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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ULYSSES R. HARRIS (02/04/88)

filed: February 4, 1988.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ULYSSES R. HARRIS, APPELLANT



Appeal from the PCHA February 9, 1987, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal, No. 122-126 June Term, 1975.

COUNSEL

Joseph K. Cottrell, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Donna G. Zucker, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Com., appellee.

Olszewski, Watkins and Cercone, JJ.

Author: Olszewski

[ 370 Pa. Super. Page 577]

This is an appeal from an order denying a petition for relief under the Post Conviction Hearing Act. Court-appointed counsel for appellant filed an Anders brief claiming that the issues appellant raises are frivolous and requesting permission to withdraw from the case. We determine that counsel has complied with Anders and grant counsel's request to withdraw. In addition, we find that the issues raised on appeal are without merit and, therefore, affirm the order of the trial court.

In October 1975, appellant was found guilty by jury of second-degree murder, conspiracy, robbery, and weapons offenses. Appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder with concurrent terms of incarceration on the other convictions. While represented by trial counsel, appellant filed a direct appeal to the Supreme Court. On July 14, 1978, that Court affirmed the judgment of sentence. Commonwealth v. Harris, 479 Pa. 343, 388 A.2d 688 (1978).

Appellant filed a pro se writ of habeas corpus in federal district court which was dismissed on January 18, 1980.

[ 370 Pa. Super. Page 578367]

Pa. Superior Ct. at 385, 532 A.2d at 1199. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Lowenberg, 493 Pa. 232, 425 A.2d 1100 (1981).

In place of the Anders requirements, President Judge Cirillo declared the following procedure:

Today we announce a method for counsel to certify that in his or her professional opinion there are no valid grounds for a PCHA appeal, without the need to raise issues which he does not support, but which could arguably be raised on appeal. The following procedure will be pursued henceforth by appointed attorneys who are asked to file what they honestly believe to be a frivolous PCHA appeal. First, counsel must conduct a thorough and comprehensive review of the record and relevant legal authority. Second, if the attorney in good faith and in his honest professional opinion believes after such a review that an appeal would be frivolous, he shall so advise the trial court and petition the trial court for leave to withdraw. Third, concurrent with his petition to withdraw, counsel shall inform his client of his petition to withdraw and the reasons therefor. Fourth, counsel shall advise his client of his right to another attorney and his right to raise issues on a pro se ...


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