Appeal from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, March T., 1947, No. 262, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Willie Sutton.
Melvin Dildine, Assistant Defender, with him Elizabeth Langford Green, Assistant Defender, and Herman I. Pollock, Defender, for appellant.
Edward G. Rendell, Assistant District Attorney, with him James D. Crawford, Assistant District Attorney, 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. Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J. Montgomery and Spaulding, JJ., join in this dissenting opinion.
[ 214 Pa. Super. Page 148]
Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J.:
On February 10, 1947, appellant escaped from Holmesburg Prison, Philadelphia County, where he was
[ 214 Pa. Super. Page 149]
serving a sentence for robbery. Shortly thereafter, he was indicted, in absentia, for prison breach pursuant to the Act of June 24, 1939, P. L. 872, § 309, as amended, 18 P.S. 4309, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. This warrant was never served, however, as appellant escaped detection until 1952. At that time, he was convicted and sentenced for robbery in New York where he had been captured. He has been incarcerated in New York until the present time. Subsequent to his capture, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1952, filed a detainer in New York based on the indictment for prison breach. Appellant is now eligible for parole in New York, but the detainer lodged against him prevents his release. Accordingly, appellant petitioned the Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County to quash the outstanding indictment which supports the New York detainer. The lower court refused and this appeal followed.
Appellant maintains that the indictment should be quashed because the Commonwealth had denied him his right to a speedy trial. He bases this claim on rights guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment and enunciated in the Interstate Agreement on Detainers of which both Pennsylvania and New York have been signators since 1959. Specifically, he argues that the Commonwealth had the opportunity from 1952 to 1959 to secure his presence from New York under the doctrine of comity between the States and from 1959 until the present time under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers. The Commonwealth's failure to do so over a period of seventeen years was without reasonable justification and constitutes a denial of his right to a speedy trial.
The majority has refused to consider this claim. Instead, it has quashed this appeal presumably because it is considered ...