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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. HATTON v. DYE (04/22/53)

April 22, 1953

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. HATTON
v.
DYE



Appeal, No. 50, March T., 1953, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1952, No. 2016, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ex rel. Everett Hatton v. Charles Dye, Warden, Allegheny County Jail. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Albert A. Fiok, assistant District Attorney, with him James F. Malone, Jr., District Attorney, for appellant.

Albert Martin, for appellee.

Henry R. Smith, Jr., and Owen B. McManus, Jr., filed a brief for Petitioner, amicus curiae.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Chidsey

[ 373 Pa. Page 503]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY

This is an appeal by the Commonwealth from the order of the court below which discharged Everett Hatton on a writ of habeas corpus. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People filed a brief amicus curiae.

[ 373 Pa. Page 504]

On February 19, 1930 the relator, then seventeen years old, was convicted in Jones County, Mississippi, of assault with intent to rape and was sentenced to life imprisonment. On July 15, 1943, Hatton, a negro escaped from the state penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi, and eventually settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he married and became the father of two children. On May 15, 1952 he was arrested and charged by his wife with assault and battery. Subsequent to this arrest it was discovered that Hatton was a fugitive from justice from the State of Mississippi, and in due time a request for extradition was forwarded from the State of Mississippi to the Governor of Pennsylvania. On June 6, 1952 the Governor's warrant duly issued and was executed.

Thereafter relator filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Common Pleas Court of Allegheny County alleging that he was unlawfully restrained of his liberty in violation of his constitutional rights. He later filed a supplemental petition in which he admitted being the person demanded by the State of Mississippi but denied guilt of the charge for which he was there imprisoned. The supplemental petition also alleged that his trial was a mockery of justice; that he was not represented by counsel; that while he was in the state penitentiary in Mississippi he was the victim of cruel and inhuman treatment; and that if he were returned, his life would be in danger at the hands of his jailors.

At the hearing evidence of the circumstances of his conviction was introduced over the objection of the Commonwealth. Similarly, over objection appellee introduced evidence of physical punishment which he had received and which was a part of the penal system in Mississippi. Two employes of the institution where relator had been ...


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