Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

COMMONWEALTH v. FAISON (05/23/73)

decided: May 23, 1973.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
FAISON, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Sept. T., 1951, No. 194, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Lamar Faison.

COUNSEL

Gilbert E. Toll, for appellant.

Steven H. Goldblatt and Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorneys, 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. Mr. Justice Nix concurs in the result.

Author: Manderino

[ 452 Pa. Page 139]

In May of 1952, the appellant, Lamar Faison, was convicted by a jury of murder in the first degree. Post-trial motions were denied and a sentence of life imprisonment imposed. No appeal was taken. Subsequently, the appellant filed petitions for habeas corpus in the state and federal courts. These petitions were denied in 1967. Appellant then filed a petition under the Post Conviction Hearing Act, Act of January 25, 1966, P. L. (1965) 1580, ยง 1 et seq., 19 P.S. 1180-1 et seq. On January 3, 1968, appellant was granted the right to file a direct appeal from his judgment and sentence. On March 25, 1970, appellant's judgment of sentence was affirmed in Commonwealth v. Faison, 437 Pa. 432, 264 A.2d 394 (1970). Appellant then filed another petition for habeas corpus in the federal court. The federal court denied relief on all issues raised by the appellant except one. The federal court held that the appellant's alleged signed confession should not have been introduced at appellant's trial since a pretrial determination of the confession's voluntariness had not been made by a judge as required by Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368, 12 L. Ed. 2d 908, 84 S. Ct. 1774 (1964). In granting appellant relief, however, the federal court did not order a new trial, but only remanded for a suppression hearing in accordance with the requirements of Jackson v. Denno, supra. Such a hearing was held and the appellant's confession was held to be voluntary and thus properly admitted into evidence at appellant's original trial. This appeal is from that order.

[ 452 Pa. Page 140]

At appellant's original trial, Detective Francis Kelly and Officer Joseph Rankin, appeared and testified as prosecution witnesses. Defense counsel had the opportunity to cross-examine both witnesses and in fact did cross-examine Kelly. Defense counsel waived the opportunity to cross-examine Rankin.

Kelly and Rankin were not present at the suppression hearing from which this appeal is taken. Kelly was deceased and Rankin was retired and living in New Jersey. The prosecution, however, was permitted to introduce into evidence the transcript of the testimony given by Kelly and Rankin during appellant's trial.

Kelly's testimony at the original trial, which was introduced at the suppression hearing, was limited to facts concerning the appellant's signed written confession and the circumstances concerning the obtaining of the confession. Kelly testified that the confession was obtained without any threats or other coercive circumstances. Rankin's testimony at the original trial, which was introduced at the suppression hearing, covered less than one page. It was only background testimony about appellant's arrest and did not concern the appellant's signed written confession or any of the circumstances surrounding the obtaining of the confession.

First, the appellant contends that the use of the prior notes of testimony was error because his interest in cross-examining the witnesses was different at the suppression hearing than it was at the trial and he was thus entitled to have a new confrontation with the witnesses at the suppression hearing.

We cannot agree with the appellant's argument. The only purpose of the suppression hearing granted to the appellant, was to determine the voluntariness of the appellant's confession and, thus, its admissibility during appellant's trial. The suppression hearing ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.