The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert C. Mitchell United States Magistrate Judge
Timothy Boczkowski, an inmate at the Nash Correctional Institution at Nashville, North Carolina, 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 a basis for appeal exists, a certificate of appealability will be denied.
Although incarcerated in North Carolina, the petitioner here seeks to challenge his life sentence imposed following his conviction by a jury of criminal homicide at No. CC199415431 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. This sentence was imposed on September 16, 2004.*fn1
Boczkowski filed a timely post-conviction petition in the Court of Common Pleas and relief was denied on December 10, 2007.*fn2 An appeal was taken to the Superior Court in which the issues raised were:
I(A). When the Commonwealth has unlawfully extradited a defendant and this unlawful extradition leads to the only aggravating circumstance that allows a capital trial, does the death qualification of the jury violate a multitude of the defendant's constitutional rights?
I(B). Does the death qualification process cause jurors to be more conviction prone and does it remove jurors who are more likely to question the Commonwealth's case and, if so, does this violate the state and federal constitutions?
I C Should the lower court have permitted Mr. Boczkowski to present his proffered evidence concerning the research that shows how death qualification prejudices a defendant?
I(D). Was appellate counsel ineffective by asking that Mr. Boczkowski be restored to the status quo ante before the unlawful extradition, but then seeking relief that did not actually return him to the status quo ante (i.e., a new trial)? II(A). When an unlawful action by the Commonwealth acts to prevent a defendant from testifying at his trial, is this decision to forgo this crucial evidence made knowingly and voluntarily?
II(B). Was appellate counsel ineffective for failing [to] make this argument on direct appeal?
III(A). When an unlawful action of the Commonwealth acts to prevent a defendant from presenting character evidence, is this decision to forgo this crucial evidence made knowingly and voluntarily?
III(B). Was appellate counsel ineffective for failing [to] make this argument on direct appeal?
III C. Did the lower court err by preventing Mr. Boczkowski from presenting the testimony of one of the proffered character witnesses?
III(D). Was post-conviction counsel ineffective for failing to give proper notice of this character witness?*fn3 On July 15, 2009, the denial of post-conviction relief was affirmed.*fn4 Leave to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court raising these same issues was ...