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COMMONWEALTH v. MOTLEY (04/23/69)

decided: April 23, 1969.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
MOTLEY, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1960, No. 142, in case of Commonwealth v. Matthew Motley.

COUNSEL

Melvin Dildine, Assistant Defender, and Herman I. Pollock, Defender, for appellant.

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

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice O'Brien joins in this dissenting opinion.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 434 Pa. Page 273]

Order affirmed.

Disposition

Order affirmed.

Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts:

The sole issue presented by this case is whether appellant was denied the appeal rights guaranteed to him under Douglas v. California, 372 U.S. 353, 83 S. Ct. 814 (1963). Because the majority's decision in this case completely ignores several decisions of this Court following Douglas, I must dissent.

After appellant's trial and conviction in 1962, the trial record shows that appellant was asked, upon withdrawing his motion for a new trial, if he understood that "by withdrawing this motion at this time, you can never argue it again?" Appellant responded affirmatively. Appellant's attorneys at that point stated that they were prepared to argue had appellant so desired. In 1967, appellant filed a motion under the Post Conviction Hearing Act, alleging that he had never been adequately informed of his appeal rights. Appellant's petition was dismissed after a hearing, and this appeal followed.

Even if we assume arguendo that the on-the-record colloquy concerning the withdrawal of appellant's posttrial motions was sufficient to inform him that he was thereby waiving his appeal rights, the record is completely silent as to whether appellant was informed that on an appeal, if indigent he would have the benefit of free, court-appointed counsel. As this Court unanimously said in Commonwealth v. Wilson, 430 Pa. 1, 5, 241 A.2d 760, 763 (1968): "The record below, although it does indicate that appellant may have been told that he could appeal, is completely silent as to whether ...


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