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COMMONWEALTH v. DICKERSON (01/09/68)

decided: January 9, 1968.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
DICKERSON, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Oyer and Terminer of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1958, No. 742, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Murray Dickerson.

COUNSEL

Walter Stein, with him Berger and Stein, for appellant.

Joseph M. Smith, Assistant District Attorney, with him Walter M. Phillips, Jr. and Alan J. Davis, Assistant District Attorneys, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 428 Pa. Page 565]

Order affirmed.

Disposition

Order affirmed.

Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts:

Murray Dickerson was arrested on August 19, 1958 in connection with the murder of one Duffey. On the day of arrest he was questioned by police and a statement was obtained. Some time on the morning of the following day Dickerson was given a preliminary hearing before a magistrate and a commitment order was signed placing Dickerson in the hands of the prison authorities "there safely to keep to answer at the next Court of Oyer and Terminer."*fn1 Apparently dissatisfied with Dickerson's responses during the first interrogation, the district attorney obtained a "bring-up" order*fn2 on the afternoon of the 20th to have Dickerson taken from prison to police headquarters for further questioning. This second period of interrogation produced a statement which was substantially more incriminating

[ 428 Pa. Page 566]

    than that first obtained; this statement was admitted over strenuous objection at Dickerson's trial.

It is conceded by the Commonwealth that the "bring-up" order is obtained ex parte without notice to either the prisoner or his counsel; in fact, it appears that the district attorney merely handed a Quarter Sessions judge an order which was perfunctorily signed without any inquiry as to the purpose of the proposed bring-up. Dickerson strenuously contends, and I agree, that this ...


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