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COMMONWEALTH v. SCHINDLER (01/17/52)

January 17, 1952

COMMONWEALTH
v.
SCHINDLER



COUNSEL

J. I. Simon, Maurice H. Goldstein, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

William S. Rahauser, Dist. Atty., Edward A. Schultz, Asst. Dist. Atty., Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.

Author: Reno

[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 338]

RENO, Judge.

Appellant swore falsely before an investigating grand jury, was indicted for perjury by a succeeding grand jury, and convicted.

His first contention is that the investigating grand jury was not a competent tribunal because the district attorney's petition which brought it into being was defective,

[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 339]

    and that the court below erred in denying his motion to quash.

The district attorney's petition, in part, alleged: 'That it has come to the attention of your petitioner, by means of newspaper articles and from other sources, that there are numerous violations of gambling laws being committed within the City of Pittsburgh and said County under the protection of police officers and other persons of influence and authority. That, if the aforesaid matters be true, it is a matter of great public importance and there is a pressing necessity for ascertaining the truth of these accusations so that, if true, the persons responsible therefor may be brought to justice.' He prayed for an order directing the grand jury to make a 'full and complete investigation of the aforesaid matter and make a full report thereof to this Court.'

The court below ordered 'the Grand Jury regularly chosen for the June Sessions, 1948, * * * to meet on Tuesday, July 27th A.D. 1948 at 9:00 E.S. Time to make a full and complete investigation of all matters set forth in the foregoing petition and make a report thereof of their findings to this Court.'

As will appear, we are not required to pass judgment upon the sufficiency of the district attorney's petition. Judged by the standards laid down in McNair's Petition, 324 Pa. 48, 187 A. 498, 106 A.L.R. 1373, and other cases,*fn1 the petition may have lacked sufficient definiteness and essential specificity to support an order for a grand jury investigation. ...


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