Appeal from the PCRA Order February 10, 2012, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Criminal Division at No. CP-51-CR-0107261-2005
BEFORE: DONOHUE, WECHT and STRASSBURGER [*] , JJ.
Charles Williams ("Williams") appeals from the order of court dismissing his petition filed pursuant to the Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"), 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 9541-9546. We affirm.
In March 2006, Williams was convicted of sexual assault, sexual abuse of children, promoting prostitution, and corrupting the morals of a minor.He was subsequently sentenced to eight and a half to 17 years of imprisonment. This Court affirmed his judgment of sentence on direct appeal. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Williams' petition for allowance of appeal in August 2009, and the United States Supreme Court denied his petition for certiorari on March 9, 2009.
Williams filed a timely pro se PCRA petition. Although counsel was appointed, Williams petitioned the PCRA court for permission to represent himself. Following a Grazier hearing, the PCRA court granted Williams' request. On November 18, 2010, Williams filed an amended PCRA petition, and on July 25, 2011, he filed a second amended PCRA petition. On November 23, 2011, the PCRA court gave notice of its intent to dismiss Williams' petition without a hearing pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 907, and on February 20, 2012, the PCRA court dismissed Williams' petition. This timely appeal follows.
Williams presents four issues on appeal, which he sets forth as follows:
1. Did the atty. who represented [Williams] at the Rule 600 hearing that he had on May 9, 2005 render [Williams] ineffective assistance of counsel when she failed to argue that the decision that Judge Rosalyn K. Robinson made on 05-09-05 was in opposition to the decisions that were rendered in Com. v. Mayfield [467 Pa. 214], Com. v. Shelton [469 Pa. 8], Com. v. Hawk [528 Pa. 329], Com. v. Ray [360 A.2d 925], Com v. McCutcheon [488 A.2d 281], Com. v. Ellison [378 A.2d 325], Com. v. Payton [673 A.2d 361], Com. v. Evans [375 A.2d 799], Com. v. Silver [357 A.2d 612]. Com. v. Wilson [331 A.2d 792] and Com. v. Riddick [374 A.2d 1347]?
2. Did the judge who presided over [Williams'] PCRA proceeding deny [Williams] due process of the law and/or equal protection of the law when she willfully refused to grant [Williams] a full and fair PCRA hearing even though she knew for a fact that [Williams] submitted her a substantial amount of evidence which would have allowed a reasonable judge to conclude that a number of the issues that [Williams] raised in his Amended PCRA Petition had merit?
3. Did the judge who presided over [Williams'] PCRA proceeding deny [Williams] due process of law and/or equal protection of the law when she willfully refused to grant [Williams] an evidentiary hearing for CP-51-CR-0107261-2005 although she knew for a fact that the issues that [Williams] raised in his Amended PCRA Petition had merit?
4. Did the Judges who presided over [Williams'] direct appeal deny [Williams] due process of law and/or equal protection of the law when they willfully decided to rely on the lower court's opinion in rendering their decision in 925 EDA 2006 instead of conducting an independent investigation into M.C. # 0404-2425 and C.P. # 0501-0726 to find out whether the Commonwealth exercised due diligence in bringing [Williams] to trial within the timing that is documented in Rule 600 of Pa.R.Crim.Proc., Article 1 Section 9 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?
Appellant's Brief at 4-7.
Williams' first issue purports to challenge the effectiveness of the counsel that represented him at a pre-trial hearing. To be successful on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, the appellant must demonstrate that: (1) the underlying legal issue has arguable merit; (2) counsel's actions lacked an objective reasonable basis; and (3) but for counsel's errors or omissions, there is a reasonable probability that the outcome of the proceedings would have been different. Commonwealth v. Rathfon, 899 A.2d 365, 369 (Pa. Super. 2006). If the ...