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ANDERSON APPEAL (12/11/73)

decided: December 11, 1973.

ANDERSON APPEAL


Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, of Philadelphia, May T., 1973, No. 4039, J. C. No. 175293, in the interest of Marlon Anderson.

COUNSEL

Michael L. Levy, Assistant Defender, and Vincent J. Ziccardi, Defender, for appellant.

James T. Ranney and Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorneys, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, Cercone, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Watkins, J. Dissenting Opinion by Spaeth, J.

Author: Watkins

[ 227 Pa. Super. Page 441]

This is an appeal from an order by the Family Court Division, Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, adjudging the defendant-appellant, Marlon Anderson, a minor, a delinquent and committing him to the Youth Development Center at Cornwells Heights.

This case involves the interpretation of the Juvenile Act of 1972, December 6, P. L. 1464, 11 P.S. 50-310 pp.

The defendant-minor was a member of a street gang in Philadelphia. While shooting at another gang using a sawed-off shotgun, an adult member of the gang accidentally shot and seriously wounded an innocent passerby who happened to get in the line of fire. The defendant had carried the gun for the adult and handed it to him immediately before he shot the victim. Police heard the shots, came upon the scene and apprehended the defendant after a chase.

The defendant was taken to the police station for "booking" at 9 p.m. He was given Miranda warnings and gave only an exculpatory statement. At about 9:30 to 10:00 p.m., he was again questioned by police who were trying to learn the identity of the adult who did the actual shooting. The questioning lasted about fifteen minutes after which he confessed. At 11:00 p.m. he was again questioned about the event and then taken to the juvenile detention center. Miranda warnings had been provided him before he was questioned so that is not in issue. At his hearing, the defendant's confession was used against him and he was adjudged a delinquent and committed.

[ 227 Pa. Super. Page 442]

The issue on appeal is whether a two-hour delay between the time of arrest and the arrival at the detention center was an unreasonable delay in contravention of Section 13(a) (3) of the Juvenile Act.

Section 13(a) (3) states that the police shall take a juvenile to a commitment center "with all reasonable speed" after he is arrested and booked. The section does not forbid questioning the juvenile about the connection with the crime, but it is designed to forbid "forced confessions" induced by harassment. A two to two and one-half hour delay might be unreasonable under some circumstances. These cases normally stand on their own peculiar facts. However, in this case, the police had a legitimate reason in detaining the defendant in the station house so that the defendant might identify other perpetrators of this ...


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