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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. FRANK J. LANG v. JOHN D. CASE (07/12/78)

decided: July 12, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. FRANK J. LANG, APPELLANT,
v.
JOHN D. CASE, WARDEN, BUCKS COUNTY PRISON, DOYLESTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA



No. 1384 October Term, 1977, Appeal from the Denial of a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus and Order of Extradition No. 76-4130-03-6 in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Civil Action - Law.

COUNSEL

John J. Kerrigan, Jr., Newtown, for appellant.

Peter F. Schenck, Assistant District Attorney, with him Kenneth G. Biehn, District Attorney, Doylestown, for appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Price and Van der Voort, JJ., dissent. Watkins, former President Judge, did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Spaeth

[ 257 Pa. Super. Page 487]

On January 22, 1976, appellant was arrested by Buckingham Township Police in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and charged with being a fugitive from New Jersey. Appellant was released on his own recognizance pending receipt of Governors' Warrants. On May 5 the Governors' Warrants were received, and appellant surrendered himself to Detective Hayman of the Bucks County District Attorney's Office. On the same day appellant's attorney filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus. On September 24 a hearing on appellant's petition was held before Judge BECKERT. At the conclusion of the hearing Judge BECKERT ordered the matter listed for argument before a three judge panel. On February 8, 1977, the panel heard argument, and on March 31 filed an opinion and order denying appellant's petition and ordering him extradited. On April 5 appellant filed an application for supersedeas and bail pending appeal to this court, which was granted.

It has been consistently held that:

[i]n every extradition proceeding, the relator has an absolute right to require that his identity as the person named

[ 257 Pa. Super. Page 488]

    in the Extradition Requisition be established and proved by the weight of credible evidence. Commonwealth ex rel. Edgar v. Davis, 425 Pa. 133, 136, 228 A.2d 742, 744 (1967).

Since the evidence presented by the Commonwealth here was insufficient to show that appellant was the person named in the requisition papers,*fn1 the order of the lower court is reversed.

-1-

The demand for appellant's extradition was accompanied by a copy of an indictment alleging that one Frank J. Lang along with other named and unnamed persons conspired together to commit the crimes of possession, possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of controlled dangerous substances, all in violation of New Jersey criminal statutes. The indictment further alleged that on February 15, 1975, in furtherance of the aforesaid conspiracy, one Joseph A. Ludwig had twice "used telephone facility 609-882-7377 located at 2452 Stuyvesant Avenue, Ewing Township, New ...


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