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decided: October 3, 1973.


Appeal from order of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1971, Nos. 1369 to 1375, inclusive, affirming judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, May T., 1967, Nos. 7 (a, b, c, d, & e) and 10, Oct. T., 1967, No. 20B, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. George Wayman.


Peter G. Loftus, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.

Paul R. Mazzoni, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Eagen dissents. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Pomeroy. Mr. Chief Justice Jones joins in this dissenting opinion.

Author: Roberts

[ 454 Pa. Page 81]

On the afternoon of January 31, 1967, appellant, a 19 year old youth, after having learned from friends that he was wanted by the police, voluntarily surrendered to the Scranton Police Department. Appellant's action was motivated by the fact that he had been earlier advised that one Frank Smith, Jr., had been arrested for a series of burglaries, and had, shortly after being taken into custody, implicated appellant in the commission of these crimes. The following day (February 1, 1967) after having been detained and interrogated for over 24 hours, appellant signed a statement admitting his complicity in seven burglaries. Immediately thereafter, appellant was preliminarily arraigned.

On August 11, 1967, appellant pleaded guilty to one count of burglary (No. 20B), and was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. On October 2, 1967, appellant proceeded to trial, before a jury, on the second burglary count (No. 7e), and was adjudged guilty. Prior to this trial, a timely filed motion to suppress the confession was denied. (At trial, this challenged confession was, over objection, introduced against appellant). Post-trial motions were denied, and appellant was sentenced to serve a term of 23 months imprisonment. On November 1, 1968, appellant pleaded guilty to the five remaining burglary charges then outstanding against him (Nos. 7a, b, c, d, and 10). Appellant was sentenced on each of these offenses to serve a term of imprisonment of one and one-half to four years, each sentence to run concurrently with those already being served.

An appeal, allowed as if timely filed, was taken to the Superior Court, which affirmed in an opinionless per curiam order, with two judges dissenting. (Hoffman, J., filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Spaulding,

[ 454 Pa. Page 82]

J.). This Court granted allocatur, and we now reverse the conviction in No. 7e, and remand for an evidentiary hearing in Nos. 7a, b, c, d, 10, and 20B.

Appellant here argues, as he did in the Superior Court, that the 24 hour "unnecessary delay" between his arrest and arraignment renders his confession, given only at the end of this period, inadmissible.*fn1 Pa. R.

[ 454 Pa. Page 83]

Crim. P. 116(a) (effective January 1, 1965, replaced by Pa. R. Crim. P. 118 (effective May 1, 1970)); Commonwealth v. Dutton, 453 Pa. 547, 307 A.2d 238 (1973); Commonwealth v. Tingle, 451 Pa. 241, 301 A.2d 701 (1973); Commonwealth v. Futch, 447 Pa. 389, 290 A.2d 417 (1972). Appellant also contends that the hearing court's erroneous refusal to suppress the confession was the primary motivation for appellant's subsequent pleas of guilty to the remaining charges.*fn2 Accordingly, appellant challenges the validity of these pleas. Cf. Commonwealth v. Walters, 431 Pa. 74, 244 A.2d 757 (1968); Commonwealth v. Stokes, 426 Pa. 265, 232 A.2d 193 (1967).

It is now well settled that at the time of appellant's arrest (1967), all persons "arrested with or without a warrant" were required to "be taken without unnecessary delay before the proper issuing authority for a preliminary arraignment." Pa. R. Crim. P. 116(a) (effective January 1, 1965); Dutton, supra. Where this mandate has gone unfulfilled by the Commonwealth, "all evidence obtained during 'unnecessary delay' except that which . . . has no reasonable relationship to the delay whatsoever " must be excluded.*fn3 Futch, supra

[ 454 Pa. Page 84]

    at 394, 290 A.2d at 419 (emphasis added). See Dutton, supra; Tingle, supra. Our task on appeal, therefore, is to determine whether there was an "unnecessary delay," and if so, whether the evidence obtained is causally related to the delay. Our review of the instant record convinces us that both questions must be answered in the affirmative.

Here, the Commonwealth's own evidence, as well as the opinion of the trial court, indicates that appellant voluntarily surrendered himself to the Scranton police on the afternoon (approximately 3:00 P.M.) of January 31, 1967. Appellant was thereafter detained and interrogated for 24 hours, and at 3:00 P.M. on February 1, 1967, finally signed a statement admitting his complicity in seven separate burglaries. During this 24 hour period, appellant was returned ...

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