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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JULIUS WILLIAMS (04/16/85)

submitted: April 16, 1985.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JULIUS WILLIAMS, APPELLANT



Appeal from the PCHA order of February 7, 1984, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, at No. 1530-1537 February 1974.

COUNSEL

Daniel M. Preminger, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Jane C. Greenspan, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Com., appellee.

Wickersham, Beck and Cercone, JJ.

Author: Beck

[ 348 Pa. Super. Page 320]

The issue before us is one of first impression: whether a defendant's double jeopardy protections are violated when he is twice sentenced, each time after a lawful trial, for the immediate and later consequences of his actions stemming from a single incident? We conclude that the defendant's double jeopardy protections are not violated.

Two months after appellant was convicted of aggravated assault, attempted murder, criminal conspiracy, possessing an instrument of crime, and violation of the Uniform Firearms Act, his victim, Horace Wallace, died. Although appellant stood convicted, he had not yet been sentenced. He was then tried and convicted and sentenced for third degree murder. Subsequent to the sentence for murder, appellant was sentenced on his original convictions (hereinafter referred to as "the lesser convictions").*fn1

The procedural history of this case is important. The Superior Court originally non prossed a direct appeal from appellant's judgment of sentence on the lesser convictions. Thereafter, appellant filed a PCHA petition challenging the judgment of sentence for the lesser convictions and his counsel's stewardship. The PCHA court originally vacated the judgment of sentence on the grounds that it violated the state and federal double jeopardy clauses as well as Commonwealth v. Campana, 452 Pa. 233, 304 A.2d 432, vacated, 414 U.S. 808, 94 S.Ct. 73, 38 L.Ed.2d 44 (1973), reinstated on remand, 455 Pa. 622, 314 A.2d 854 (1974), cert. denied, 417 U.S. 969, 94 S.Ct. 3172, 41 L.Ed.2d 1139 (1974).

The Commonwealth petitioned for reconsideration. Upon reflection, the PCHA court decided that no double jeopardy or Campana violations existed. However, the PCHA court ruled that the judgment of sentence violated 18 Pa.C.S.A. ยง 906 inasmuch as it imposed consecutive sentences for two inchoate crimes, namely, criminal conspiracy and possessing

[ 348 Pa. Super. Page 321]

    an instrument of crime. Accordingly, the PCHA court vacated the judgment of sentence for the lesser convictions and remanded the matter for resentencing. Appellant, contending that it is unlawful to impose sentence on him for the lesser convictions, appeals the PCHA court order. Appellant also challenges the PCHA court's findings that his counsel was effective in the original sentencing hearing on the lesser convictions.*fn2

We must now decide whether appellant's double jeopardy protections were violated when he was twice sentenced, each time after a lawful trial, for the immediate and later consequences of his actions stemming from a single incident.

This question was left undecided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Washington, 481 Pa. 474, 393 A.2d 3 (1978). The Washington court's holding is relevant to the instant case. The court held that a defendant's double jeopardy protections were not violated when he was made to stand trial on a charge of murder after he had already been convicted of other offenses which ultimately resulted in the death of the victim. The court did not ...


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