John J. Dean, Anthony J. Lalama, Lester G. Nauhaus, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Robert E. Colville, Dist. Atty., Robert L. Eberhardt, Asst. Dist. Atty., Pittsburgh, for appellee.
Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy and Manderino, JJ. Nix, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
In order to reduce the backlog of criminal cases in the courts of common pleas and to provide an objective standard for the protection of a defendant's right to a speedy trial, this Court adopted Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100 pursuant to our supervisory powers.*fn1 Rule 1100 provides a fixed time period within which a criminal defendant must be brought to trial.*fn2 It also provides a fixed period within
which trial must commence after a motion for a new trial is granted.*fn3 We adopted Rule 1100 effective June 8, 1973. Today we must decide if section (e) of Rule 1100 applies when an order granting a new trial, entered before the rule's effective date, is affirmed on appeal after the rule's effective date. We hold that Rule 1100 does not apply and affirm the judgment of sentence.
Appellant Larry White was arrested for murder without a warrant on November 19, 1971. On January 7, 1972, he was indicted. His pre-trial suppression motion, based on a claim of unlawful search and seizure, was denied. On May 12, 1972, appellant was convicted of murder of the second degree after a jury trial. He filed timely post-trial motions which included his claim that certain physical evidence should have been suppressed. On February 28, 1973, the trial court decided that appellant's pre-trial suppression motion should have been granted and ordered a new trial. The Commonwealth appealed. While the appeal was pending, section (e) of Rule 1100 took effect.*fn4 This Court affirmed the trial court's order on October 16, 1974.*fn5 The Commonwealth then petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari. The petition was denied on May 12, 1975.*fn6
On September 8, 1975, appellant moved to quash the indictment claiming a violation of his right to a speedy trial under Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100.*fn7 That motion was denied
and a jury found appellant guilty of murder in the second degree on September 12, 1975. Appellant's post-trial motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were denied. In this appeal,*fn8 appellant's sole contention is that he has been denied a speedy trial under Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100(e).
From October 16, 1974, when this Court affirmed the trial court's order granting a new trial, until appellant raised his speedy trial claim on September 8, 1975, 327 days elapsed. If Rule 1100(e) is applicable, it has been violated and appellant is entitled to discharge.*fn9 We ...