decided: October 9, 1969.
COMMONWEALTH EX REL. RAKUS, APPELLANT,
Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Oct. T., 1965, No. 841, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Frank Rakus v. James F. Maroney, Superintendent.
John E. O'Connor, for appellant.
Jerry B. Chariton, Assistant District Attorney, Charles D. Lemmond, Jr., First Assistant District Attorney, and Blythe H. Evans, Jr., District Attorney, for appellee.
Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Bell.
Author: Per Curiam
[ 435 Pa. Page 588]
The order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County is vacated, and the record is remanded to that court for an evidentiary hearing to determine whether appellant's guilty plea was knowingly and voluntarily made. See Commonwealth v. Patterson, 432 Pa. 76, 247 A.2d 218 (1968).
Order vacated and record remanded.
Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Bell:
The record shows that no evidentiary hearing was necessary. This sentence of murder was imposed in 1949 and the record shows that defendant's two experienced counsel stated that they had investigated the case thoroughly, interviewed every witness they could, and felt that defendant's change of plea from not guilty to guilty was in his best interest. To grant an evidentiary hearing in 1969 -- on defendant's allegation that his plea was involuntary and not knowingly made, even when his present Court-appointed counsel could not write a brief to support this allegation -- is unnecessary, extremely unwise and extremely unfair to the law-abiding people of Pennsylvania. For these reasons, I dissent.
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