judge, relator reinstituted habeas corpus proceedings in the Common Pleas courts. No action was taken upon the relator's petition until April 22, 1963, when he received a letter from the Prothonotary of the Common Pleas Court that the Court decided:
'And now, April 12, 1963: This matter is moot: The rule is discharged.'
This order was signed by the same judge who sentenced the relator originally and he considered the matter as being moot because on April 12, 1963 he filed an order dated June 28, 1961, amending his original sentence to make the relator's sentences run concurrently instead of consecutively, as previously imposed. This changed the relator's sentence from 20 to 40 years to 10 to 20 years.
Since the relator is now serving a combined sentence on all three bills, the petition is no longer premature.
It is apparent from the foregoing narrative that the relator's rights to a fair and complete hearing have been transgressed. Aside from his misconceived guilty plea, he has been convicted on a fraudulent confession, material misstatements of fact by the District Attorney, a confession of a mentally ill co-defendant and the lack of effective representation by his own counsel.
Can it not be said that the sentencing judge was under a misapprehension as to the nature of Jackson's participation in the crimes?
At most, the defendant has consistently contended that his only factual link to this one robbery was his receipt of the $ 3.00 which he considered to be stolen goods because he unwittingly lent his car to Joseph Williams, a participant in the crime.
A plea of guilty does not strip the defendant of his rights to procedural due process. In United States v. Morin, 265 F.2d 241 (3 Cir. 1959), the Court said on p. 245:
'Out of just consideration for persons accused of crime, courts are careful that a plea of guilty shall not be accepted unless made voluntarily after proper advice and with full understanding of the consequences. When one so pleads he may be held bound. * * * But, on timely application, the court will vacate a plea of guilty shown to have been unfairly obtained or given through ignorance, fear or inadvertance. Such an application does not involve any question of guilt or innocence.'
The wheels of injustice began to roll over Jackson when he was inveigled into signing a false confession upon the promise of the detective that he was confessing only to receiving stolen goods and that if he signed he would not be involved with the robberies.
We find that the entire proceeding was so fraught with constitutional error that it is impossible to separate the due process deficiencies on each Bill of Indictment. The most elemental rights of due process were denied this prisoner and the safeguards of effective counsel and a fair prosecutor were distorted in such a way that the trial became a nightmare of injustice.
We recognize that on a guilty plea the relator was not entitled to have much said on his behalf but he was entitled to not have material misstatements read to the Court while his attorney stood mute. Townsend v. Burke, 334 U.S. 736, 68 S. Ct. 1252, 92 L. Ed. 1690 (1947).
The writ is granted. However, nothing that is said here precludes a new trial or the taking of proper steps to hold the defendant in custody pending such a new trial or an appeal to the Circuit Court. United States of America ex rel. Butler v. Maroney, 319 F.2d 622 (3 Cir.).
Counsel for the relator, Mr. Howard Gittis, Esq., is commended for his unselfish service and excellent advocacy on behalf of the relator.