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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. PARKER v. MYERS (06/24/66)

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: June 24, 1966.

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. PARKER, APPELLANT,
v.
MYERS

Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1965, No. 723, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Alfred Parker v. David N. Myers, Superintendent.

COUNSEL

Alfred Parker, appellant, in propria persona.

Gordon Gelfond and Joseph M. Smith, Assistant District Attorneys, F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Jr., First Assistant District Attorney, and James C. Crumlish, Jr., District Attorney, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Cohen took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Roberts

[ 422 Pa. Page 222]

This is an appeal from a dismissal of a petition for writ of habeas corpus. The dismissal of a previous petition was affirmed by this Court in Commonwealth ex rel. Parker v. Myers, 414 Pa. 427, 200 A.2d 770 (1964).

The record discloses that petitioner, in October 1959, while represented by counsel, entered a plea of guilty to the charge of murder generally. The Commonwealth certified that guilt rose no higher than murder in the second degree,*fn1 and the court heard testimony to determine the degree and to fix the penalty. Petitioner was adjudged guilty of murder in the second degree and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 9 to 18 years. No appeal was taken.

Petitioner raises three issues not contained in his previous petition. He first asserts that under Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478, 84 S. Ct. 1758 (1964), his confession should not have been admitted at the hearing. No discussion of this point is required, since Johnson v. New Jersey, 384 U.S. 719, 86 S. Ct. 1772 (1966), which held that Escobedo would not be applied retrospectively, precludes the present claim.*fn2

Petitioner next contends that his confession was involuntary and, therefore, inadmissible at the hearing on his guilty plea. This contention likewise does not merit extended treatment. Petitioner entered a plea of guilty, there was no objection to the admission of the confession at the hearing, defense counsel stipulated to the truth of the confession, and petitioner took the stand and testified to substantially the same facts

[ 422 Pa. Page 223]

    as contained therein. Such circumstances, we have consistently held, preclude a subsequent challenge to the admission of the confession on habeas corpus. Commonwealth ex rel. Czako v. Maroney, 421 Pa. 462, 219 A.2d 664 (1966); Commonwealth ex rel. Mullenaux v. Myers, 421 Pa. 61, 217 A.2d 730 (1966); Commonwealth ex rel. Rehak v. Maroney, 420 Pa. 37, 215 A.2d 622 (1966); Commonwealth ex rel. Blackshear v. Myers, 419 Pa. 151, 213 A.2d 378 (1965); Commonwealth ex rel. Adderley v. Myers, 418 Pa. 366, 211 A.2d 481 (1965); Commonwealth ex rel. Pomales v. Myers, 418 Pa. 369, 211 A.2d 483 (1965); Commonwealth ex rel. Fox v. Maroney, 417 Pa. 308, 207 A.2d 810 (1965). Moreover, an examination of the record reveals that no injustice resulted from the admission of petitioner's confession. Cf. Commonwealth ex rel. Mullenaux v. Myers, 421 Pa. 61, 217 A.2d 730 (1966).

Petitioner finally contends that the trial judge employed a racial epithet in referring to him and, in general, exhibited prejudice toward him at the hearing. An examination of the notes of testimony, however, reveals no such prejudicial remarks or conduct on the part of the court.

Accordingly, we conclude that the court below properly dismissed the petition.

Order affirmed.

Disposition

Order affirmed.


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