sentence for a state crime less than homicide or voluntary manslaughter).
In order that no misunderstanding will exist in the future, exhaustion of state remedies to give this Court jurisdiction, exclusive of cases of peculiar urgency which are rare and the exception, means-
(a) Filing of application for writ of habeas corpus in the county where the petitioner was convicted or sentenced.
(b) Appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania from the disposition and decree entered by the sentencing court.
(c) Appeal, writ of certiorari or review from the Superior Court of Pennsylvania to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
(d) Application for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States from the decision and order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Only two exceptions exist to this procedure. If the state offense under which the petitioner is confined involves the crime of homicide or voluntary manslaughter, no need exists to appeal from the state court where the sentence was imposed to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. In those two cases appeal may be made direct to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and application for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States must be made from the decision and order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Petitioner has failed to exhaust state remedies. The motion to reconsider must be refused and it is so ordered.
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.