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COMMONWEALTH v. NOVAK (02/06/56)

February 6, 1956

COMMONWEALTH
v.
NOVAK, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 33, Jan. T., 1956, from order of Court of Oyer and Terminer of Delaware County, March T., 1955, No. 340, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Edward Novak. Appeal quashed; reargument refused March 6, 1956.

COUNSEL

David Berger, with him Mervyn R. Turk, for appellant.

Paul R. Sand, Assistant District Attorney, with him Joseph e. Pappano, First Assistant District Attorney and Raymond R. Start, District Attorney, for appellee.

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

Author: Jones

[ 384 Pa. Page 238]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE JONES

This appeal is from an order of the Court of Oyer and Terminer of Delaware County dismissing defendant's

[ 384 Pa. Page 239]

    exceptions to the court's order accepting and approving the report of a sanity commission and refusing to commit the defendant to a hospital for the mentally ill.

The defendant was charged on March 9, 1955, with murder in indictments returned by the Delaware County grand jury. On May 6th, while he was confined in jail awaiting trial, his counsel petitioned the court under the provisions of the Mental Health Act of June 12, 1951, P.L. 533, as amended, 50 PS ยง 1071, et seq., for the defendant's commitment to a metal hospital. On the same day, the court entered an order appointing a commission consisting of two qualified physicians and an attorney to investigate the defendant's condition and to report thereon to the court.

Following a psychiatric and neurologic examination of the defendant, the commission on May 27, 1955, filed with the court its report wherein it found that the defendant was not mentally defective; that there was no evidence of organic diseases of his nervous system; that, although he showed a marked personality disorder leading to all kinds of aggressive and anti-social behavior, he is not mentally ill; that he is not insane; that he was able to comprehend his position with relation to the crimes for which he stands indicted, to confer with his counsel in an intelligent manner, to prepare his defense if he so desires and to make a rational defense.

After consideration of the commission's report and the evidence whereon it was based, the court entered its above-mentioned order of May 27th which, in part, contained the following: "... said defendant Edward Novak is not in such condition as to make it necessary that he be cared for in a hospital for mental illness and this Court does ...


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