Commonwealth v. Volk, 2016 PA Super 95

Posted in Constitutional Challenges,PA Superior Court Cases,PCRA on April 29, 2016

Volk was convicted and sentenced to 2-4 years’ imprisonment plus 3 years’ probation. After his direct appeal was denied, he filed a timely pro se PCRA petition. Counsel amended the petition shortly thereafter. A hearing was held, and briefs were subsequently filed. During the pendency of the PCRA, his probation was revoked and he was… read more

Commonwealth v. Flor, 708 CAP

Posted in Attorney-Client Privilege,Collateral Order Appeals,Death Penalty,Ineffective Assistance of Counsel,PA Supreme Court Cases,PCRA on April 25, 2016

Flor appealed the PCRA court’s order granting the Commonwealth’s motion for production of the complete records of trial counsel (which was composed of 30,000 pages). Flor disarmed a police officer while in hospital custody; he shot an EMT and three police officers, killing one. After pleading guilty, a jury sentenced him to death. Flor’s PCRA… read more

Commonwealth v. Muzzy, 2016 PA Super 77

Posted in PCRA on March 31, 2016

The Superior Court denied counsel’s request to withdraw in an appeal of the denial of PCRA relief. Under Turner and Finley, the appellant must be advised that upon filing of a no-merit brief, the appellant has the immediate right to proceed in the appeal pro se or with private counsel; it is not dependent on… read more

Commonwealth v. Descardes, No. 27 MAP 2015

Posted in PCRA on March 29, 2016

If it looks and smells like a PCRA, it is a PCRA. This was a discretionary Commonwealth appeal of an en banc Superior Court opinion denying relief. Descardes pled guilty to insurance fraud. After serving his sentence, he returned home to Haiti in 2009; when he attempted to reenter the US, he was stopped as… read more

Commonwealth v. Brown, 2016 PA Super 73

Posted in Newly Discovered Evidence,PCRA on March 24, 2016

This was an appeal of a PCRA order from Beaver County denying the appellant’s third PCRA petition. Appellant had been convicted of third-degree murder for the killing of a police officer in 2001. The first claim advanced was that the Office of the Attorney General should have been disqualified because it was being accused of… read more

Commonwealth v. Kelley, 2016 PA Super 64

Posted in Ineffective Assistance of Counsel,PCRA,Statutory Interpretation on March 15, 2016

This was an appeal from the denial of PCRA relief. The appellant, who was on state parole, gave his son counterfeit currency. It was of such poor quality that it didn’t fool the carnival workers who were supposed to unknowingly make change from it. The appellant pled guilty to various charges in exchange for a… read more