that counsel for the relator did not object to any failure of the judges to recess to deliberate and vote.
IV. UNLAWFUL GUILTY PLEA
Relator asserts that his guilty plea was unlawful because he did not fully understand the elements of the crime charged, the circumstances in mitigation thereof, defenses, range of punishment and, in short, "the law in relation to the facts". This argument is primarily based on relator's low IQ and his testimony at our hearing that he did not know that there are some killings which do not constitute murder. In addition, it is argued that although there was an on-the-record inquiry as to whether relator voluntarily and understandingly pled guilty, the court failed to inquire precisely into whether relator understood the nature of the crime and defenses thereto. The apparent theory of the relator is that if he knew that he might have received voluntary manslaughter on the facts of his case, he would never have pled guilty to murder.
We find that relator's plea was understandingly made. The abovementioned on-the-record inquiry by the trial court places the burden of proof in this case on the relator. United States of America ex rel. McCloud v. Rundle, 402 F.2d 853 (3d Cir. 1968). In our opinion, relator has failed to meet that burden. The record examination and counsel's testimony before us and at the PCHA hearing that he discussed the plea with relator and felt morally certain that relator understood what he was doing is sufficient evidence to sustain the plea.
V. INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL
Relator lastly asserts that he was denied effective assistance of counsel in that counsel were ill-prepared and offered into evidence at the degree of guilt hearing the illegally obtained confession referred to above in Part II of this opinion. This contention is without merit.
In order to find that a defendant was denied effective assistance of counsel, we must find that counsel's representation amounted to a farce or mockery of justice. United States ex rel. Bolden v. Rundle, 300 F. Supp. 107 (E.D. Pa. 1969). We find that counsel's conduct here not only did not result in a farce or mockery of justice but indeed was praiseworthy. Both counsel were highly qualified attorneys and Mr. Schaffer in particular has specialized in the area of criminal law. Counsel were faced with the possibility of a death sentence in this case if they pled not guilty and went before a jury. Hence, they made the tactical decision to concentrate their efforts on avoiding the death sentence by pleading guilty to murder generally and by having a degree of guilt hearing before a three-judge panel. This decision was reasonable and we refuse to second guess it. Moreover, the assertion that counsel were unprepared is not supported on the record. In fact, the record reveals that counsel were well-prepared and in fact succeeded in securing for the relator a relatively lenient sentence given the nature of the crime. In addition, the fact that counsel admitted on relator's behalf a constitutionally inadmissible confession cannot be considered ineffective assistance in light of the purpose for which it was used - to offset a finding of first degree murder (see Illegal Confession, supra, Part II). It appears to this Court that the decision to use the confession was indeed wise.
On the basis of the entire record before us we cannot find that relator was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel.
The Court extends its thanks to Helen Stern, Esq., who without compensation ably represented the relator in this matter.
And now, this 29th day of April, 1970, it is ordered that relator's petition for a writ of habeas corpus be and the same is hereby denied.
There is no probable cause for appeal.