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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. RICHARD BLACK v. SUPERINTENDENT (12/29/81)

filed: December 29, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. RICHARD BLACK
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, STATE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION GRATERFORD, PENNSYLVANIA. APPEAL OF RICHARD BLACK



NO. 2079 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Bucks County, No. 80-6638-13-3.

COUNSEL

Joseph Scafidi, Assistant Public Defender, Doylestown, for appellant.

Thomas Mundhenk, Assistant District Attorney, Doylestown, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wickersham, McEwen and Wieand, JJ. Wieand, J., files a concurring and dissenting opinion.

Author: Mcewen

[ 293 Pa. Super. Page 443]

The appellant entered a plea of guilty to certain crimes as a part of a negotiated plea agreement which also provided that the District Attorney would make two recommendations concerning the sentence to be imposed, namely, that the period of confinement would be a term of twenty nine and one half months to fifty nine and one half months and that the place of confinement would be the Bucks County Prison. The Common Pleas Court accepted the plea agreement and imposed a sentence for the agreed upon period of time and directed that the sentence be served in the Bucks County Prison. The appellant commenced his term of confinement in the Bucks County Court Prison on May 19, 1980, but on May 23, 1980 the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas approved the request of the Warden of the Bucks County Prison that the appellant be transferred to the State Correctional Institution at Graterford and, as a result, on June 12, 1980, the administrative transfer of the appellant to Graterford was effected.

The appellant filed a petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus seeking to prevent a transfer from the Bucks County Prison. The lower court dismissed the Petition and denied the requested relief. We affirm.

It seems clear that both the place as well as the terms of confinement were provisions of the negotiated plea agreement; that the District Attorney made both stipulated recommendations to the Court; that the Court accepted those recommendations and imposed a sentence that conformed to the negotiated plea agreement; that the transfer of the appellant from the Bucks County Prison resulted solely from the exercise of discretion by the warden of the Bucks County Prison; that the District Attorney had no part in the transfer; and, that the appellant does not wish

[ 293 Pa. Super. Page 444]

    to withdraw his plea of guilty. Rather, the appellant would have the Court direct the warden of the Bucks County Prison to confine the appellant in and only in the Bucks County Prison. Neither the Common Pleas Court nor this Court have such authority. Commonwealth v. Maute, 263 Pa. Super. 220, 397 A.2d 826 (1979); In Re Petition of Peiffer, 193 Pa. Super. 476, 166 A.2d 325 (1960); See generally, Commonwealth ex rel. Fox v. Keenan, 199 Pa. Super. 575, 186 A.2d 447 (1962); Commonwealth ex rel. Bozzi v. Myers, 186 Pa. Super. 42, 140 A.2d 375 (1958).

The Courts have always been able to scrutinize in a Habeas Corpus Petition a claim by a prisoner that he is the victim of illegal detainment but the within appeal does not present such an issue since the appellant does not contend the detainment itself is illegal. Commonwealth ex rel. Codispoti v. Rundle, 200 Pa. Super. 487, 490, 190 A.2d 153, 155 (1963).

We recognize the principle that a defendant who has entered into a plea agreement may be entitled to the benefit of his bargain. Commonwealth v. Zuber, 466 Pa. 453, 459, 353 A.2d 441, 444 (1976); Commonwealth v. Zakrewski, 460 Pa. 528, 533, 333 A.2d 898, 900 (1975). This appeal does not present such a situation since the supervision, control and administration of correctional institutions and their prisoners are not matters within the authority of the Courts. The District Attorney carried out the commitments made to the appellant. This appeal does not relate to the bargain. It relates to the administration of correctional institutions.

The Prison Transfer Act,*fn1 61 P.S. ยง 72, addresses the procedure to be followed regarding the transfer and retransfer of ...


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