Com. ex rel. Ryan v. Rundle

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtAuthor: Eagen
Citation411 Pa. 613,192 A.2d 362
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania ex rel. Joseph RYAN, Appellant, v. Albert T. RUNDLE, Superintendent, State Correctional Institution, Philadelphia, Penna.
Decision Date02 July 1963

192 A.2d 362

411 Pa. 613

COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania ex rel. Joseph RYAN, Appellant,
v.

Albert T. RUNDLE, Superintendent, State Correctional

Institution, Philadelphia, Penna.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

July 2, 1963.


[411 Pa. 614] Joseph Ryan, in pro. per. E-4443.

Martin H. Lock, Dist. Atty., John A. F. Hall, Asst. Dist. Atty., Harrisburg, for appellee. [192 A.2d 363]

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

EAGEN, Justice.

The appellant, Joseph Ryan, on March 26, 1954, was convicted by a jury of murder in the first degree and punishment was fixed at life imprisonment. No request for a new trial was made, nor was an appeal filed from the judgment of sentence. [*]

[411 Pa. 615] In February 1963, an action for habeas corpus was instituted, which the lower court dismissed without hearing. This appeal followed. This is the second such action instituted by the appellant. His previous request for a writ of habeas corpus, filed on April 6, 1959, was also denied by the lower court and its action affirmed by this Court on appeal: Commonwealth ex rel. Ryan v. Banmiller, 400 Pa. 326, 162 A.2d 354 (1960).

In his previous petition, it was urged that two members of the jury when polled did not assent to or agree with the verdict as announced and recorded in court. This is reasserted in the present action. The record of the proceedings belie appellant's factual allegations in this regard. The correct facts are recited and were carefully considered in Commonwealth ex rel. Ryan v. Banmiller, supra, and no further discussion of this issue is required here. It is devoid of merit.

In the instant action, seven additional reasons are cited in support of appellant's demand for release from confinement. In each instance, they allege error in the conduct of the trial. This Court has reiterated over and over again that habeas corpus is not a substitute for an appeal, or a writ of error, or for a motion for a new trial for the correction of trial errors: Commonwealth ex rel. Wilson v. Banmiller, 393 Pa. 530, 143 A.2d 657 (1958); Commonwealth ex rel. Watters v. Myers, 406 Pa. 117, 176 A.2d 448 (1962), and cases cited therein. However, habeas corpus is proper and such relief should be granted if the conviction or sentence of the defendant were secured in a proceeding lacking due process of law, or one wherein fundamental rights were denied, or constitutional guarantees impinged upon. See Commonwealth ex rel. Sleighter v. Banmiller, 392 Pa. 133, 139 A.2d 918 (1958); Commonwealth ex rel. Butler v. Rundle, 407 Pa. 535, 180 A.2d 923 (1962); Fay v. Noia, 372 U.S. 391, 83 S.Ct. 822, 9 L.Ed.2d 837 (1963); and, [411 Pa. 616] Townsend v. Sain, 372 U.S. 293, 83 s.Ct. 745, 9 L.Ed.2d 770 (1963). Our review of the record is made with these legal principles in mind and with particular consideration for the reasons asserted in the petition.

As stated by Mr. Justice Jones, speaking for this Court, in Wiley v. Woods, 393 Pa. 341, at 350, 351, 141 A.2d 844, at 849, 850 (1958): "Due process of law', while incapable of exact definition, generally means 'law in the regular course of administration through courts of justice, according to those rules and forms which have been established for the protection of human rights'. 12 Am.Jur. § 571, p. 264, and cases therein cited. Its essential elements are 'notice and opportunity to be heard and to defend in an orderly proceeding adapted to the nature of the case before a tribunal having jurisdiction of the cause'. 12 Am.Jur. § 573, pp. 267, 268.' Assessment of the presence of due process is to be...

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12 practice notes
  • Com. v. Lopinson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • September 26, 1967
    ...or not the juror had formed a fixed opinion in the case as to the accused's guilt or innocence. See Commonwealth ex rel. Ryan v. Rundle, 411 Pa. 613, 192 A.2d 362 (1963), cert. denied, 375 U.S. 948, 84 S.Ct. 358, 11 L.Ed.2d 277 Other questions in this category sought to examine the prospect......
  • Commonwealth v. Lopinson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • September 26, 1967
    ...or not the juror had formed a fixed opinion in the case as to the accused's guilt or innocence. See Commonwealth ex rel. Ryan v. Rundle, 411 Pa. 613, 192 A.2d 362 (1963), cert. denied, 375 U.S. 948, 84 S.Ct. 358, 11 L.Ed.2d 277 (1963). Other questions in this category sought to examine the ......
  • Com. ex rel. Wilkes v. Maroney
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • September 27, 1966
    ...petition which is clearly contradicted by the record does not entitle the petitioner to a hearing. Commonwealth ex rel. Ryan v. Rundle, 411 Pa. 613, 618, 192 A.2d 362, 364, cert. denied, 375 U.S. 948, 84 S.Ct. 358, 11 L.Ed.2d 277 (1963); see Commonwealth ex rel. Bolish v. Banmiller, 396 Pa.......
  • Gordon v. Gordon
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 18, 1981
    ...Due process does require notice and opportunity to be heard where property rights are at issue, Commonwealth ex rel. Ryan v. Rundel, 411 Pa. 613, 192 A.2d 362 (1963). The applicability of the constitutional guarantee of procedural due process depends on the presence of a legitimate "propert......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Com. v. Lopinson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • September 26, 1967
    ...or not the juror had formed a fixed opinion in the case as to the accused's guilt or innocence. See Commonwealth ex rel. Ryan v. Rundle, 411 Pa. 613, 192 A.2d 362 (1963), cert. denied, 375 U.S. 948, 84 S.Ct. 358, 11 L.Ed.2d 277 Other questions in this category sought to examine the prospect......
  • Commonwealth v. Lopinson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • September 26, 1967
    ...or not the juror had formed a fixed opinion in the case as to the accused's guilt or innocence. See Commonwealth ex rel. Ryan v. Rundle, 411 Pa. 613, 192 A.2d 362 (1963), cert. denied, 375 U.S. 948, 84 S.Ct. 358, 11 L.Ed.2d 277 (1963). Other questions in this category sought to examine the ......
  • Com. ex rel. Wilkes v. Maroney
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • September 27, 1966
    ...petition which is clearly contradicted by the record does not entitle the petitioner to a hearing. Commonwealth ex rel. Ryan v. Rundle, 411 Pa. 613, 618, 192 A.2d 362, 364, cert. denied, 375 U.S. 948, 84 S.Ct. 358, 11 L.Ed.2d 277 (1963); see Commonwealth ex rel. Bolish v. Banmiller, 396 Pa.......
  • Gordon v. Gordon
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 18, 1981
    ...Due process does require notice and opportunity to be heard where property rights are at issue, Commonwealth ex rel. Ryan v. Rundel, 411 Pa. 613, 192 A.2d 362 (1963). The applicability of the constitutional guarantee of procedural due process depends on the presence of a legitimate "propert......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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