Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

COMMONWEALTH v. MASSEY (12/10/70)

decided: December 10, 1970.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
MASSEY, APPELLANT



Appeals from judgments of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Oct. T., 1969, Nos. 1887 to 1891, inclusive, in cases of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Leonard Massey; Same v. Zarlie Wyatt.

COUNSEL

David Kanner, with him Harold Freudenheim, and Kanner, Stein, Feinberg & Barol, for appellants.

Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorney, with him James D. Crawford, Deputy 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 Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Watkins, J.

Author: Watkins

[ 218 Pa. Super. Page 69]

These are appeals from the judgments of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Criminal Section, of Philadelphia, after conviction of the defendant-appellants of aggravated robbery and prison breach.

On September 14, 1969, the appellants and four other prisoners engaged in an attempt to escape from the Philadelphia Detention Center. The prisoners made serious assaults on correction officers Irving Reddick and Joseph Ryan. Reddick identified Wyatt and Watson as his assailants; Ryan identified Monroe as one of his assailants. Reddick was hospitalized for sixteen (16) days and lost fourteen (14) days of work because of a kidney injury. Ryan lost three (3) days because of his injuries. During the attack on Reddick, the defendant Wyatt took a set of keys from his possession.

A defendant, Earl Hansen, testified that, he, the appellants and the other defendants planned to escape by assaulting the guards and taking an elevator to the first floor. He identified the appellants as two of the planners and perpetrators of these crimes. Hansen firmly denied that any promises of leniency has been given him in regard to the charge against him. Other witnesses corroborated the Commonwealth's testimony as to the participation of the appellants.

The defendant, Monroe, testified on his own behalf. He denied participating in an escape; in fact, his testimony contains no mention of an escape effort by anyone.

[ 218 Pa. Super. Page 70]

He denied attacking any of the guards. He did not inculpate co-appellants in either an escape effort, a robbery or an assault on the detention officers. The court refused to permit the appellants to cross-examine Monroe, but it was suggested that they call him as a witness. This was not done.

It is clear that Monroe was not called as a witness for the Commonwealth and equally clear that he did not testify against the appellants. Their contention that their rights under the Sixth Amendment were violated is without merit.

The appellants rely on Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123, 20 L. Ed. 2d 476, 88 S. Ct. 1620 (1968), which held that a confession added weight to the government's case in a form not subject to cross-examination, so violating Bruton's Sixth Amendment right of confrontation and held that this cannot be avoided by a jury instruction by the Court to disregard the confession as to Bruton. The court, however, in Bruton, indicated that viable alternatives existed to the procedure of admitting the confession with reference to the defendant's Sixth Amendment right. Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123 (1968), at page 134. The ABA ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.