No. 566 January Term, 1976, Appeal from Order of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania to No. 636 October Term, 1975, affirming judgment of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Criminal Division, to Nos. 1462, 1463, 1464, 1465, 1466 of 1973.
Daniel H. Shertzer, Lancaster, for appellant.
Michael H. Ranck, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ.
On July 26, 1973, a petition of delinquency was filed against appellant in the juvenile court of Lancaster County. On August 6, 1973, the district attorney filed a petition to transfer appellant's case to the Criminal Division of the Court of Common Pleas for trial on charges of criminal conspiracy, attempted murder, attempted kidnapping, burglary and aggravated assault. After a hearing, the juvenile court transferred appellant's case to the Criminal Division. Following a jury trial, appellant was convicted as charged and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of seven to fourteen years. Post-trial motions were filed and denied, and appellant appealed to the Superior Court, which affirmed the judgment of sentence. Commonwealth v. Greiner, 236 Pa. Super. 289, 344 A.2d 915 (1975) (Hoffman, J., joined by Cercone, J., dissenting) (Spaeth, J., concurring and dissenting). We granted review.
The facts of this case may be summarized as follows: Appellant, who was fifteen years old at the time of the
incident,*fn1 became involved with his older brother and an adult, Edward Trees, in a scheme to kidnap Sandy Groff. In the early morning hours of July 26, 1973, the trio entered the Groff residence through an unlocked door and crept into a room they believed to be Sandy's bedroom. Once inside the room they awakened the person occupying the bed and discovered that person was Sandy's father. The intruders bound and gagged Mr. Groff and before leaving, beat and stabbed him. Mr. Groff, although sustaining severe injuries as a result of the encounter, recovered from his wounds.
We permitted a limited review which focused upon the propriety of the transfer hearing conducted by the juvenile court pursuant to Section 28(a) of the Juvenile Act of 1972, as amended, 11 Pa. C.S.A. § 50-325(a) (Supp.1978-79) (Juvenile Act).*fn2
Appellant's argument can be reduced to two basic propositions. First, it is urged that the Commonwealth bore the burden of establishing that the statutory prerequisites for transfer of jurisdiction had been met. Second, it is argued that the Commonwealth failed to meet that burden.
As to the first contention concerning the placement of the burden of proof in transfer hearings, appellant asserts that placing the burden upon appellant to prove that he was a proper subject for treatment as a juvenile is a violation of due process. In making this argument, appellant relies primarily upon the seminal case of ...