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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Commonwealth v. Kennedy

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the denial of the defendant's fourth PCRA petition because it was untimely. In 2011, the defendant filed his first PCRA petition, which the lower court dismissed. In the appeal of the dismissal of the first petition, the Superior Court ruled that all issues were waived…

Commonwealth v. Kennedy
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the denial of the defendant’s fourth PCRA petition because it was untimely. In 2011, the defendant filed his first PCRA petition, which the lower court dismissed. In the appeal of the dismissal of the first petition, the Superior Court ruled that all issues were waived because counsel did not file… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Kennedy

The defendant appealed the dismissal of his PCRA petition. He argued trial counsel was ineffective for failing to properly file motions for reconsideration of the VOP sentences. In an unpublished decision, the Pennsylvania Superior Court agreed with the defendant, vacated the order, and remanded. See Commonwealth v. Greshan, 2020 WL 4391505 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2020).

The defendant appealed the dismissal of his PCRA petition. He argued the court abused its discretion when the court denied his request for a continuance so he could be physically present for a PCRA evidentiary hearing.

Commonwealth v. Mullen
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief in a case that involved a warrantless search of a third-party residence during the execution of an arrest warrant. The defendant absconded from parole. His parole agent received a tip regarding the defendant’s whereabouts, so the agent obtained an arrest warrant and went to the residence… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Mullen

Commonwealth v. Wharton
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In this capital case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of the defendant’s fourth PCRA petition. The defendant raised three issues on appeal. First, the Court held that, because the PCRA court determined that the claims in the defendant’s petition did not necessitate an evidentiary hearing, he was not entitled to the appointment of… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Wharton

Commonwealth v. Bishop
Pennsylvania Superior Court

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… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Bishop

Commonwealth v. Bradley
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In a landmark decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held “that a PCRA petitioner may, after a PCRA court denies relief, and after obtaining new counsel or acting pro se, raise claims of PCRA counsel’s ineffectiveness at the first opportunity to do so, even if on appeal”. The Court found that the current Pa.R.Crim.P. 907 procedure… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Bradley

Commonwealth v. Reid
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

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… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Reid

Commonwealth v. Davis
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In a collateral attack proceeding, the Commonwealth agreed with the defendant that he should be resentenced based on Alleyne. At the hearing, the lower court stated that the defendant’s “original sentence is hereby vacated” and then imposed a new sentence. On appeal, the defendant claimed that counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Davis

Commonwealth v. Campbell
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The defendant was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and related offenses for his role in a 2013 building collapse that killed and injured multiple people at a Salvation Army thrift store in Philadelphia. He filed a PCRA petition alleging trial counsel was ineffective based on counsel’s alleged conflicts of interest and failure to object during the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Campbell