Commonwealth v. Maxwell

#PCRA

04/30/2020- Maxwell appealed from the order that dismissed as untimely his fourth petition filed pursuant to the Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA). The petition alleged that Maxwell was entitled to collateral relief because the prosecutor in 1984 violated Appellant’s right to a fair and impartial jury when he intentionally excluded black jurors from the venire. Maxwell based his claim on the fact that in 2016 during a prison visit, his brother told him about hearing the prosecutor tell a police officer at the 1984 trial that the prosecutor did not think there would be any black jurors. To overcome the time bar of the PCRA, Maxwell couched his brother’s statement as newly-discovered evidence.


The Superior Court affirmed and ruled since Maxwell had raised Batson claims in several other PCRA petitions, the brother’s statement, even if credited by a factfinder, was “merely a new source of information that confirmed facts and claims of which [Maxwell] was already aware and which he previously raised.” 

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