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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. MONSERRATE ZAPATA (05/21/82)

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: May 21, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
MONSERRATE ZAPATA, APPELLANT

No. 424, January Term, 1979, Appeal from the Order Denying Petition for Relief Under Post Conviction Hearing Act Entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division, Criminal Section, Nos. 1039 and 1040 of January 1971 Term.

COUNSEL

Stanford Shmukler, Philadelphia (court-appointed), for appellant.

Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Div. Asst. Dist. Atty., Deborah Fox, Philadelphia, for appellee.

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

Author: Larsen

[ 498 Pa. Page 528]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant was convicted of two counts of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 12 to 24 years imprisonment. The judgments of sentence were affirmed on direct appeal. Commonwealth v. Zapata, 447 Pa. 322, 290 A.2d 114 (1972). Appellant filed a Post Conviction Hearing Act (PCHA) petition, relief was denied and this direct appeal followed. Appellant submits numerous claims of counsel ineffectiveness:

[ 498 Pa. Page 529]

    failure to call character witnesses, failure to appeal from the trial judge's alleged erroneous remarks at sentencing, failure to appeal from alleged improper impeachment of a witness, and failure to object to certain jury instructions involving self-defense. After reviewing the record, we find these claims to be without merit. Appellant also alleges that trial counsel failed to object to the jury instructions involving the concept of justifiable homicide. This issue is waived. Commonwealth v. Pettus, 492 Pa. 558, 424 A.2d 1332 (1981). Finally, appellant raises the issues of improprieties at sentencing, his loss of due process due to his absence from the preliminary hearing, and the alleged falsification of the preliminary hearing transcript. These claims were waived. See 19 P.S. ยงยง 1180-3(d), 1180-4(b). Accordingly, the order of the PCHA court, which denied relief, is affirmed.

19820521

© 1998 VersusLaw Inc.



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