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COMMONWEALTH v. CLARK (12/13/71)

decided: December 13, 1971.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
CLARK, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Allegheny County, April T., 1969, No. 88, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Alvin Clark.

COUNSEL

Allen N. Brunwasser, for appellant.

J. Kent Culley, Assistant District Attorney, with him Carol Mary Los, Assistant District Attorney, and Robert W. Duggan, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J. Spaulding and Cercone, JJ., join in this dissent.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 220 Pa. Super. Page 327]

Judgment of sentence affirmed.

Disposition

Judgment of sentence affirmed.

Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J.:

This is an appeal from appellant's conviction for sixteen counts of corrupt solicitation*fn1 and sixteen counts of bribery.*fn2

The Commonwealth proved at trial that appellant had approached a police detective with an offer of $400 per week in return for the officer's protection of appellant's dealings in narcotics. The officer, following the instructions of his superiors, indicated to the appellant that the bribe would be accepted. On sixteen different occasions between August 31, 1967, and January 19, 1968, the officer met the appellant at a prearranged meeting place, and on each of these occasions appellant gave the officer a packet of money. These payments were the basis for appellant's multiple convictions. The trial court sentenced appellant to "pay

[ 220 Pa. Super. Page 328]

    a fine of $1,000 on each of the sixteen counts of corrupt solicitation, pay the costs of prosecution, and undergo imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than two years on each count of corrupt solicitation, each sentence to run consecutively, and not less than six months nor more than one year on each count of bribery, each sentence to run concurrently with the sentence on the counts of corrupt solicitation. . . ."

Appellant's primary contention on appeal is that the above sentence violates the double jeopardy provisions of the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions because he was (1) sentenced twice for one crime, and (2) sentenced sixteen separate times for a unitary, continuing offense. I will consider each of these claims separately.

I

Appellant argues that corrupt solicitation and bribery are one crime, and therefore, a conviction for both cannot be sustained. Our Court considered the operation of these two offenses in Commonwealth v. Baker, 146 Pa. Superior Ct. 559, 22 A.2d 602 (1941). There we said that bribery and solicitation were separate offenses, bribery requiring the actual passing of money ...


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