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COMMONWEALTH v. TAYLOR (06/30/72)

decided: June 30, 1972.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
TAYLOR, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, June T., 1967, No. 922, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Lee Bennett Taylor.

COUNSEL

Dennis E. Haggerty, 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.

Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Manderino.

Author: Manderino

[ 448 Pa. Page 273]

Defendant, Lee Bennett Taylor, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter after pleading guilty to murder generally in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia on March 27, 1968. He was sentenced for a period of not less than 2 nor more than 10 years. No appeal was filed. Later, a petition for relief under the Post Conviction Hearing Act was filed. Relief was denied by the lower court on July 3, 1970.

Counsel, appointed to represent defendant, Taylor, in the post-conviction proceeding, brings this appeal from the denial of the petition under the Post Conviction Hearing Act and has prepared a brief as required

[ 448 Pa. Page 274]

    by Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S. Ct. 1396, 18 L. Ed. 2d 493 (1967), and Commonwealth v. Baker, 429 Pa. 209, 239 A.2d 201 (1968). Counsel has also related to this Court that a copy of the brief before this Court was forwarded to defendant, Taylor, with instructions that the defendant should promptly notify this Court if he wished to raise any additional arguments. This Court has received no communications from defendant, Taylor, pro se.

The brief submitted by counsel has assisted this Court in its review of the record in order to determine any possible grounds for relief. We have found none.

Defendant, Taylor, testified at the hearing on his petition for post-conviction relief. He was given full opportunity to state his post-conviction allegations of error. Counsel's brief correctly summarizes possible claims under two arguments. The first question raised is the validity of the guilty plea by defendant Taylor; the second, is the question of the denial of the right to competent and adequate trial counsel.

Defendant, Taylor, argues the unlawful inducement of his guilty plea because: (1) he was falsely promised a sentence of 18 to 30 months; (2) trial counsel told him that in a jury trial there was no doubt about first degree murder, and (3) he was not adequately advised of his rights.

The lower court held against the petitioner on the matters raised, choosing to believe experienced trial counsel who testified at the post-conviction ...


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