Com. v. Jefferson

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtBefore BELL; EAGEN; COHEN
Citation281 A.2d 852,445 Pa. 1
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellee, v. Irving JEFFERSON, Appellant.
Decision Date12 October 1971

Page 852

281 A.2d 852
445 Pa. 1
COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellee,
v.
Irving JEFFERSON, Appellant.
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Oct. 12, 1971.

[445 Pa. 2]

Page 853

Austin J. McGreal, John J. McCreesh, III, Phildelphia, for appellant.

Arlen Specter, Dist. Atty., James D. Crawford, Deputy Dist. Atty., [445 Pa. 3] Edward G. Rendell, Asst. Dist. Atty., Milton M. Stein, Asst. Dist. Atty., Chief, Appeals Div., Richard A. Sprague, First Asst. Dist. Atty., Philadelphia, for appellee.

[445 Pa. 2] Before BELL, C.J., and JONES, COHEN, EAGEN, O'BRIEN, ROBERTS and POMEROY, JJ.

[445 Pa. 3] OPINION

EAGEN, Justice.

Irving Jefferson was convicted by the same jury of murder in the first degree, aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed deadly weapon. Motions in arrest of the judgments or for a new trial were denied. On the murder conviction, Jefferson was sentenced to life imprisonment as the jury directed, and on the robbery conviction he was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 5 to 20 years. Sentence was not imposed on the conviction for carrying a concealed deadly weapon. From the judgment of sentence on the murder conviction, an appeal (No. 530) was filed in this Court. An appeal from the judgment of sentence on the robbery conviction, and an appeal from the denial of a new trial on the conviction for carrying a concealed deadly weapon were filed in the Superior Court. The last two mentioned appeals were subsequently certified

Page 854

here, designated Nos. 570 and 571. All three appeals will be disposed of in this one opinion.

The prosecution arose from the stabbing and death of William James Calhoun in Philadelphia. Jefferson admitted to the police that he committed the stabbing. The first question presented on appeal is whether constitutional due process was violated at trial by permitting evidentiary use of Jefferson's incriminating statements. 1 The pertinent facts may be summarized as follows.

[445 Pa. 4] The victim, Calhoun, was stabbed about one p.m., on September 27, 1968, as he entered his automobile which was parked on a public street. The police arrived on the scene shortly after the occurrence and were supplied by an eyewitness with a general description of the felon, and a minute description of the clothing he was wearing. About one-half hour later, Jefferson, fitting the description given, was taken into police custody about three blocks away and a search of his person disclosed a 'honing' knife with a six-inch blade concealed in a waist band. He was taken to a district police station and later to a division detective headquarters where he was 'booked' on a charge of aggravated robbery. He gave the police a false name and upon being warned of his constitutional rights, in accordance with the requirements of Miranda v. Arizona, 2 immediately replied, 'Yeah. How many years am I going to get? I ain't got nothing else to say until I see my lawyer.' The questioning then ceased, and Jefferson was transferred to a detention center. Subsequently, he was arraigned before a committing magistrate on the robbery charge. At this hearing, he was represented by a member of the Public Defender's Office who happened to be present in the court room at the time.

After the stabbing, the victim, Calhoun, was taken to a hospital and underwent major surgery. The operation was successful and recover was anticipated. However, unexpected complications developed and he died on October 4th.

A warrant charging Jefferson with murder was served on October 7th and he was immediately taken to the police administration building. He was again fully advised of his 'Miranda rights' and when asked if he understood what he had been told, replied, 'Yes, [445 Pa. 5] I know what you're talking about' * * *. 'Yes, I know all that stuff' * * *. 'I understand you are looking for a guy with bushy hair and wearing a long black coat.' Whereupon, a photograph was produced and shown to Jefferson of himself which was taken on September 27th and a police officer asked, 'Isn't this you?' Jefferson immediately said, 'Oh s_ _. I f_ _ up. I might as well tell you what happened.' He then proceeded to explain that the stabbing occurred during a...

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26 practice notes
  • Com. v. Quarles
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 21, 1974
    ...probable cause was an open question, because it had not been considered by the Court of Appeals. 10 See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Jefferson, 445 Pa. 1, 281 A.2d 852 (1971) (defendant fingerprinted in courtroom as part of 11 See Watts, Some Observations on Police-Administered Tests for Intoxica......
  • Com. v. Hayes
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • April 17, 1996
    ...under the privilege against self-incrimination in Commonwealth v. Gordon, 431 Pa. 512, 246 A.2d 325 (1968). In Commonwealth v. Jefferson, 445 Pa. 1, 281 A.2d 852 (1971), this Court stated that fingerprints are non-testimonial evidence which is not protected by the constitutional privilege a......
  • Solem v. Stumes, No. 81-2149
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 29, 1984
    ...v. Stone, 397 A.2d 989, 994-995 (Me.1979); State v. Greene, 91 N.M. 207, 212-213, 572 P.2d 935, 940-941 (1977); Commonwealth v. Jefferson, 445 Pa. 1, 5-6, 281 A.2d 852, 866 (1971); Sweiberg v. State, 511 S.W.2d 50 (Tex.Cr.App.1974) (and cases cited); Nash v. State, 477 S.W.2d 557, 560-563 (......
  • Com. v. Cost
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • March 29, 1976
    ...of those rights, conspicuously absent in this case. Commonwealth v. Grandison, 449 Pa. 231, 296 A.2d 730 (1972); Commonwealth v. Jefferson, 445 Pa. 1, 281 A.2d 852 (1971); Commonwealth v. Franklin, 438 Pa. 411, 265 A.2d 361 (1970).' (Emphasis added.) 453 Pa. at 233--234, 307 A.2d at The Com......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
26 cases
  • Com. v. Quarles
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 21, 1974
    ...probable cause was an open question, because it had not been considered by the Court of Appeals. 10 See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Jefferson, 445 Pa. 1, 281 A.2d 852 (1971) (defendant fingerprinted in courtroom as part of 11 See Watts, Some Observations on Police-Administered Tests for Intoxica......
  • Com. v. Hayes
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • April 17, 1996
    ...under the privilege against self-incrimination in Commonwealth v. Gordon, 431 Pa. 512, 246 A.2d 325 (1968). In Commonwealth v. Jefferson, 445 Pa. 1, 281 A.2d 852 (1971), this Court stated that fingerprints are non-testimonial evidence which is not protected by the constitutional privilege a......
  • Solem v. Stumes, No. 81-2149
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 29, 1984
    ...v. Stone, 397 A.2d 989, 994-995 (Me.1979); State v. Greene, 91 N.M. 207, 212-213, 572 P.2d 935, 940-941 (1977); Commonwealth v. Jefferson, 445 Pa. 1, 5-6, 281 A.2d 852, 866 (1971); Sweiberg v. State, 511 S.W.2d 50 (Tex.Cr.App.1974) (and cases cited); Nash v. State, 477 S.W.2d 557, 560-563 (......
  • Com. v. Cost
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • March 29, 1976
    ...of those rights, conspicuously absent in this case. Commonwealth v. Grandison, 449 Pa. 231, 296 A.2d 730 (1972); Commonwealth v. Jefferson, 445 Pa. 1, 281 A.2d 852 (1971); Commonwealth v. Franklin, 438 Pa. 411, 265 A.2d 361 (1970).' (Emphasis added.) 453 Pa. at 233--234, 307 A.2d at The Com......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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