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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. EDWARD W. DICKSON (11/01/78)

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: November 1, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
EDWARD W. DICKSON, APPELLANT

No. 218 March Term, 1977, Appeal from Judgment of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Criminal Division, at Criminal Action No. 791 of 1975, dated August 19, 1977.

COUNSEL

Thomas P. Ruane, Jr., Public Defender, Uniontown, for appellant.

Gerald R. Solomon, Dist. Atty., Ralph C. Harman, Uniontown, for appellee.

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

Author: Per Curiam

[ 482 Pa. Page 518]

OPINION

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence entered upon a jury verdict finding appellant guilty of voluntary manslaughter.*fn* Appellant raised the following arguments:

(1) That the trial court committed reversible error by refusing to charge the jury on the elements of involuntary manslaughter.

(2) That the trial court committed error by refusing to permit appellant to elicit testimony of specific acts of violence committed by the deceased from defense character witnesses.

(3) That the trial court did not adequately instruct the jury concerning the burden of persuasion as it relates to the defense of self-defense.

We have considered these contentions and find them to be without merit.

Judgment of sentence affirmed.

[ 482 Pa. Page 519]

ROBERTS, Justice, dissenting.

I dissent. Appellant is entitled, upon his request, to a jury instruction on involuntary manslaughter. Commonwealth v. Smith, 474 Pa. 559, 379 A.2d 96 (1977); Commonwealth v. Garcia, 474 Pa. 449, 378 A.2d 1199 (1977) (Opinion of Roberts, J., joined by O'Brien and Manderino, JJ., announcing the judgment of the court). Accord Commonwealth v. Terrell, 482 Pa. 303, 393 A.2d 1117 (1978) (Concurring Opinion by Roberts, J., joined by O'Brien, J.; Concurring Opinion by Manderino, J.); Commonwealth v. Thomas, 482 Pa. 312, 393 A.2d 1122 (1978) (Opinion in Support of Reversal by Roberts, J., joined by O'Brien, J.; Opinion in Support of Reversal by Manderino, J.); Commonwealth v. Dussinger, 478 Pa. 182, 386 A.2d 500 (1978); Commonwealth v. Polimeni, 474 Pa. 430, 378 A.2d 1189 (1977) (Concurring Opinion by Roberts, J., joined by O'Brien, J.; Concurring Opinion by Manderino, J.); Commonwealth v. Ford, 474 Pa. 480, 378 A.2d 1215 (1977) (Concurring Opinion by Roberts, J., joined by O'Brien, J.; Concurring Opinion by Manderino, J.). Thus, judgment of sentence should be reversed and a new trial granted.


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