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Commonwealth v. King

Pennsylvania Superior Court

August 13, 2021

This case came to the Pennsylvania Superior Court on appeal from the denial of post-conviction relief. On the advice of his attorney, the defendant waived his right to a jury trial and chose a bench trial. He did so because his attorney advised that a Schuylkill County jury may be prejudiced against a Black man. The defendant was found guilty after his bench trial. In his Post Conviction Relief Act petition, he claimed that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his lawyer should not have advised proceeding by a bench trial. The Superior Court affirmed the lower court’s denial of relief. The defendant was colloquied on his right to a jury trial and made a knowing and voluntary choice. The Court also rejected the defendant’s claim that his lawyer was ineffective for failing to raise on appeal the lower court’s denial of his motion to suppress. Here, the Superior Court held that the search was a valid inventory search, and raising the issue on appeal would have been frivolous.

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