Commonwealth v. Reid

To avoid the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s “frustration” with Appellant’s brief, counsel should have hired the ghostwriting pros at Sullivan | Simon. This was a direct appeal from an order dismissing a PCRA petition. Appellant, who is sentenced to death for the murders of his girlfriend and her child, presented the Court with a host of issues and sub-issues, most involving claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The Court reversed and remanded based on one issue. Before the trial, counsel litigated Appellant’s competency, and the trial court determined that Appellant was competent. In his PCRA petition, Appellant launched a multifaceted challenge to his competency to stand trial and represent himself. Upon review of the PCRA court’s orders and opinions, the Supreme Court could not locate any discussion of why the trial court denied relief on the issue. Given the fact-intensive nature of the claim, the Court declined to address it. Therefore, the Court remanded to allow the PCRA court to author a supplemental opinion to provide its reasons for rejecting the claim.

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