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GARRISON v. PENNSYLVANIA

April 6, 1955

Milton GARRISON, Petitioner,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA et al., and Dr. F. S. Baldi, Warden State Penitentiary at Rockview, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, Respondent



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FOLLMER

Petitioner, Milton Garrison, is confined in the State Penitentiary. He has applied in forma pauperis for a writ of habeas corpus.

Petitioner did not appeal in the State Court but did raise certain questions in a habeas corpus proceeding in which the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania did give the same careful consideration. *fn1" Certiorari was denied by the Supreme Court of the United States. *fn2"

 In Brown v. Allen, 344 U.S. 443, 485, 486, 73 S. Ct. 397, 421, 97 L. Ed. 469 the Supreme Court said:

 'The writ of habeas corpus in federal courts is not authorized for state prisoners at the discretion of the federal court. It is only authorized when a state prisoner is in custody in violation of the Constitution of the United States. 28 U.S.C.A. § 2241, 28 U.S.C.A. § 2241. That fact is not to be tested by the use of habeas corpus in lieu of an appeal. To allow habeas corpus in such circumstances would subvert the entire system of state criminal justice and destroy state energy in the detection and punishment of crime',

 but after stating certain exceptions, added:

 'Also, this Court will review state habeas corpus proceedings even though no appeal was taken, if the state treated habeas corpus as permissible. Federal habeas corpus is available following our refusal to review such state habeas corpus proceedings.'

 This Court accordingly gave consideration to the present petition.

 Where there is a material conflict of fact in the transcript of evidence as to deprivation of Constitutional rights, the Federal District Court may properly depend upon the State's resolution of the issue. *fn3" However, in the present case we need not go that far. After hearing petitioner and reviewing the complete record of the State trial and appellate proceedings which were offered in evidence at the hearing, no such constitutional issues appear. *fn4"

 Garrison now repeats his allegation of illegal detention and contends that it must follow that his trial and conviction are void. While, if it were material, the facts would be adjudged adversely to him, *fn5" nevertheless jurisdiction of the State Court would not have been affected thereby even if there had been undue force by the civilians, as he contends, or for that matter even though it had been by officers of the law, Frisbie v. Collins, 342 U.S. 519, 72 S. Ct. 509, 96 L. Ed. 541. *fn6" Nor does it constitute a proper subject of habeas corpus. *fn7"

 Garrison repeats his contention that there was no evidence to support the crime of burglary. There was ample evidence to sustain the verdict and the credibility of the witnesses was for the jury. *fn8" Nor is the sufficiency of the evidence a proper subject of habeas corpus except where there is an entire lack of evidence. *fn9"

 Garrison objects to the fact that the trial court commented on the evidence. The court fully instructed the jury that their recollection of the evidence controlled. There would be no error in this respect even had this trial been in a Federal Court and no constitutional question is involved. *fn10" In any event, this is not a matter on which habeas corpus would lie. *fn11"

 The question of what constitutes intent for the commission of the crime of burglary, which question Garrison seeks to raise here, is a matter within the province of the State court and was given full consideration by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. *fn12" This question is not before this Court since it involves no Constitutional rights. Even if error had existed, which we do not mean to infer, the rule is that habeas ...


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