Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Flowers v. Rozum

July 3, 2008

JOSEPH A. FLOWERS, ED-2995, PETITIONER,
v.
GERALD L. ROZUM ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mitchell, M.J.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Joseph A. Flowers, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Somerset has presented a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. For the reasons set forth below, the petition will be dismissed, and because reasonable jurists could not conclude that there is a reasonable basis for appeal, a certificate of appealability will be denied. An appropriate Order and Judgment will be entered.

Joseph A. Flowers, is presently serving a life sentence imposed following his conviction, by a jury, of first degree murder, aggravated assault and violation of the uniform firearms act at Nos. CC 991077 and 9901904 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. This sentence was imposed on January 26, 2000.*fn1

An appeal was taken to the Superior Court in which the issues presented were:

I. Whether the evidence adduced at trial was sufficient to show that appellant knew of a means of retreat and could have retreated with complete safety.

II. Whether the evidence adduced at trial was sufficient to support appellant's conviction for murder in the first degree when the record showed that his belief in the necessity of employing deadly force was, at most, unreasonable or mistaken?*fn2

On April 23, 2003, the judgment of sentence was affirmed.*fn3 The same issues were raised in the petition for leave to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and leave was denied on October 28, 2003.*fn4

A petition for post-conviction relief was filed in the Court of Common Pleas on October 12, 2004 and that petition was dismissed on September 20, 2006.*fn5

An appeal was taken to the Superior Court in which the issues presented were:

I. Whether the Court of Common Pleas erred and/or abused its discretion in denying defendant's PCRA petition without a hearing on one or more claims raised therein?

II. Whether trial and direct appeal counsel was ineffective in violation of Article I, Section 9 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States constitution for not requesting that the Court of Common Pleas charge the jury on a crucial section of the suggested standard criminal jury instructions defining self-defense, for not objecting to the omission of this instruction, and for not preserving and raising this issue on direct appeal?

III. Whether trial and direct appeal counsel was ineffective in violation of Article I, Section 9 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution for failing to request the juvenile records of key prosecution witness, Michael Bray, for the purpose of establishing possible bias or motive for his testimony, and for failing to impeach his credibility through cross-examination on his juvenile probationary status that could have biased him in favor of the Commonwealth in anticipation of actual or hoped for preferential treatment; and said counsel was ineffective for not raising this issue on appeal.*fn6

On August 28, 2007, the denial of post-conviction relief was affirmed.*fn7 A petition for leave to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was filed raising these same issues.*fn8 Leave to appeal was denied on March 6, 2008.*fn9

The instant petition was executed on April 3, 2008. In it, Flowers contends he is entitled to relief on the following grounds:

1. Whether the evidence adduced at trial was sufficient to show that petitioner knew of a means to retreat and could have retreated with complete safety.

2. Whether the evidence adduced at trial was sufficient to support petitioner's conviction for murder in the first-degree when the record showed that his belief in the necessity of employing deadly force was, at most, unreasonable or mistaken.

3. Whether trial counsel was ineffective for not requesting that the court charge the jury on a crucial section of the suggested standard criminal jury instructions defining self-defense, for not objecting to the omission of this instruction, and for not preserving and raising this issue on direct appeal.

4. Whether trial counsel was ineffective for failing to request the juvenile records of key prosecution witness, Michael Bray, for the purpose of establishing possible bias or motive for his testimony, and for failing to impeach his credibility through cross-examination on his juvenile probationary status that could have biased him in favor of the Commonwealth in anticipation of actual or hoped for preferential treatment; and counsel also was ineffective for not raising this issue on appeal.

a. Trial counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate and to cross-examine Michael Bray for bias based upon his juvenile probationary status; and ... was ineffective for failing ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.