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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOSEPH BOWEN (10/06/78)

decided: October 6, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JOSEPH BOWEN, APPELLANT



No. 78 January Term, 1976, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Criminal Section of Philadelphia County at No. 1064 March Session, 1971

COUNSEL

Hugh C. Clark, Philadelphia, for appellant.

F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Dist. Atty., Steven H. Goldblatt, Asst. Dist. Atty., Chief, Appeals Div., Jane C. Greenspan, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Larsen, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Pomeroy, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Eagen, C. J., joins.

Author: Roberts

[ 482 Pa. Page 454]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Over twenty-eight hours elapsed between appellant Joseph Bowen's arrest and his preliminary arraignment. In that period of delay, police conducted fifteen interviews with appellant and obtained four inculpatory statements. Over appellant's objection, the trial court admitted these inculpatory statements into evidence. Appellant argues that police obtained these inculpatory statements in violation of Pa.R.Crim.Proc. 118, Commonwealth v. Futch, 447 Pa. 389, 290 A.2d 417 (1972), and its progeny.*fn1 We agree and reverse.*fn2

Without a warrant, Philadelphia police arrested appellant at about 10:30 p. m., February 21, 1971, and took him to the Police Administration Building. Police suspected that, earlier that day, appellant killed a Philadelphia police officer.

[ 482 Pa. Page 455]

Police placed appellant in an interrogation room, where questioning began at 11:30 p. m. Police subjected appellant to repeated interrogation, throughout which appellant repeatedly denied all involvement in the killing.

Until 3:15 p. m., February 22, sixteen and three-quarters hours after his arrest, appellant did not inculpate himself and police still had not provided for his preliminary arraignment. At 3:15 p. m., however, after police confronted appellant with the fact that the gun found near the scene of the killing had been traced to his brother, appellant acknowledged that he had obtained the gun from his brother a few days earlier. About two hours later, police briefly confronted appellant with his brother. Between 5:40 p. m. and 6:25 p. m., over nineteen hours after his arrest, appellant further inculpated himself. Further police questioning conducted until 7:25 p. m. produced a third statement in which appellant inculpated himself in a previous shooting.

At 8:45 p. m., over twenty-two hours after appellant's arrest the previous day, police began to take a formal, written statement from appellant. Appellant signed this writing two hours later. It was not until 3:15 a. m. the next day, four and one-half hours after appellant signed the statement and twenty-eight and three-quarters hours after appellant's arrest, that a preliminary arraignment was held.

The pre-arraignment delay in this case constitutes an undisputable violation of Pa.R.Crim.Proc. 118. Rule 118, ...


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