For the prosecutor, Walter D. Van Riper, Attorney-General of New Jersey (by Eugene T. Urbaniak, Deputy Attorney-General).
For the respondent Joseph Griffin, John A. Musick.
Before Justices Donges, Colie and Eastwood.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
EASTWOOD, J. Certiorari has been brought by the State of New Jersey, through the Attorney-General as prosecutor, to review an order of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Mercer, dated April 14th, 1947, directing the release of the respondent Joseph Griffin at that time a prisoner under sentence in the New Jersey State Prison at Trenton.
Fifteen reasons for reversal of the order of April 14th, 1947, have been assigned by the prosecutor of the writ. Of these, we deem the following to be dispositive of the issue. They are:
"1. Because the said Court of Common Pleas erred in refusing to admit into evidence the records of the Court of
Pardons of the State of New Jersey pertaining to the application of Joseph Griffin for the license to be at liberty, subsequently issued by the Court of Pardons and dated June 25th, 1946."
"4. Because the said Court of Common Pleas erred in concluding that prison numbers assigned Joseph Griffin on his several offenses had no significance or consequence except as a means of identifying the prisoner and his respective offenses."
"6. Because the said Court of Common Pleas erred in concluding that the license to be at liberty, dated June 25th, 1946, was intended to apply to any and all previous offenses committed by the said Joseph Griffin, and specifically his prior convictions in the County of Essex in 1934."
Chronologically, it appears that Joseph Griffin was committed to the New Jersey State Prison on February 16th, 1934, by an order of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Essex County dated February 14th, 1934, Griffin having been duly convicted of the crime of robbery and a sentence imposed upon him of not less than six nor more than ten years. On the same day, February 14th, 1934, Griffin was also convicted in the same Court of Quarter Sessions of the crime of atrocious assault and battery and assault with intent to kill, for which a sentence was imposed upon him having a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years. The aggregate minimum on both sentences was eight years and the aggregate maximum thirteen years. Upon these two commitments, Joseph Griffin was assigned the number 16633 on the State Prison records. On July 19th, 1939, Joseph Griffin, No. 16633 was granted a license to be at liberty on these two convictions. Griffin was thereupon released, but was shortly thereafter convicted in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Bergen County on March 20th, 1940, for the crime of ...