No. 755 January Term 1977, Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court at No. 402 October Term 1976.
John W. Packel, Asst. Public Defender, Leonard Sosnov, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Div., Gaele McLaughlin Barthold, Asst. Dist. Attys., for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. O'Brien, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Roberts, J., joins in this opinion and filed a concurring opinion. Manderino, J., filed a concurring opinion. Larsen, J., joins in this opinion solely on the basis of Commonwealth v. Wright,
Author: Per Curiam
Gregory Poindexter was found guilty after trial in the Municipal Court of Philadelphia of (a) carrying a firearm without a license, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6106 (1973), and (b) carrying firearms on public streets in Philadelphia, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6108 (1973).*fn1 He filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Court of Common Pleas challenging the legal sufficiency of the evidence offered by the Commonwealth in the Municipal Court trial to sustain a conviction under either Section 6106 or Section 6108. Subsequently, the Court of Common Pleas ruled the trial evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to sustain either conviction and that, hence, the petition for certiorari "must be granted and his convictions vacated." However, instead of ordering the discharge of the accused, it remanded the record to the Municipal Court for a new trial.
Poindexter filed an appeal in the Superior Court raising only the issue of the relief granted in the Court of Common Pleas and contending that, since the court ruled the trial evidence was insufficient as a matter of law, he was entitled to a discharge. The Commonwealth did not appeal.
Later, the Superior Court ruled the Court of Common Pleas erred in its ruling that the trial evidence was legally insufficient to sustain a conviction under Section 6108. That court, therefore, affirmed the order of the Court of Common Pleas directing a new trial. Commonwealth v. Poindexter, 248 Pa. Super. 564, 375 A.2d 384 (1977).*fn2 We granted allocatur and now reverse.
The following, stated in Commonwealth v. Wright, 449 Pa. 358, 361-62, 296 A.2d 746, 748 (1972), is controlling:
"Under the Act of 1951, June 15, P.L. 585, § 1, 19 P.S. § 871, where it is determined after a review of the entire record that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the charge, the trial court is mandated to discharge the defendant and dismiss the case. This act does not leave the remedy to the discretion of the court, but rather, directs the dismissal of the action and the discharge of the defendant."
Since the Commonwealth failed to appeal the adverse ruling of the Court of Common Pleas that the trial evidence was legally insufficient to sustain the conviction, it is bound by that ruling. Cf. Pa. H. R. Comm. ...