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COMMONWEALTH v. TINSON (01/15/69)

decided: January 15, 1969.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
TINSON, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Chester County, Sept. T., 1959, No. 262, in case of Commonwealth v. Arthur W. Tinson.

COUNSEL

P. Richard Klein, and Corliss & Klein, for appellant.

Joseph R. Polito, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, and Norman J. Pine, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Roberts

[ 433 Pa. Page 329]

In 1959 appellant entered a plea of guilty to voluntary manslaughter on an indictment charging murder and was sentenced to five-to-twelve years in prison.

[ 433 Pa. Page 330]

Appellant was paroled after serving his minimum sentence, but was recommitted in 1966 for parole violations after a parole hearing at which he was not represented by counsel. In December, 1968, appellant's application for parole was denied and he remains incarcerated. Appellant now challenges both his guilty plea as having not been knowingly and intelligently entered and his 1966 recommitment because he did not have counsel at the parole hearing. Relief was denied below after a post-conviction hearing.

Initially it should be noted that appellant also claims that he was denied his right to appeal. However since appellant entered a guilty plea, all claims which he might raise on appeal can be raised in the current collateral proceeding. Commonwealth v. Stokes, 426 Pa. 265, 232 A.2d 193 (1967).

Appellant claims that his guilty plea was not knowingly and intelligently entered because his counsel did not discuss a plea of involuntary manslaughter, and that this was necessary to inform appellant of the nature of his offense and the possible punishments. Cf. Commonwealth ex rel. O'Lock v. Rundle, 415 Pa. 515, 204 A.2d 439 (1964). However in this case, appellant was charged with murder and thus a conviction of involuntary manslaughter was not possible. See Commonwealth v. Hardy, 347 Pa. 551, 32 A.2d 767 (1943); Commonwealth v. Mayberry, 290 Pa. 195, 138 Atl. 686 (1927). Appellant was charged with twice beating the deceased, then finally dumping her out of his car and leaving her in a small clearing where she died. Under this charge, counsel correctly concluded that involuntary manslaughter was not in the case, and of course appellant was in no way prejudiced by not being told about involuntary manslaughter.

We thus conclude that appellant's guilty plea was valid and appellant was thus properly sentenced and

[ 433 Pa. Page 331]

    committed to prison. The remaining question concerns only the validity of appellant's 1966 recommitment hearing, where appellant, unassisted by counsel, was sent back ...


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