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