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COMMONWEALTH v. BATES (09/13/68)

decided: September 13, 1968.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
BATES, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, June T., 1965, No. 550, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Gilbert Bates.

COUNSEL

Gilbert Bates, appellant, in propria persona.

Roger Cox and James D. Crawford, Assistant District Attorneys, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Hannum, JJ. Opinion by Montgomery, J.

Author: Montgomery

[ 213 Pa. Super. Page 72]

This is an appeal from a denial of post-conviction relief to appellant Gilbert Bates, after hearing. Appellant

[ 213 Pa. Super. Page 73]

    was found guilty June 29, 1966 on a trial without a jury before Honorable David H. Weiss, Judge, of corrupting the morals of a minor and statutory rape. At trial appellant was represented by Mr. Kahn of the Voluntary Defender's staff. Following a psychiatric examination appellant was sentenced to a term of three to ten years on the statutory rape charge. An appeal was taken to the Superior Court wherein appellant was represented by Mr. Packel of the Voluntary Defender's staff. The brief on appeal in this Court stated: "Counsel for appellant can find nothing in the record upon which an argument for reversal could be made . . . and despite . . . mailed requests for a statement of his contentions sent to the defendant, no indication has been received . . . of what issues the appellant wishes to raise on appeal." Cf. Commonwealth v. Baker, 429 Pa. 209, 239 A.2d 201 (1968). This Court affirmed the judgment of sentence by a per curiam order dated August 7, 1967 (210 Pa. Superior Ct. 732, 231 A.2d 412).

On November 15, 1967 appellant filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging, inter alia, (1) denial of representation by competent counsel at trial; (2) violation of constitutional rights under Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478, 84 S. Ct. 1758, 12 L. Ed. 2d 977 (1964); and (3) introduction into evidence of a coerced statement of the twelve-year old child, the alleged victim of the rape.

The court below held an extensive post-conviction hearing on the above and certain other issues, found that trial counsel was competent, and dismissed the petition. From this order dismissing his post-conviction petition appellant, on appeal to this Court, filed an extensive pro se brief.

Appellant raises three principal issues under his pro se brief, i.e., (1) denial of his constitutional right to representation by counsel under Escobedo v. Illinois,

[ 213 Pa. Super. Page 74]

    supra; (2) inadequate representation by counsel at trial, citing Commonwealth ex rel. Washington v. Maroney, 427 Pa. 599, 235 A.2d 349 (1967); and (3), inadequate representation by counsel on his prior direct appeal to this Court, since counsel's brief found no ...


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