The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert C. Mitchell, United States Magistrate Judge
Report and Recommendation
It is respectfully recommended that the petition of John Leonard Corbin for a writ of habeas corpus be dismissed, and because reasonable jurists could not conclude that a basis for appeal exists, that a certificate of appealability be denied.
John Leonard Corbin, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution - Greene has presented a petition for a writ of habeas corpus which he has been granted leave to prosecute in forma pauperis. Petitioner is currently serving a life sentence imposed following his conviction by a jury of second and third degree murder, aggravated assault, robbery and theft by unlawful taking at No. 327 of 2003 in the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, Pennsylvania. This sentence was imposed on March 4, 2004.*fn1 No direct appeal was filed.*fn2
Corbin then sought post-conviction relief. On September 21, 2005, the Court of Common Pleas reinstated his appeal rights, nunc pro tunc.*fn3 An appeal was taken to the Superior Court at No. 1846 WDA 2005 in which the issues raised were:
Whether there was sufficient evidence to prove that [petitioner] intended to commit second and third degree murder, whether there was sufficient evidence to prove robbery where the Commonwealth allegedly failed to establish that he inflicted serious bodily injury in the course of committing a felony, and whether the convictions are against the weight of the evidence.*fn4 On August 1, 2006, the judgment of sentence was affirmed.*fn5
A petition for allowance of appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was filed in which the questions presented were:
1. Whether sufficient evidence existed to establish an intent to commit the underlying felony when the act of killing occurred and whether the Superior Court misapplied a decision of the Supreme Court in analyzing this issue?
2. Whether the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing was not done in self-defense and whether the analysis of the Superior Court of this issue was contrary to the Supreme Court holding in Commonwealth v. Torres, 564 Pa. 219 (2001)?
3. Whether the Commonwealth failed to establish that Corbin either inflicted serious bodily injury upon the victim under circumstances that were not justified, or that he did anything in the course of committing a felony?
4. Whether the defendant is entitled to a new trial on all charges as the verdicts are against the weight of the evidence.*fn6
On January 17, 2007 leave to appeal was denied.*fn7
A post-conviction petition was filed and dismissed on October 21, 2008.*fn8 A pro-se appeal was taken to the Superior Court. As the Superior Court observed in its October 26, 2009 Memorandum,*fn9 the original post-conviction petition was over 300 pages in length; after denial of relief, Corbin filed a 58 page "concise" statement of matters complained of on appeal and ultimately he submitted an eighty-nine page appellant's brief which the Court regarded as being in gross violation of the Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure and which ultimately led the Court to conclude "because the substantial defects in the appellate brief preclude us from conducting meaningful judicial a review of Appellant's purported issues, we conclude that quashal [the act of quashing] is the appropriate disposition for this appeal".*fn10 Thus, the appeal was quashed on procedural grounds.
A petition for allowance of review by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was filed in which ...