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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. OWENS v. CAVELL (12/16/65)

decided: December 16, 1965.

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. OWENS, APPELLANT,
v.
CAVELL



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1965, No. 153, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. George A. Owens v. A. C. Cavell, Superintendent.

COUNSEL

George A. Owens, appellant, in propria persona.

Edwin J. Martin, Assistant District Attorney, and Robert W. Duggan, District Attorney, for appellee.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Flood, Jacobs, and Hoffman, JJ. Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 207 Pa. Super. Page 168]

Order affirmed.

Disposition

Order affirmed.

Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J.:

This is an appeal from an order of the lower court denying a petition for writ of habeas corpus without a hearing.

Appellant was found guilty of armed robbery in a non-jury proceeding and was sentenced. At the time of trial, the voluntary nature of a statement given to police by appellant was placed into issue. Based on the testimony of appellant and the arresting officers, the trial judge rejected appellant's contention that the statement was involuntary.

The important question in this case is whether a judge, who is sitting as trier of fact, without a jury, may determine the voluntariness of a confession as well as guilt or innocence in light of Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368 (1964).

The Commonwealth argues that since the defendant waived trial by jury, he cannot now complain that the judge has passed on both voluntariness and guilt or ...


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