decided: June 29, 1973.
Petition to reduce amount of bail in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Ronald Michael Holliday, Petitioner, Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Nos. 990 and 991 of 1973.
John P. Moses, with him Charles P. Gelso, Malcolm M. Limongelli, and Joseph P. Sindaco, for petitioner.
Patrick J. Toole, Jr., District Attorney, for Commonwealth, respondent.
Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Jones.
Author: Per Curiam
[ 452 Pa. Page 433]
And Now, this 29th day of June, 1973, upon consideration of the within petition, it appearing from the record that the Commonwealth failed to introduce any evidence in the trial court pursuant to Rules 4002 or 4005 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure and failed to file an answer in opposition to the within petition before this Court, and it further appearing that no findings of fact
[ 452 Pa. Page 434]
were made by the trial court, the matter is remanded to the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County with instructions to conduct a hearing and make proper findings under Rule 4005 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Matter remanded to Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County.
Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Jones:
I am unalterably opposed to the Order made this day, June 29, 1973, by a majority of this Court because I do not believe that a person charged with murder is entitled to any bail.
I have steadfastly refused to follow the mandate of this Court in Commonwealth v. Truesdale, 449 Pa. 325, 296 A.2d 829 (1972), and do not believe that the decision of a majority of the United States Supreme Court in Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238, 92 S. Ct. 2726 (1972), upon which Truesdale is based, requires that persons charged with murder are entitled to bail. Moreover, to set up, as does Truesdale, the requirement, as a prerequisite to the grant of bail, that the courts determine the likelihood that a person charged with murder will appear when required is to impose on courts a burden which cannot be sustained with even the slightest degree of certainty.
In the instant case, we have a striking example of the disastrous effect of Truesdale.
I will not free on bail and return to the streets a person charged with murder. Needless to say, I would not grant bail to a person convicted of murder but not yet sentenced or a person convicted of murder and sentenced who has an appeal pending from such sentence.
I regret that our Court in Truesdale and its progeny has adopted a view which treats so liberally the rights of those accused of murder and so lightly the rights of society.
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