Commonwealth v. Bishop

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed an order denying the defendant’s PCRA petition wherein he made numerous allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel. And in doing so, the Court gave a poignant reminder of the importance of quality legal research and writing. A jury found the defendant guilty of shooting someone. The defendant filed a PCRA petition alleging numerous allegations of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Most notably, the defendant argued on appeal that trial counsel should have moved to suppress a photographic identification procedure because it was not “double blind” and because the police file contained a single picture of the defendant printed minutes after the identification procedure. The defendant claimed that the existence of the single photo in the police file proved that the detective showed the witness that single photo specifically to influence his selection. The Superior Court found those arguments waived because, in his PCRA petition, the defendant simply argued that the photo array did not contain a relevant array of suspects. The Court denied five other allegations of ineffective assistance, ruling those claims were “vague” and waived.

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