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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RICHARD CHARLES HAEFNER (01/28/77)

decided: January 28, 1977.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RICHARD CHARLES HAEFNER, APPELLANT



COUNSEL

Pamela W. Higgins, Richard A. Sprague, Michael K. Simon, Philadelphia, for appellant.

John A. Kenneff, Asst. Dist. Atty., Lancaster, 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. Pomeroy, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

Author: Jones

[ 470 Pa. Page 393]

OPINION OF THE COURT

While on trial before a judge and jury for the crimes of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and corruption

[ 470 Pa. Page 394]

    of minors, Richard Charles Haefner, appellant, testified that, during the ten hours of custody which preceded his preliminary arraignment, he was mistreated by the police who arrested and interrogated him. Roughly two hours of the interrogation consisted of the administration of a lie detector test to appellant. At the beginning of the trial, however, the trial judge ruled inadmissible, at sidebar, all polygraph evidence. See Commonwealth v. Gee, 467 Pa. 123, 354 A.2d 875 (1976); Commonwealth v. Brooks, 454 Pa. 75, 309 A.2d 732 (1973). Appellant was informed of this directive by his trial counsel, Mr. Heinly, and made no mention of the polygraph test in his direct testimony. The cross-examination which followed was aimed at attacking appellant's credibility by showing that, in the midst of the alleged police brutality, he made no real attempt to seek outside assistance from friends, family or counsel:

"Q: The question before you now is, did you ever complain to anybody at home concerning your treatment?

A: Yes, I believe I did.

Q: Whom did you complain to?

A: My mother.

Q: What did you tell her?

A: Gees, I don't recall . . . [S]he asked me if Henry should come down, and I said, no, ...


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