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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. WILSON v. BANMILLER. (06/30/58)

June 30, 1958

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. WILSON, APPELLANT,
v.
BANMILLER.



Appeal, No. 252, Jan. T., 1958, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1957, No. 10187, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ex rel. John Wilson v. William J. Banmiller, Warden. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

John Wilson, appellant, in propria persona.

Charles L. Durham and Juanita Kidd Stout, Assistant District Attorneys, James N. Lafferty, First Assistant District Attorney, and Victor H. Blanc, District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 393 Pa. Page 531]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

Wilson appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County dismissing his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. His petition alleged trial errors, insufficiency of evidence, inefficiency of court appointed counsel, and denial of due process.

Wilson was indicted on December 2, 1953, charged with murder and voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. He was tried only on the bill charging him with manslaughter. He waived in writing a jury trial and elected to be tried by the Court. The Court, after hearing all the testimony, found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced him to a term of not less than two nor more than four years in the Eastern State

[ 393 Pa. Page 532]

Penitentiary. Wilson did not request a new trial or take an appeal from the judgment of the Court.

Wilson, in this petition, contends, as he did at the trial, that he acted in self-defense. It is obvious that this was a jury question, and the evidence was amply sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant was guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

A writ of habeas corpus is not a substitute for an appeal or a writ of error or for a motion for a new trial; nor is it available for the correction of trial errors: Commonwealth ex rel. Kennedy v. Mingle, 388 Pa. 54, 130 A.2d 161; Commonwealth ex rel. Matthews v. Day, 381 Pa. 617, 114 A.2d 122; Commonwealth ex rel. Marelia v. Burke, 366 Pa. 124, 126, 75 A.2d 593; see also Commonwealth ex rel. Milewski v. Ashe, 362 Pa. 48, 66 A.2d 281.

In Commonwealth ex rel. Marelia v. Burke, 366 Pa., supra, the Court said (pages 126-127): "The extraordinary remedy of habeas corpus which can be successfully invoked only in exceptional cases, is not a substitute for a motion for new trial or for an appeal or for a writ of error: [citing numerous cases] .... It is well settled that a relator cannot obtain relief by habeas corpus for errors alleged to have occurred in the course of his trial: [citing numerous cases]. ... the question of the ...


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