No. 156 March Term, 1977, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence Imposed March 30, 1977, by Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County, Criminal Division No. 75-1166-CRA
Richard H. Milgrub, Public Defender, Benjamin S. Blakley, Asst. Public Defender, Clearfield, for appellant.
Barbara H. Schickley, Asst. Dist. Atty., Clearfield, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. O'Brien, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Pomeroy, former J., did not participate in the decision of this case. Roberts, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Manderino, J., joins.
Judgment of sentence affirmed.
ROBERTS, Justice, dissenting.
At issue on this appeal is whether appellant John Bishop, charged with the offense of criminal homicide, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2501(a), is entitled to a timely requested jury instruction on involuntary manslaughter where the Commonwealth sought to prove that appellant intentionally killed Frank Albright. The Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County charged the jury on the law of murder of the first and third degree and voluntary manslaughter, but refused appellant's requested instruction on involuntary manslaughter. Because in these circumstances involuntary manslaughter is a permissible verdict, appellant's request for an involuntary manslaughter instruction should have been granted.
Section 2501(a) of the Crimes Code defines "criminal homicide" as follows:
" Offense defined. -- A person is guilty of criminal homicide if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently causes the death of another human being."
At the same time, however, "[t]o safeguard offenders against excessive, disproportionate or arbitrary punishment," 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 104(3), and to "differentiate among offenders ...