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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOSEPH E. BOSTIC (03/16/83)

decided: March 16, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
JOSEPH E. BOSTIC, JR., APPELLANT. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE, V. ALTON BRADBY, APPELLANT



APPEAL NO. 80-3-816, (No. 541 E.D. Misc. Docket 1980) Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court dated July 3, 1980 at No. 2267 October Term, 1978, affirming the judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Criminal, dated July 25, 1978, at No. 385 of 1973, 287 Pa. Super 605; 428 A.2d 261 (1980), (No. 48 E.D. Appeal Docket 1982) Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania dated April 2, 1982, at No. 1192 Philadelphia 1980, affirming the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County dated April 25, 1980, No. 390 of 1973, 298 Pa. Super. 631; 445 A.2d 196 (1982)

COUNSEL

Robert O. Baldi, Asst. Public Defender, Michael A. Klimpl, Asst. Public Defender (court-appointed), for appellants.

Stephen B. Harris, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee.

Roberts, C.j., and Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Hutchinson and Zappala, JJ. Roberts, C.j., files a concurring opinion in which Nix, J., joins. Hutchinson, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Larsen

[ 500 Pa. Page 347]

OPINION

This appeal raises a single, legal issue, namely, whether the sentencing of appellants to consecutive prison terms upon their convictions for aggravated robbery and for committing a crime of violence while in possession of a firearm violates their rights under the double jeopardy clauses of the federal and state constitutions to be protected against multiple punishments for one offense. We find that appellants' consecutive sentences do not violate double jeopardy principles.

On October 14, 1972, appellants, Alton Bradby and Joseph Bostic, held up a food market in Bucks County. Armed with hand guns and accompanied by a third man, appellants robbed the store and several customers of cash and struck some of the customers with their gun butts. On November 21, 1973, appellants were both found guilty by a jury in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County of aggravated robbery, burglary, larceny, conspiracy and commission of a crime of violence with a firearm.

The men were sentenced on February 19, 1974 by the Honorable John Justus Bodley. Judge Bodley sentenced each appellant to a term of imprisonment of five to ten years on the aggravated robbery conviction and to a consecutive term of five to ten years on the conviction for the commission of a crime of violence while in the possession of a firearm. Both men took direct appeals to the Superior Court which affirmed their convictions and judgments of sentence. This Court denied appellants' petitions for allowance of appeal.

Subsequently, each appellant filed Post-Conviction Hearing Act (PCHA) petitions alleging, inter alia, that the consecutive sentences were in violation of the double jeopardy clauses of the Constitutions of the United States, U.S. Const.Amend. V, and of Pennsylvania, Pa. Const. Art. I, § 10. The Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County denied the PCHA petitions of appellants Bradby and Bostic on

[ 500 Pa. Page 348]

January 25, 1980 and July 25, 1980, respectively. The Superior Court affirmed both denials. This Court granted allocatur in each case to resolve the double jeopardy issue.*fn1

Appellants were each convicted of what was commonly referred to as "aggravated robbery" under then-in-effect section 705 of the Act of June 24, 1939, P.L. 872, 18 P.S. § 4705 ...


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