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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. ROSS v. BOTULA (06/17/65)

decided: June 17, 1965.

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. ROSS, APPELLANT,
v.
BOTULA



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County, Feb. T., 1965, No. 126, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. James Ross v. Theodore Botula, Superintendent.

COUNSEL

James Ross, appellant, in propria persona.

Vincent J. Pepicelli, District Attorney, for appellee.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, and Hoffman, JJ. (Flood, J., absent). Opinion by Hoffman, J. Ervin, P. J., dissents.

Author: Hoffman

[ 206 Pa. Super. Page 2]

In 1960, James Ross, appellant, was sentenced to imprisonment for larceny. This sentence followed a plea of guilty by appellant who was without the assistance of counsel at any stage of the proceedings.

In 1965, appellant, again without counsel, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County. The petition was denied on January 21, 1965, without a hearing. The appeal from that denial is presently before us.

The single question in this case is whether appellant effectively waived his constitutional right to counsel.

The Commonwealth contends, and the lower court agreed, that appellant waived this constitutional right by signing the following prepared statement:

"December 12, 1960

"The defendant in open court plead[s] guilty to the charge preferred in the within indictment, waives presentation thereof to the Grand Jury, waives appointment

[ 206 Pa. Super. Page 3]

    of counsel, and consents to the pronouncement of ...


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