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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. CALVIN MARTIN (06/02/78)

decided: June 2, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
CALVIN MARTIN, APPELLANT



No. 229 January Term 1976, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Criminal Section of Philadelphia, at No. 1961 March Sessions 1975. Entered: December 21, 1975

COUNSEL

Lee Mandell, Philadelphia, for appellant.

F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Dist. Atty., Steven H. Goldblatt, Deputy Dist. Atty. for Law, Michael R. Stiles, Asst. Dist. Atty., Chief, Appeals Div., Jane Greenspan, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. Manderino, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

Author: Eagen

[ 479 Pa. Page 66]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant, Calvin Martin, was convicted by a jury in Philadelphia of murder of the first degree. Post-verdict motions filed by trial counsel seeking an arrest of the judgment and/or a new trial were denied*fn1 and a sentence of life imprisonment was imposed. This appeal followed.

In this appeal Martin is represented by new counsel, that is, counsel other than trial counsel. The sole assignment of

[ 479 Pa. Page 67]

    error is that trial counsel was ineffective in protecting Martin's appellate rights by failing to include in the post-verdict motion for a new trial the following six alleged trial errors:*fn2

(1) allowing a Commonwealth witness, one Anthony Brothers, to testify as to the alleged prior commission of a crime by Martin, involving the decedent, Jonathan Kent, which crime resulted in neither an arrest, trial, nor conviction;

(2) refusing to grant trial counsel's motion for a mistrial after the testimony of Brothers was stricken;

(3) allowing a non-medical witness to testify concerning facts which were medical in nature;

(4) receiving into evidence certain photographs depicting an automobile's condition at the time of trial, but purporting to depict the condition of the said automobile at the time of the commission of the crime, some seven months prior;

(5) the trial court's denial of appellant's request "for a binding instruction that where two inferences arising from the evidence were possible; one consistent with guilt and one with innocence, that the jury must draw that of innocence";

(6) the trial court's denial of appellant's motion to set aside the verdict based upon the allegations of coercion ...


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