Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. LEONARD MORGAN HARRIS (01/30/81)

decided: January 30, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
v.
LEONARD MORGAN HARRIS, APPELLANT



No. 126, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Criminal Division, at No. 610 of 1975.

COUNSEL

David N. Rutt, Greenlee, Richman, Derrico & Posa, Washington, for appellant.

Herman J. Bigi, Dist. Atty., Daniel L. Chunko, First Asst. Dist. Atty., Washington, for appellee.

O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ.

Author: Roberts

[ 492 Pa. Page 391]

OPINION OF THE COURT

In June of 1975, following a wedding reception at the Otter Club in Van Voorhis, Washington County, a group of youths confronted guests outside the club. The confrontation led to shooting which resulted in the death of one person, Joseph Bankovich, and the serious injury of another, David Sink. Appellant Leonard Harris, one of the youths, was identified as the person firing the shots and charged with murder and aggravated assault. At a jury trial, appellant unsuccessfully claimed self-defense and was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and simple assault.

On this appeal from the judgment of sentence imposed (an aggregate prison term of six to twelve years), appellant makes four claims in support of a new trial: (1) that the jury selection system employed in Washington County at the time of trial unconstitutionally caused under-representation of blacks and persons under twenty-one; (2) that, during impeachment of the surviving, testifying victim, he should have been permitted to introduce into evidence a medical record showing that, approximately two years before the incident, the victim had been hospitalized for treatment of

[ 492 Pa. Page 392]

"aggressive tendencies;" (3) that testimony of the deceased's victim's widow should not have been permitted; and (4) that a state trooper "showed off his gun" to the jury. None of these claims warrants reversal.

I. Under-representation

For appellant to make out a prima facie violation of the "fair-cross-section" requirement of the sixth and fourteenth amendments, he must show:

"(1) that the group alleged to be excluded is a 'distinctive' group in the community; (2) that the representation of this group in venires from which juries are selected is not fair and reasonable in relation to the number of such persons in the community; and (3) that this under-representation is due to systematic exclusion of the group in the jury selection process."

Duren v. Missouri, 439 U.S. 357, 363, 99 S.Ct. 664, 668, 58 L.Ed.2d 579 (1979). See Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522, 95 S.Ct. 692, 42 L.Ed.2d 690 (1975). Appellant has in no respect established (2), that the relationship between representation of the alleged groups in venires and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.