Com. ex rel. Blackshear v. Myers

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtBefore BELL; EAGEN; COHEN; ROBERTS; MUSMANNO
Citation213 A.2d 378,419 Pa. 151
Decision Date29 September 1965
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania ex rel. Willie BLACKSHEAR, Appellant, v. David N. MYERS, Superintendent, State Correctional Institution, Graterford, Pennsylvania.

Page 378

213 A.2d 378
419 Pa. 151
COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania ex rel. Willie BLACKSHEAR, Appellant,
v.
David N. MYERS, Superintendent, State Correctional
Institution, Graterford, Pennsylvania.
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Sept. 29, 1965.

[419 Pa. 152]

Page 379

Willie Blackshear, in pro. per.

Joseph M. Smith, Gordon Gelfond, Asst. Dist. Attys., F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Jr., First Asst. Dist. Atty., James C. Crumlish, Jr., Dist. Atty., Philadelphia, for appellee.

Before BELL, C. J., and MUSMANNO, JONES, COHEN, EAGEN, O'BRIEN and ROBERTS, JJ.

EAGEN, Justice.

On December 7, 1945, the appellant, Willie Blackshear, in the presence of court-appointed counsel, plead guilty generally to an indictment charging him with the murder of his mother-in-law. 1 Subsequently, a [419 Pa. 153] hearing was held before a three-judge court and he was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to life imprisonment. No appeal from the judgment was entered.

On November 12, 1964, a petition was filed seeking a writ of habeas corpus which, after answer filed, the lower court dismissed without hearing. An appeal from this order is now before us.

It is urged that appellant's confinement is illegal because his conviction was secured through the use of constitutionally invalid evidence, namely, a statement given to investigating police officers following his arrest. Assuming that the evidence concerned should not have been admitted, this factor would not affect the conviction of murder, but only the finding that he was guilty of murder in the first degree and the sentence entered thereon. The conviction of murder generally resulted from his own guilty plea and not the challenged evidence. The voluntary plea of guilty was in itself the equivalent of a conviction by a jury verdict, and the only duty then imposed upon the court was to determine the degree of guilt and to fix the penalty. See, Commonwealth ex rel. Dandy v. Banmiller, 397 Pa. 312, 155 A.2d 197 (1959), cert. denied 361 U.S. 972, 80 S.Ct. 606, 4 L.Ed.2d 552 (1960). However, an examination of the record establishes that the finding of the degree of guilt and judgment of sentence should not be disturbed.

Blackshear was taken into custody in his residence about one and a half hours following the commission of the crime. Without hesitation, he admitted the stabbing and told the arresting officers the location of the icepick. Upon being taken to police headquarters, he immediately described his...

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35 practice notes
  • Com. v. Negri
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • September 29, 1965
    ...to Secure Guilty Pleas,' 112 U.Pa.L.Rev. 865 notes 3 & 4 (1964). 7 To the same effect, see Commonwealth ex rel. Blackshear v. Myers, Pa., 213 A.2d 378 (1965), and Commonwealth ex rel. Johnson v. Myers, Pa., 213 A.2d 359 (1965), filed 8 See, e.g., Commonwealth ex rel. Johnson v. Myers, Pa., ......
  • United States v. Maroney, Civ. A. No. 67-182.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • November 2, 1967
    ...218 A.2d 230 (1966); Commonwealth ex rel. Swilley v. Maroney, 420 Pa. 419, 218 A.2d 242 (1966); Commonwealth ex rel. Blackshear v. Myers, 419 Pa. 151, 213 A.2d 378 (1965); Commonwealth ex rel. Taylor v. Maroney, 419 Pa. 149, 213 A. 2d 355 (1965); Commonwealth ex rel. Sanders v. Maroney, 417......
  • Com. ex rel. Mount v. Rundle
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • April 18, 1967
    ...the verdict of [425 Pa. 325] guilty of murder of the first degree and the death penalty. Cf: Commonwealth ex rel. Blackshear v. Myers, 419 Pa. 151, 154, 213 A.2d 378 Our examination of the record indicates that the three-judge court in fixing the penalty considered '* * * All the evidence, ......
  • Com. ex rel. Booker v. Duggan
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • March 14, 1967
    ...420 Pa. 486, 218 A.2d 230; Commonwealth ex rel. Rehak v. Maroney, 420 Pa. 37, 215 A.2d 622; Commonwealth ex rel. Blackshear v. Myers, 419 Pa. 151, 213 A.2d 378; and Commonwealth ex rel. Adderley v. Myers, 418 Pa. 366, 211 A.2d 481. In the light of these cases it is clear that this contentio......
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35 cases
  • Com. v. Negri
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • September 29, 1965
    ...to Secure Guilty Pleas,' 112 U.Pa.L.Rev. 865 notes 3 & 4 (1964). 7 To the same effect, see Commonwealth ex rel. Blackshear v. Myers, Pa., 213 A.2d 378 (1965), and Commonwealth ex rel. Johnson v. Myers, Pa., 213 A.2d 359 (1965), filed 8 See, e.g., Commonwealth ex rel. Johnson v. Myers, Pa., ......
  • United States v. Maroney, Civ. A. No. 67-182.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • November 2, 1967
    ...218 A.2d 230 (1966); Commonwealth ex rel. Swilley v. Maroney, 420 Pa. 419, 218 A.2d 242 (1966); Commonwealth ex rel. Blackshear v. Myers, 419 Pa. 151, 213 A.2d 378 (1965); Commonwealth ex rel. Taylor v. Maroney, 419 Pa. 149, 213 A. 2d 355 (1965); Commonwealth ex rel. Sanders v. Maroney, 417......
  • Com. ex rel. Mount v. Rundle
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • April 18, 1967
    ...the verdict of [425 Pa. 325] guilty of murder of the first degree and the death penalty. Cf: Commonwealth ex rel. Blackshear v. Myers, 419 Pa. 151, 154, 213 A.2d 378 Our examination of the record indicates that the three-judge court in fixing the penalty considered '* * * All the evidence, ......
  • Com. ex rel. Booker v. Duggan
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • March 14, 1967
    ...420 Pa. 486, 218 A.2d 230; Commonwealth ex rel. Rehak v. Maroney, 420 Pa. 37, 215 A.2d 622; Commonwealth ex rel. Blackshear v. Myers, 419 Pa. 151, 213 A.2d 378; and Commonwealth ex rel. Adderley v. Myers, 418 Pa. 366, 211 A.2d 481. In the light of these cases it is clear that this contentio......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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