The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH
George E. Russell petitions this court for a writ of habeas corpus. On April 27, 1951, leave was granted the petitioner to proceed in forma pauperis and a rule issued to show cause why the writ should not be granted. The rule to show cause was served upon Dr. Claudy, the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the District Attorney of Blair County, and the District Attorney of Allegheny County. On June 1, 1951, a hearing was held to enable the petitioner to adduce evidence that would warrant his release. Petitioner was represented at the hearing by Leslie I. Cohen, Esquire, Court-appointed Counsel. J. Calvin Long, Jr., District Attorney of Blair County, appeared on behalf of the Commonwealth. After hearing, and from the answers submitted by Dr. Claudy and Mr. Lang, it is apparent to the court that the petition for a writ of habeas corpus must be denied and the rule to show cause discharged.
The petitioner urges that this court grant his petition on the grounds that:
'a. His signature was obtained to District Attorneys bills of indictments, while under influence of 'Duress.'
'b. His signature was obtained to said bills, without the privilege and right for Counsel or/and Counsels presence.
'c. His signature was obtained to said bills outside of a Court, within the County Prison.
'd. That two names appears (sic), on said indictments, each name carrying the burden of equal guilt, yet one defendant received a double sentence.
'e. In crime of felony is it lawful to try and sentence a citizen without a grand inquest indictment, upon a District Attorney's Indictment, which is merely a bill of information.'
The answer of the District Attorney of Blair County contains the photostatic copies of the indictments. The indictments are in proper form and the petitioner waived presentment to the grand jury and entered a plea of guilty on each indictment.
The answer also contains a copy of the official transcript of the court proceedings from which the following appears:
'By the Court: Q. Do you have an attorney? A. No. Sir.
'Q. Do you desire the Court to appoint one for you? A. No Sir.'
And on page 4 of the transcript the following appears:
'Q. You are George E. Russell one of the defendants in this case? A. Yes.
'Q. About these two checks, were they made out by you? That is the check dated November 14, 1949, drawn on the Altoona Trust Company in the amount of $ 54.00, made payable to Patrick J. O'Reily, fraudulently signed by Otto F. Epple and was endorsed by you and cashed you you? (sic.) A. Yes.
'Q. And the other one was dated November 5, 1949, drawn on the Altoona Trust Company in the amount of $ 85.00 made payable to Mrs. Dorothy L. Williams and fraudulently endorsed Mrs. Dorothy L. Williams and ...