Com. ex rel. Butler v. Rundle

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtBefore BELL; BOK
Citation180 A.2d 923,407 Pa. 535
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania ex rel. Thomas A. BUTLER, Appellant, v. Albert T. RUNDLE, Superintendent State Correctional Institution, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Decision Date21 May 1962

Page 923

180 A.2d 923
407 Pa. 535
COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania ex rel. Thomas A. BUTLER, Appellant,
v.
Albert T. RUNDLE, Superintendent State Correctional
Institution, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
May 21, 1962.

Page 924

Thomas A. Butler, Philadelphia, for appellant.

No appearance for appellee.

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

BOK, Justice.

Appellant was convicted of murder in the first degree and sentenced to life imprisonment. No appeal was taken. He now appeals from the dismissal without a hearing of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County. [407 Pa. 536] The case is submitted to us on appellant's brief without oral argument.

A hearing is not required when there is no issue of fact to be decided or when the facts averred by relator, even if believed, are insufficient to warrant granting the writ of habeas corpus. Commonwealth ex rel. Bishop v. Claudy, 373 Pa. 523, 97 A.2d 54 (1953). Habeas corpus is no substitute for an appeal or for a writ of error or for a motion for a new trial or for the correction of trial errors, but rather lies to correct void or illegal sentences or an illegal detention, or where the record shows a trial or sentence or plea so fundamentally unfair as to amount to a denial of due process or other constitutional rights, or where for other reasons the interests of justice imperatively required it. Commonwealth ex rel. Elliott v. Baldi, 373 Pa. 489, 96 A.2d 122 (1953).

Appellant first alleges a denial of due process in the prosecutor's introducing a revolver other than the one he said in his confession was the one he used, and from that he reasons that the suppression of the revolver mentioned in the confession demonstrates that a ballistics test would show his revolver to be not the murder weapon. In his confession appellant identified a '.32 calibre, S and W, CTGE., serial No. 376130', as the weapon he used. The revolver introduced as Commonwealth's exhibit C-51 was first described by a Commonwealth witness as a 'Harrington and Richardson revolver' but later it was described by another witness as a 'S. & R. Harrington and Richardson revolver'. Regardless of what it was called the revolver was identified at the trial as the one fished out of the culvert indicated by appellant and on direct examination at the trial appellant identified the revolver introduced at the trial and which had been...

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24 practice notes
  • Com. ex rel. Goodfellow v. Rundle
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 23, 1964
    ...petitioner, even if believed, are insufficient to require the granting of a writ of habeas corpus. Commonwealth ex rel. Butler v. Rundle, 407 Pa. 535, 536, 180 A.2d 923 (1962), or (2) the averments in the petition are clearly refuted by the trial record. Commonwealth ex rel. Norman v. Rundl......
  • Com. ex rel. Goodfellow v. Rundle
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 23, 1964
    ...petitioner, even if believed, are insufficient to require the granting of a writ of habeas corpus. Commonwealth ex rel. Butler v. Rundle, 407 Pa. 535, 536, 180 A.2d 923 (1962), or (2) the averments in the petition are clearly refuted by the trial record. Commonwealth ex rel. Norman v. Rundl......
  • Com. ex rel. Wilson v. Rundle
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • October 9, 1963
    ...130, 159 A.2d 770. See: Commonwealth ex rel. Dickerson v. Rundle, 411 Pa. 651, 192 A.2d 347; Commonwealth ex rel. Butler v. Rundle, 407 Pa. 535, 180 A.2d 923. In his petition, Wilson raises, in substance, four questions: (a) that a Commonwealth witness at Wilson's trial has repudiated his t......
  • Com. ex rel. Wilkes v. Maroney
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • September 27, 1966
    ...129, 131, 151 A.2d 480, 481, cert. denied, 361 U.S. 898, 80 S.Ct. 201, 4 L.Ed.2d 153 (1959); cf. Commonwealth ex rel. Butler v. Rundle, 407 Pa. 535, 538, 180 A.2d 923, 925, cert. denied, 371 U.S. 866, 83 S.Ct. 127, 9 L.Ed.2d 103 (1962). Moreover, appellant's failure to raise this point in t......
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24 cases
  • Com. ex rel. Goodfellow v. Rundle
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 23, 1964
    ...petitioner, even if believed, are insufficient to require the granting of a writ of habeas corpus. Commonwealth ex rel. Butler v. Rundle, 407 Pa. 535, 536, 180 A.2d 923 (1962), or (2) the averments in the petition are clearly refuted by the trial record. Commonwealth ex rel. Norman v. Rundl......
  • Com. ex rel. Goodfellow v. Rundle
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 23, 1964
    ...petitioner, even if believed, are insufficient to require the granting of a writ of habeas corpus. Commonwealth ex rel. Butler v. Rundle, 407 Pa. 535, 536, 180 A.2d 923 (1962), or (2) the averments in the petition are clearly refuted by the trial record. Commonwealth ex rel. Norman v. Rundl......
  • Com. ex rel. Wilson v. Rundle
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • October 9, 1963
    ...130, 159 A.2d 770. See: Commonwealth ex rel. Dickerson v. Rundle, 411 Pa. 651, 192 A.2d 347; Commonwealth ex rel. Butler v. Rundle, 407 Pa. 535, 180 A.2d 923. In his petition, Wilson raises, in substance, four questions: (a) that a Commonwealth witness at Wilson's trial has repudiated his t......
  • Com. ex rel. Wilkes v. Maroney
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • September 27, 1966
    ...129, 131, 151 A.2d 480, 481, cert. denied, 361 U.S. 898, 80 S.Ct. 201, 4 L.Ed.2d 153 (1959); cf. Commonwealth ex rel. Butler v. Rundle, 407 Pa. 535, 538, 180 A.2d 923, 925, cert. denied, 371 U.S. 866, 83 S.Ct. 127, 9 L.Ed.2d 103 (1962). Moreover, appellant's failure to raise this point in t......
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