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JOSE C. YOUNG v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA BOARD PROBATION AND PAROLE (12/21/79)

decided: December 21, 1979.

JOSE C. YOUNG, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE



No. 556 January Term, 1977, Appeal from Order of the Commonwealth Court at No. 203 Miscellaneous Docket, Dismissing Appellant's Complaint in Mandamus; Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas Nos. 281 through 283, 1971, and Nos. 2393, 2395 and 2397 of 1975.

COUNSEL

James T. Huber, Allentown, Public Defender's Office, Lehigh County, for appellant.

Robert A. Greevy, Asst. Atty. Gen., Bd. of Probation & Parole, Dauphin County, for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen and Flaherty, JJ. Manderino, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision in this case.

Author: Nix

[ 487 Pa. Page 429]

OPINION

This is an appeal from an order of the Commonwealth Court sustaining preliminary objections, in the nature of a demurrer and dismissing appellant's complaint. For the reasons that follow we now affirm the order of the court below.

Appellant, Jose C. Young, filed a complaint in mandamus against the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (Board) asserting an unlawful recomputation of a prison sentence that appellant was required to serve. Accepting as true the well pleaded averments of the complaint,*fn1 appellant

[ 487 Pa. Page 430]

    was originally sentenced on June 29, 1971 to six years confinement at the Camp Hill Correctional Institution. The six year period would have expired June 29, 1977. During the term of that sentence, appellant was released on parole. While in a parole status appellant was arrested and convicted of a new offense for which he received a sentence of six months to three years also to be served at a state correctional institution. Thereafter the Board conducted a parole violation hearing and, pursuant to the Act of August 6, 1941, P.L. 861, § 21.1, added 1951, August 24, P.L. 1401, § 5, as amended 1957, June 28, P.L. 429, § 1; 61 P.S. § 331.21a, recommitted appellant for the balance of the original sentence without giving credit for the period appellant was at liberty on parole ("street time"). Appellant concedes that section 21.1(a) provides for such a result but argues that it is in conflict with Article 5, section 1 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.*fn2

[ 487 Pa. Page 431]

Since we are called upon to consider a constitutional challenge to a legislative enactment there are certain guidelines that must govern our review.

We note at the outset that it is a fundamental principle in our conception of judicial authority that courts are not to inquire into the wisdom, reason or expediency behind a legislative enactment. Commonwealth v. Moir, 199 Pa. 534, 49 A. 351 (1901). Nor are the motives of the legislators in passing the act open to judicial consideration. Commonwealth v. Keary, 198 Pa. 500, 48 A. 472 (1901). Our inquiry in such cases can only be directed to the manner in which the ...


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