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BETRAND APPEAL (06/15/72)

decided: June 15, 1972.

BETRAND APPEAL


Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Family Court Division, of Philadelphia, Feb. T., 1971, No. 1619, in re George Betrand, a minor.

COUNSEL

Stuart H. Schuman, Assistant Defender, with him Thomas C. Carroll, Assistant Defender, and Vincent J. Ziccardi, Defender, for appellant.

James T. Ranney, Assistant District Attorney, with him 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, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, Cercone, and Packel, JJ. Dissenting Opinion by Packel, J. Hoffman and Spaulding, JJ., join in the dissent.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 222 Pa. Super. Page 68]

Judgment of sentence affirmed.

Disposition

Judgment of sentence affirmed.

Dissenting Opinion by Packel, J.:

The promotion of freedom of the people by the prohibition of the use of evidence obtained by unconstitutional police action is the essence of the exclusionary rule. If the application of the rule results at times in the avoidance of the conviction of an adult in order to safeguard constitutional rights of the public, there is just as much reason for the application of the rule, even though it may result at times in the avoidance of an adjudication of delinquency of a juvenile.

On this appeal, a mentally retarded juvenile, represented by a voluntary defender, challenges the admissibility of his oral statement to the police that was used against him at trial, and was the only evidence connecting him with the charges. His position is that the statement was not admissible because it was "tainted fruit" of an illegal arrest and that the taint was not purged by the Commonwealth's claim of a valid waiver of his Miranda rights.*fn1

On January 8, 1971, a pharmacist and his assistant were beaten and robbed by three unknown males.*fn2 Almost six weeks later the police received an anonymous phone ...


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