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Jones v. Shannon

December 2, 2008

JONATHAN PAUL JONES, FT-2789, PETITIONER,
v.
R. SHANNON, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Jonathan Paul Jones, and inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Frackville has presented a petition for a writ of habeas corpus which he has been granted leave to prosecute in forma pauperis. For the reasons set forth below, the petition will be dismissed and because reasonable jurists could not conclude there is a basis for appeal, a certificate of appealability will be denied. An appropriate Order and Judgment will be entered.

Jones is presently serving an eighty to one hundred-sixty year sentence imposed following his conviction, by a jury, of rape, burglary, robbery, aggravated indecent assault and simple assault at Nos. CC 19909241, CC 199909242 and CC 199909243 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. This sentence was imposed on February 13, 2001.*fn1

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

I. Did trial counsel render ineffective assistance in failing to object to testimony by a DNA expert that the defendant's DNA profile was unique and that he was the source of the DNA found at the crime scene?

II. Was the defendant denied a fair trial by the improper closing argument [of the] prosecuting attorney, which argued facts not in evidence?

III. Did trial counsel render ineffective assistance in failing to object to the improper closing remarks of the prosecuting attorney that the testimony of the DNA expert established the defendant's guilt to a mathematical certainty?*fn2 On November 22, 2002, the judgment of sentence was affirmed.*fn3

A petition for allowance of appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was filed in which these same issues were presented for review.*fn4 On September 16, 2003, leave to appeal was denied.*fn5

On April 5, 2004, Jones filed a post-conviction petition, and that petition was dismissed on August 15, 2006.*fn6

An appeal was filed in the Superior Court in which the issues raised were:

1. Whether the Court of Common Pleas erred in denying PCRA relief without a hearing?

2. Whether direct appeal counsel was ineffective for not raising trial counsel's ineffectiveness for failing to challenge the excessiveness of sentence?

3. Whether direct appeal counsel was ineffective for not raising trial counsel's ineffectiveness for not filing pretrial motion challenging the warrant to obtain a blood and saliva sample?

4. Whether direct appeal counsel was ineffective for not raising the claim that the Commonwealth failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence Defendant was a sexually violent predator?*fn7 On February 6, 2008, ...


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