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COMMONWEALTH v. WILSON (11/23/71)

decided: November 23, 1971.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
WILSON, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, June T., 1966, No. 1402, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Thomas Wilson.

COUNSEL

Marshall E. Kresman, for appellant.

Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorney, 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. Concurring Opinion by Spaulding, J. Hoffman, J., joins in this concurring opinion. Concurring Opinion by Cercone, J.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 220 Pa. Super. Page 133]

Order affirmed.

Disposition

Order affirmed.

Concurring Opinion by Spaulding, J.:

Appellant Thomas Wilson was convicted of assault and battery with intent to ravish and related offenses, by the Honorable Joseph L. McGlynn, Jr., of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, sitting without a jury. The most damaging evidence against appellant was the testimony of Mrs. Agnes Mallatratt Douglas, then a technician with the Philadelphia Police Department, who testified that a thread from the assault victim's dress was found on appellant's clothing -- that microscopic examination revealed that it was identical in color, thickness, and twist to embroidery on the victim's shift. In Commonwealth v. Alston, 430 Pa. 471, 243 A.2d 404 (1968), the Commonwealth has stipulated that this witness lied in all cases in which she testified that she had completed a course in forensic laboratory diagnosis at Temple University. This is one of the cases where the evidence that Agnes Mallatratt had lied about her academic qualifications was not discovered until after trial.

Commonwealth v. Mount, 435 Pa. 419, 257 A.2d 578 (1969), which considered those cases in which Mallatratt testified before it was revealed that she had perjured herself as to her qualifications as an expert, is controlling here. In reversing a conviction because of this witness' testimony, the Court, per Justice Jones, stated: "The inherent difficulty in this case is that the court below assumed Miss Mallatratt's qualifications.

[ 220 Pa. Super. Page 134]

. . . Even though Miss Mallatratt lacked the necessary theoretical and academic background for accreditation as a laboratory technician, it may well be that the practical experience gained over a long period of years in laboratory work did qualify her to make proper and sound laboratory findings. However, the record in ...


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