Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County entered January 19, 1996, at No. 815 A 1981, denying Appellant's third petition for post-conviction relief pursuant to the Post-Conviction Relief Act, 42 Pa. C.S. § 9541 et seq. JUDGES BELOW: Hon. Shad Connelly.
Before: Flaherty, C.j., And Zappala, Cappy, Castille, Nigro And Newman, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nigro
In this capital case, Appellant Joseph Thomas Szuchon ("Appellant") has taken this appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County denying his third counseled petition for collateral relief under the Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"), 42 Pa. C.S. § 9541 to 9546.
We extensively set forth the facts of this case in Commonwealth v. Szuchon, 506 Pa. 228, 484 A.2d 1365 (1985). For purposes of this third PCRA appeal, the relevant facts are as follows. On October 23, 1981, following a jury trial in the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder, three counts of kidnapping, two counts of terroristic threats, and two counts of recklessly endangering another person. Each of the convictions arose from Appellant's involvement in the murder of Judy Lynn Snider on
April 14, 1981. Following the penalty phase of Appellant's trial, the jury sentenced him to death on the first-degree murder charge.
On direct appeal before this Court pursuant to 42 Pa. C.S. § 9711(h), we affirmed the convictions and death sentence in Commonwealth v. Szuchon, 506 Pa. 228, 484 A.2d 1365 (1985), and denied reargument on January 16, 1985. *fn1
Subsequently, Petitioner filed his first petition for post-conviction relief. On February 27, 1987, the trial court denied the PCRA petition without a hearing. The Superior Court affirmed in Commonwealth v. Szuchon, 377 Pa. Super. 657, 541 A.2d 1155 (1988). On February 21, 1989, this Court denied further appellate review. See Commonwealth v. Szuchon, allocatur denied, 521 Pa. 620, 557 A.2d 723 (1989).
On March 6, 1992, Appellant filed a second petition for post conviction relief which was denied by the trial court. This Court affirmed in Commonwealth v. Szuchon, 534 Pa. 483, 633 A.2d 1098 (1993).
On January 8, 1996, the trial court denied Appellant's third petition for PCRA relief. Appellant took a direct appeal to this Court. *fn2 For the following reasons, we affirm.
In his third PCRA petition, Appellant has raised four issues for review. However, none of Appellant's claims warrant PCRA relief.
Section 9543 governs eligibility under the Post-Conviction Relief Act, including preclusion of claims that have been previously litigated. *fn3 Section 9544(a) of the ...