No. 2295 October Term, 1977, Appeal of Albert A. Ford from the Honorable Arthur D. Dalessandro's Order of July 21, 1977 denying the Appellant's petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Civil Division, to No. 4656 of 1977.
Francis P. Burns, Assistant Public Defender, Wilkes-Barre, for appellant.
Michael H. Garrety, Deputy Attorney General, Harrisburg, for appellees, Jeffes, Kane and Robinson.
Patrick J. Toole, Jr., District Attorney, Wilkes-Barre, for appellee, Luzerne County.
Jacobs, President Judge, and Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, Spaeth and Hester, JJ. Hester, J., concurs in the result. Hoffman, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
[ 260 Pa. Super. Page 433]
This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County denying a petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus by a prisoner, the appellant, in the State Correctional Institution at Dallas.
The appellant is a two time murderer who is presently serving a life sentence in prison. The prison authorities have confined him in a restricted area of the prison. Appellant claims that his confinement there is cruel and unusual punishment and seeks to be released into the general prison population.
The court below in dismissing the writ relied heavily on the able opinion of Judge R. Dixon Herman of the Third District of the United States District Court which is attached hereto for reference.
[ 260 Pa. Super. Page 434]
The court below in its opinion found as facts that the treatment of the prisoner as disclosed by the hearing did not shock the conscience of the court or otherwise violate the standard of fundamental fairness as measured by the evolving standards of contemporary society and that the treatment afforded the petitioner cannot be classified as cruel and unusual punishment from the credible testimony taken at the hearing so that the petitioner did not sustain his burden of proof.
His civil rights have most certainly been protected in both the State and Federal courts and no further judicial time should be expended on his behalf. The problem of his incarceration raises serious problems for the prison administration as he can be better guarded in solitary confinement than in the general population as the nature of his offenses and sentences make him a high escape risk. This places a great burden on the prison authorities to protect society from this felon who has nothing to lose from further killing.
The Federal case in question involved the petitioner in a civil rights action seeking injunctive relief, being Ford v. Jeffes, et al., Civil No. 75-575 (Memorandum Opinion filed November 17, 1976) which dealt with the same facts as the instant case. ...