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COMMONWEALTH v. PEARSON (03/18/71)

decided: March 18, 1971.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
PEARSON, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, June T., 1956, Nos. 234 to 238, inclusive, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Norman Pearson.

COUNSEL

Peter B. Scuderi, for appellant.

Edward G. Rendell and Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorneys, James D. Crawford, Deputy District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy and Barbieri, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Bell.

Author: Bell

[ 442 Pa. Page 110]

On February 7, 1957, appellant was adjudged guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to life imprisonment. At his trial, he was represented by counsel.

Appellant contended in his P.C.H.A. petition that he was not informed of his right to appeal. At the hearing, appellant's attorney testified as follows: "Q. Did you advise him of his right to appeal? A. He himself -- well, I mentioned to him that there is no appeal from the electric chair because that was what his wishes were, and he said, 'I don't intend to appeal. I don't want to appeal. I did it and that's all there is to it.'" This conversation took place prior to the actual trial and the imposition of sentence. However, the lower

[ 442 Pa. Page 111]

Court made no finding or decision on this point or issue.

The case is remanded to the lower Court with instructions to determine whether the appellant's rights, as mandated in Douglas v. California, 372 U.S. 353; Com. ex rel. Cunningham v. Maroney, 421 Pa. 157, 218 A.2d 811; Com. ex rel. Branam v. Myers, 420 Pa. 77, 216 A.2d 89; Com. ex rel. Robinson v. Myers, 420 Pa. 72, 215 A.2d 637, were violated.

Case remanded.

Disposit ...


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