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COMMONWEALTH v. JENKINS (12/11/72)

decided: December 11, 1972.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
JENKINS, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Allegheny County, May T., 1970, No. 3801, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Susan Jenkins.

COUNSEL

Stephen N. Lipton, with him Wallace and Lipton, for appellant.

Francis Garger, Assistant District Attorney, with him Robert L. Eberhardt, Assistant District Attorney, and Robert W. Duggan, 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 this dissenting opinion.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 223 Pa. Super. Page 177]

Judgment of sentence affirmed.

Disposition

Judgment of sentence affirmed.

Dissenting Opinion by Packel, J.:

Exigent circumstances permit immediate forcible entry by police to execute a search warrant, after they have announced their identity and purpose. Commonwealth v. Pugh, 223 Pa. Superior Ct. 112, 296 A.2d 864 (1972). In the instant case, the police officers, dressed in regular street clothes, announced their identity but not their purpose. They forced their entrance when the defendant tried to shut the door. After their entrance into the home, they read the search warrant. They then found some marijuana.

The Commonwealth urges "that appellant's attempt to physically keep police out of her apartment by closing the door was such an exigent circumstance that it negated the requirement of announcement of purpose prior to entry." The appellant contends that the mere attempt to shut the door was not an exigent circumstance but was an ordinary assertion of the constitutional right to maintain the sanctity of the home against unjustified entry. It is acknowledged that there can be exigent circumstances which warrant forcible entry even though the police have not announced their purpose.

The specific issue is whether the attempt to close a door to the police does away with the ...


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