Commonwealth v. Montalvo

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the PCRA court’s order, granting a capital defendant a new guilty-phase hearing (trial) in Commonwealth v. Montalvo. The Supreme Court held that the trial judge twice incorrectly stated the governing law in her closing instructions to the jury. Both times, the trial judge appeared to misspeak, stating that, “if the … Read more

Commonwealth v. Knight

In Commonwealth v. Knight, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reviewed the defendant’s death sentence. The Court ruled that most of the defendant’s claims were waived. In addressing his claim that PA’s death penalty statute is unconstitutional, the Court chided the defendant for incorporating by reference in his brief a different brief authored by another attorney. The … Read more

United States v. Savage

In United States v. Savage, the 3rd Circuit reviewed the multiple sentences of death imposed at the conclusion of one of the most high-profile prosecutions in Philadelphia in the 21st Century. The Court ruled on numerous issues over its 200-plus page opinion. Of particular note, the Court ruled that the defendant was not entitled to … Read more