Re: Commonwealth v. Pittman
Lehigh County Docket No. 1998/304
Dear Governor Corbett:
My name is Gabriel Pittman. I am an American Citizen who is being unlawfully imprisoned against my free will under a null, void and non-existent judgment of conviction and sentence. This conscience-shocking, miscarriage-of-justice has been ongoing for the past sixteen years. It has been over a year since I discovered this travesty and due my legal incompetence it has taken me that long to determine that I am in fact figuratively being held hostage by the PADOC.
As the Chief Executive Office of this Commonwealth, you are the only person who has the authority to order my immediate release from this unlawful imprisonment. Therefore, I am writing you personally to put you on notice of this fact and to respectfully demand my immediate release. As you are legally trained, it should take no more than a few minutes for you to review the enclosed papers and determine that my immediate release is warranted. You have the authority to order the PA National Guard, PA State Police or Superintendent Jerome Walsh to escort me — alive and well — through the front gate of SCI-Dallas with a one-way bus, plane or train ticket (at the expense of the state) to my home in Red Springs, N.C. A copy of this correspondence has been forwarded to my family and my family’s lawyer.
Here are the relevant facts for your prompt investigation into this matter:
1. Just as I was sixteen years ago, and will be until the day I die, I am filled with the utmost remorse to know that I killed another Black Man specifically, and another human-being generally, contributing to the sordid plight of Black-on¬-Black violence that infects my people and the insane violence rampant in our great Nation. Regrettably, it was also alleged that I put a police officer in extreme danger by blindly firing a shot “somewhere in his direction” as I fled the scene on foot not knowing that he was pursuing me. On December 7, 1997, I was arrested in Allentown, PA and charged by Criminal Complaint No. CR-1207-97, OTN F180365-3 with Criminal Homicide, Criminal Attempted Homicide, Aggravated Assault and Reckless Endangerment. (See Exhibit 1, front and back). On or about February 9, 1998 I was formally arraigned under Criminal Information No. 1998/304 by Lehigh County District Attorney James B. Martin and Judge Lawrence Brenner on the charges of Criminal Homicide for the “intentional, knowing, reckless, or negligent” (which can only lac-Jelly and fairly be read to charge first murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter as the “essential element” (Pa.R.Crim.P. 560(8)(5)) of malice aforethought for third degree murder is not specifically charged as a matter of law) killing of Rodney Robinson and Criminal Attempted Homicide of police officer Ronald Maurey, two counts of Aggravated Assault of Maurey, Simple Assault of Maurey and Reckless Endangerment of Maurey. (See Exhibit 2, front and back). Per Pa.R.Crim.P. 560(D), these were the only issues, as defined by Criminal Information No. 1995/304, which could be legally raised in any criminal proceeding, i.e., for which the trial court’s subject-matter jurisdiction was legally invoked, See Commonwealth V. Little, 455 Pa. 163, 168-69, 314 A.2d 270, 272-73(holding in order to invoke court’s subject-matter jurisdiction “it is necessary that the Commonwealth confronts the defendant with a formal and specific accusation of the crimes charged…”). This can only be accomplished by formal arraignment upon valid criminal information in which all the charges contained in the original information constitute the invocation of the court’s subject-matter jurisdiction upon said charges. See also Commonwealth v. Jones, 593 Pa. 295, 307, 929 A.2d 205, 212(The PA supreme court expounding on Little and explaining that because defendant Jones could not claim that the (original] information “failed to provide a formal and specific accusation of the [challenged charge]” he could not support a claim that the trial court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction or that the court’s jurisdiction over the entire criminal matter was divested — as the lower superior court determined was the case — because of the inclusion of the challenged charge in the original information after it had been dismissed during preliminary hearing.).
2. In violation of my Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment Right Article I, Section 9 of the PA constitution and Pa.R.Crim.P. 554, forbidding amendments of an information to charge “additional and different” offenses, as such amendments necessarily violate the Rights to “Notice” and the scope of the issues pursuant to a trial/plea upon the original information as mandated by Pa.R.Crim.P. 560(D), District Attorney Martin arbitrarily and illegally amended Criminal Information 1998/304 to charge the “additional and different” offenses of Third Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault, Firearms Not To Be Carried Without A License and Reckless Endangerment of “Persons In A Crowd” as part of a plea-bargain. (See Exhibit 3, front and back). As stated in 5 1. above, I was never formally and specifically charged with Third Degree Malice Murder, nor any weapons charges. Furthermore, I was “specifically and formally” charged with Reckless Endangerment of Maurey — not “Persons in A Crowd.” By amending Criminal Information 1998/304 in this manner, District Attorney Martin created a fatal error in the likes of Ex Parte Bain, 121 U.S. 1, 10, 7 S.Ct. 781 (1857); Stirone v. United States, 361 U.S. 212, 80 S.Ct. 270 (1960); and Commonwealth v. DeSumma,522 Pa.36, 40, 559 A.2d 521, 523, which all mandated reversal and/or discharge.
3. That my court-appointed trial attorney was ineffective in failing to detect and object to this illegal amendment and instead advised me to accept the plea offer is of no moment. Once illegally Amended Criminal Information No. 1993/304 (See Exh. 3) was filed in Judge Brenner’s court at the commencement of the guilty plea proceedings, the court was effectively divested of subject-matter jurisdiction over the entire criminal latter as the information was materially broadened and thus, was no longer the case for which the Commonwealth bound me over for trial. Little, 455 at 168-69(The right to formal notice of charges…is so basics to the fairness of subsequent proceedings that it cannot be waived even if the defendant voluntarily submits to the jurisdiction of the court,”); Jones, supra, i.e., pleads guilty. See also Pa.R.Crim.77-70(D).
4. Clearly, on the face of the record, the court was divested of subject-matter jurisdiction as “notice” as required by Little was fatally deficient. It is the law of Pennsylvania that a judgment may be attacked for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction at any time, as any such judgment or decree rendered by a court that lacks subject-matter jurisdiction is null and void. See Bell v. Kater, 2008 PA Super 18, 943 A.2d 293, 293 (Pa. Super. 2008). Hence, the judgments of conviction and sentence in my case are null and void. That never happened.
Given the foregoing legal facts, Mr. Governor, you have the authority to relieve me of this injurious plight I have been, and still am, suffering at the hands of Lehigh County and the PADOC in the name of your Commonwealth. It is scientifically impossible for the courts or state pardons board to relieve me from something that in the eyes of the Law doesn’t exist. Even though I continue to protest this unlawful imprisonment in both the state and federal courts, as Chief Executive Officer you can instantly grant me the necessary relief by ordering my immediate release today. Anything less would be uncivilized in the eyes of the Law. Anything less will be a breach of your duty to uphold this Commonwealth’s constitutional demands. I do not seek justice. I seek for the Law to be applied to me equally as an American Citizen, as anything less would offend the importance which organized society places upon the observance of procedural and substantive due process.
In closing, I have prepared and filed formal grievance within the institution at SCI-Dallas. I’m respectfully requesting that you forward an Official Memorandum to me, Secretary Wetzel, Superintendent Jerome Walsh and the security department at SCI-Dallas instructing them that I am not to be harassed, threatened, transferred or searched (my cell or my person) as long as I’m unlawfully confined. See Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 224, 96 S.Ct. 2532, 2538, 49 L.Ed.2d 451 (1976)(“The Due Process Clause by its own force forbids the state from convicting any person of [a] crime and depriving him of liberty without complying fully with the requirements of the Clause. But given a valid conviction, the criminal defendant has been constitutionally deprived of his liberty to the extent that the state may confine him and subject him to the rules of its prison system so long as the conditions of confinement do not otherwise violate the Constitution.) As explained by the United States Supreme Court, the PADOC has no authority, jurisdiction or power to force me to abide by any of its rules because it has no authority, jurisdiction or power to imprison me pursuant to a purely illegal null and void judgment of conviction and sentence which complied with no requirements of the federal or state Due Process Clauses. The “condition of my confinement” itself — being imprisoned under a null and void judgment — violates the Constitution. Since my illegal imprisonment, I have not been a Security Risk or a “problematic prisoner”. The only Security Risk has been towards me being unlawfully imprisoned. As my record speaks for itself, you will continue to have no problems from me and I will abide by rules to the extent that the orderly running of the institution is not interfered with. As my record speaks for itself, there should be no sudden provocations from staff or prisoners towards me. Any attempt to transfer me or place me in the Restrictive Housing Unit, as a Free American Citizen, will only be a further deprivation of my Liberty Interest under the Fourteenth Amendment and an invasion on my First Amendment Rights, in their most pristine and classic form, to speak on public issues free of unreasonable government interference, thereby creating the accrual of further injury that is compensable in and of itself, wholly apart from the compensable emotional distress, humiliation and personal indignity, emotional and physical pain, embarrassment, fear, anxiety and anguish I’ve already suffered for the east sixteen years. Now that your office is on notice you will be directly liable. This is my legal and Lawful protest for redress of grievance against this unlawful imprisonment. If you cannot guarantee my safety from this point forward then the only rational and prudent action you can take is to issue an executive order, today, ordering my immediate release and full pardon.
Mr. Pittman seeks your help as an American Citizen to voice your outrage of a fellow American being held illegally in prison. You can help by contacting:
Governor Tom Corbett
Office Main Capitol Building, Room 225
Harrisburg, PA 17120
James B. Martin District Attorney
455 W. Hamilton St.
Allentown, PA 18101
(610) 782-3100 www.lccpa.org
Jerome Walsh, Superintendent
1000 Follies Road Dallas, PA 18612
Phone: (570) 675-1101 www.cor.state.pa.us
John E. Wetzel, Secretary of Corrections
Department of Corrections
2520 Lisburn Road, P.O. Box 598
Camp Hill, PA 17001-0598 www.cor.state.pa.us
Here’s an appropriate inquiry for calls or e-mails or letters: “I am an AMERICAN CITIZEN contacting you on behalf of a fellow-AMERICAN CITIZEN named GABRIEL PITTMAN who the COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLANIA has caused to be unlawfully imprisoned without DUE PROCESS OF LAW and without ever being, convicted or sentence for crimes he was not legally charged. I am contacting you to request that he be released today and that no RETALIATION-, HARASSMENT or PUNISHMENT comes to him in ANY form for exercising his CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT as an AMERICAN CITIZEN to legally protest his UNLAWFUL IMPRISONMENT. As Gabriel is not a prisoner, I DEMAND his IMMEDIATE RELEASE.”