Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, No. 13729 of 1964, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Henry V. Wolenski v. Doctor John P. Shovlin, Superintendent.
Henry V. Wolenski, appellant, in propria persona.
Ralph B. D'Iorio, Assistant District Attorney, Domenic D. Jerome, First Assistant District Attorney, and Jacques H. Fox, District Attorney, for appellee.
Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Jones. Concurring Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Bell.
On December 10, 1953, Henry V. Wolenski (Wolenski), before a Delaware County magistrate, was charged with having, on December 9, 1953, committed the murder of one Edward Gack. Shortly thereafter, Wolenski was committed to the Delaware County prison. The warden of that prison petitioned the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County for the appointment of a commission to determine the mental ability of Wolenski to stand trial and the court appointed such a commission. The commission examined Wolenski and reported to the court that Wolenski was then insane and
of criminal tendency and recommended that he be committed to a mental institution. The court, acting upon the recommendation of the commission*fn1 and in the exercise of its own discretion, on December 21, 1953, committed Wolenski to Farview State Hospital where he has remained until the present time. Subsequent to his commitment Wolenski was indicted for murder by a Delaware County grand jury but, by reason of his mental condition, has never been brought to trial.
In recent years Wolenski has filed, both in the federal and state courts, various petitions.*fn2
In 1964 Wolenski petitioned the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. That court then directed, under § 6 of The Mental Health Act of 1951, as amended (Act of June 12, 1951, P. L. 533, § 801, as amended, 50 P.S.
§ 1481(8)), an examination of Wolenski's mental condition by a qualified physician not associated with the Department of Public Welfare*fn3 and directed such examination be made by Dr. Morton Herskowitz, a qualified psychiatrist. Dr. Herskowitz examined Wolenski and made a written report to the court on August 26, 1964. In that report Dr. Herskowitz stated, inter alia: "This patient is an acutely disturbed individual who is overwhelmed by his environment and tends to become depressed. His attention is limited and he often goes off into irrelevancies. Perception is very narrow and has room for little else than the products of his delusion. He is litigious and would sue those associated with his murder victim because of their involvement in the plot against him.
"His account is replete with retrospective falsification, ideas of reference and paranoid pseudologic. He committed murder (for which he has no remorse) because the victim's power was too great, i.e. the murder was an act for ...