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UNITED STATES EX REL. SAVITZ v. GALLAGHER
July 2, 1992
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel. EDWARD SAVITZ
J. PATRICK GALLAGHER, Commissioner of Philadelphia Prisons, and WILHELMINA SPEACH, Warden of the Philadelphia Detention Center, and LYNNE ABRAHAM, District Attorney of Philadelphia
The opinion of the court was delivered by: BY THE COURT; HARVEY BARTLE III
Petitioner Edward Savitz ("Savitz"), presently in state custody awaiting trial and ill with AIDS, has filed this Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus challenging the constitutionality of the bail set by the Pennsylvania Superior Court and seeking release from detention. Jurisdiction is proper in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
Savitz was arrested in Philadelphia on March 25, 1992 and charged with three complaints. The complaints allege that he engaged in certain involuntary sex acts with young men who had not yet attained the age of consent.
Bail was set on the first three complaints in the amount of $ 1,000,000 per complaint for a total of $ 3,000,000. Savitz posted bail on Friday, March 27, 1992. Following his release, and while hospitalized, Savitz was rearrested on March 28, 1992 upon the filing of additional charges of like sexual offenses.
The bail set for these additional offenses is the subject of the pending petition before the Court.
On March 29, 1992, a Philadelphia Trial Commissioner set bail on these additional claims at $ 20,000,000. Savitz filed a Petition for Reduction of Bail in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. Judge Howland W. Abramson held hearings on April 2 and 8, 1992. He reduced the total bail on the two charges to $ 2,000,000 each but imposed certain restrictive conditions. The conditions included a requirement that "the Defendant shall forthwith voluntarily admit himself to a locked adult unit of the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital and remain there until his case is fully and finally decided, provided the Institute of Pennsylvania...will permit electronic monitoring by the Probation Department of this Court." Court of Common Pleas Order, April 8, 1992 (Abramson, J.)
Savitz then filed a Petition for Reduction of Bail in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. On April 23, 1992, the Superior Court in a per curiam order reduced the monetary bail to $ 200,000 but adjusted the bail conditions. Those conditions provided in relevant part:
"4. that pursuant to request of counsel
, . . . [Savitz] voluntarily commit himself to a private mental health facility located in Philadelphia County, and remain there until his case is fully and finally decided. If possible, said institution should be able to accommodate electronic monitoring of . . . [Savitz] by the Probation Department of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County;
5. that the receiving institution be approved by this court;
6. that the receiving institution submit to this court a letter undertaking to assure the following:
a. that the facility possesses a secure lock up unit;
b. that arrangements can be made to segregate . . . [Savitz] from contacts with all other patients, irrespective of age;
c. that . . . [Savitz] will not be released, at his own request or otherwise, without 48 hours prior notification to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County; . . .
8. that . . . [Savitz] participate in all prescribed therapy and treatment programs ...
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