Original jurisdiction in cases of John Wayne Knisley, Plaintiff v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Defendant; and Joseph K. Quinnan, Plaintiff v. Board of Probation and Parole, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Defendant.
John Wayne Knisley, appellant, for himself.
Joseph K. Quinnan, appellant for himself.
Robert A. Greevy, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for defendant.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 26 Pa. Commw. Page 186]
Before us are the preliminary objections of the Board of Probation and Parole (Board) to the mandamus complaints filed by Plaintiffs, Joseph K. Quinnan and John Wayne Knisley. Since the cases involve similar facts and legal issues, they will be disposed of in a single opinion.
On February 20, 1970, Plaintiff Knisley was sentenced to a term of 2 to 12 years. On December 15, 1975, he was sentenced to 4 to 18 years after pleading guilty to burglary charges arising while he was
[ 26 Pa. Commw. Page 187]
on parole for the 1970 conviction. Upon his recommitment as a convicted parole violator, the Board extended his maximum sentence on the 1970 conviction from November 19, 1981 to December 15, 1985.
On April 3, 1961, Plaintiff Quinnan was sentenced to terms of 3 to 10 years and 2 1/2 to 5 years. In April, 1968, Quinnan was released on parole. On September 18, 1975, he was sentenced to 4 to 23 months after conviction on charges arising while he was on parole for the 1961 convictions. Upon his recommitment, the Board extended his maximum sentence on the 1961 conviction from March 24, 1976, to November 30, 1983.
In both cases, the Board did not give credit for "street time" (time spent out of prison while on parole) when it extended the maximum sentences. Plaintiff Quinnan seeks relief in mandamus against the Board directing it to order his immediate release from custody since the maximum sentence originally imposed has expired. Plaintiff Knisley seeks relief in mandamus against the Board directing it to restore to him the period of time he spent on parole. Both Plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of the Board's extension of maximum sentences.
The Board has filed preliminary objections in both cases alleging that Section 21.1 of the Act of August 6, 1941, P.L. 861, as amended, 61 P.S. § 331.21a (Act), provides the Board with authority to recommit a parolee when he commits a new criminal offense while on parole for another ...