Appeal from order of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1966, No. 600, affirming judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, June T., 1966, No. 2280, and No. 187, Jan. T., 1968, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, June T., 1961, Nos. 312 and 313, in cases of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Jane Daniel and Same v. Daisy Douglas.
Carolyn Engel Temin, Assistant Defender, with her Melvin Dildine, Assistant Defender, and Herman I. Pollock, Defender, for appellants.
Alan J. Davis, Assistant District Attorney, with him Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Phineas Indritz and Marguerite Rawalt, of the Washington, D. C. Bar, for amici curiae.
Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Bell. Mr. Justice Roberts concurs in the result.
In these appeals, appellants attack the Constitutionality of the Muncy Act.*fn1 The Muncy Act provides a
mandatory and exclusive procedure and sentencing provisions for women convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.
Appellant Jane Daniel was found guilty of robbery (by a Judge sitting without a jury) and was sentenced to the Philadelphia County Prison for a term of from one to four years. Shortly thereafter, the trial Judge vacated the sentence and resentenced Jane Daniel under the provisions of the Muncy Act to an indeterminate term at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy (hereinafter referred to as "Muncy"). Post-trial motions were denied and an appeal to the Superior Court followed. There, Jane Daniel challenged the validity of her new sentence on the principal ground that the Muncy Act denied women the Equal Protection of Laws as required by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.*fn2 The Superior Court denied relief (Commonwealth v. Daniels, 210 Pa. Superior Ct. 156, 232 A.2d 247), and this Court granted allocatur.
Appellant Daisy Douglas and a co-defendant, Richard Johnson, were charged with aggravated robbery and conspiracy. They were tried without a jury and both found guilty as charged. Johnson was given a sentence of from four to ten years in the Eastern State Penitentiary, and Daisy Douglas was given an indeterminate sentence to Muncy. She filed a petition for relief under the Post Conviction Hearing Act, alleging that she had been denied the Equal Protection of the Laws by having been sentenced under the Muncy Act. The hearing Judge denied Daisy's petition, stating that he was "constrained" to follow the Opinion of the
Superior Court in Commonwealth v. Daniels, 210 Pa. Superior Ct., supra. Daisy Douglas appealed to the Superior Court from the Order denying her post-conviction petition and the Superior Court in turn certified the question to this Court pursuant to the Act of June 24, ...