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COMMONWEALTH v. JOHNSON (11/16/73)

decided: November 16, 1973.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
JOHNSON, APPELLANT



Appeals from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Jan. T., 1972, Nos. 733 and 734, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Ronald Benton Johnson.

COUNSEL

Daniel Walls, Assistant Defender, with him John W. Packel, Assistant Defender, and Vincent J. Ziccardi, Defender, for appellant.

David Richman, Assistant District Attorney, with him James T. Ranney and Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorneys, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, and Spaeth, JJ. (Spaulding, J., absent). Opinion in Support of Reversal by Hoffman, J. Cercone and Spaeth, JJ., join in this opinion in support of reversal.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 226 Pa. Super. Page 8]

The six judges who heard this appeal being equally divided, the judgment of sentence is affirmed.

Disposition

Judgment of sentence affirmed.

Opinion in Support of Reversal by Hoffman, J.:

Appellant contends that the lower court erred in denying a pretrial motion to suppress statements made to the police, as the statements were the product of an unnecessary delay in taking appellant before the proper issuing authority for a preliminary arraignment.

Appellant, Ronald Johnson, was arrested on December 12, 1971, at approximately 9:45 p.m., following an identification by the complainant. Appellant was taken to the West Detective Division in Philadelphia at about 9:55 p.m. where he was kept incommunicado until 12:15 a.m., when a series of interrogations began. Appellant remained at all times handcuffed to a metal chair in a room. He was permitted freedom of movement during the ensuing twelve hours only for purposes of consuming two meals and making two trips to the bathroom. The first interrogation lasting almost two hours resulted in a statement in which appellant denied the rape of the complainant, stating that he did attempt to have consensual intercourse with her. At about 12:30 p.m. on the day after his arrest, appellant was taken to the Police Administration Building where a polygraph test was administered. At about 3:15 p.m. appellant was informed that "he had failed the test." Appellant then gave an incriminating statement, in which he admitted breaking into the house where the victim was baby-sitting, then stating that he struck the victim and forced her to participate in various sexual acts. The statement was never signed. Appellant was then returned to the police station where he remained until 6:00 p.m.,

[ 226 Pa. Super. Page 9]

    when he was finally brought before an issuing authority and ...


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