413 A.2d 386 (Pa. 1980), Commonwealth v. McClinton

Citation:413 A.2d 386, 488 Pa. 598
Opinion Judge:Author: O'brien
Party Name:COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania v. Lawrence McCLINTON, Appellant.
Case Date:April 28, 1980
Court:Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 386

413 A.2d 386 (Pa. 1980)

488 Pa. 598

COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania

v.

Lawrence McCLINTON, Appellant.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

April 28, 1980

Submitted March 3, 1980.

Norman A. Levine, Public Defender, New Castle, for appellant.

Donald E. Williams, Dist. Atty., New Castle, for appellee.

[488 Pa. 599] Before EAGEN, C. J., and O'BRIEN, ROBERTS, NIX, LARSEN, FLAHERTY and KAUFFMAN, JJ.

OPINION OF THE COURT

O'BRIEN, Justice.

This appeal is from an order of the Court of Common Pleas, Lawrence County, denying

Page 387

a petition for post-conviction relief filed by appellant, Lawrence McClinton.

Appellant was convicted by a jury of murder of the second degree and aggravated assault. Post-verdict motions were denied and appellant was sentenced to ten to twenty years imprisonment. A direct appeal was taken to this court and we affirmed by a per curiam order. Commonwealth v. McClinton, 471 Pa. 118, 369 A.2d 1223 (1977).

On September 28, 1978, appellant filed a pro se petition under the Post Conviction Hearing Act. 1 Appellant also requested that counsel be appointed to assist him, but counsel had not been appointed when the Court of Common Pleas denied appellant's petition without a hearing. After said denial, the Court of Common Pleas appointed the Lawrence County Public Defender to represent appellant on this appeal, which is now before us.

We do not reach the merits of appellant's arguments instantly. In Commonwealth v. Fiero, 462 Pa. 409, 412-13, 341 A.2d 448, 449-50 (1975), we stated:

"Moreover, in this jurisdiction a first post-conviction hearing petition should not be dismissed where the petitioner is indigent and has requested counsel, without affording him representation in that proceeding, Commonwealth v. Blair, 460 Pa. 31, 331 A.2d 213 (1975); Commonwealth v. Mitchell, 427 Pa. 395, 235 A.2d 148 (1967); Commonwealth v. Richardson, 426 Pa. 419, 233 A.2d 183 (1967); Commonwealth v. Hoffman, 426 Pa. 226, 232 A.2d 623 (1967); Pa.R.Crim.P. 1504, 19 P.S.Appendix. These [488 Pa. 600] considerations were explored in Commonwealth v. Mitchell, supra, where we stated:

" 'We pause to note that the mandatory appointment requirement is a salutary one and best comports with efficient judicial administration and serious consideration of a prisoner's claims. Counsel's ability to frame the issues in a legally meaningful...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP