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[U] Commonwealth v. Edwards

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 19, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
ROBERT A. EDWARDS, Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the PCRA Order entered June 11, 2013, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, at No(s): CP-51-CR-0305612-1973

BEFORE: ALLEN, STABILE, and STRASSBURGER [*], JJ.

JUDGMENT ORDER

STRASSBURGER, J.

Robert A. Edwards (Appellant) appeals pro se from the June 11, 2013 order denying his petition for relief filed pursuant to the Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA), 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9541-9546.

On November 28, 1973, a jury convicted Appellant of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery. Appellant was sentenced to a life term of imprisonment on May 2, 1974. His judgment of sentence was affirmed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on October 3, 1975. On March 15, 2012, nearly 37 years after his judgment of sentence became final, Appellant filed the instant PCRA petition, his fifth. On June 11, 2013, the PCRA court dismissed the petition as untimely filed. This appeal followed.

Generally, a PCRA petition must be filed within one year from the date a judgment becomes final. 42 Pa.C.S. § 9545(b)(1). There are three exceptions to this time requirement: (1) interference by government officials in the presentation of the claim; (2) newly discovered facts; and (3) an after-recognized constitutional right. 42 Pa.C.S. § 9545(b)(1)(i-iii). When a petitioner alleges and proves that one of these exceptions is met, the petition will be considered timely. A PCRA petition invoking one of these exceptions must be filed within 60 days of the date the claims could have been presented. The timeliness requirements of the PCRA are jurisdictional in nature and, accordingly, a PCRA court cannot hear untimely petitions.

Commonwealth v. Brandon, 51 A.3d 231, 233-234 (Pa.Super. 2012) (citations and quotations omitted).

Here, Appellant's petition is patently untimely unless he can plead and can prove one of the statutory exceptions to the time bar. To this end, Appellant contends the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Martinez v. Ryan, __ U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 1309 (2012), set forth newly recognized constitutional rights as contemplated by section 9545(b)(1)(iii) of the PCRA, which would allow him to seek PCRA relief despite his untimely filing.

Appellant's reliance upon Martinez is misplaced and entitles him to no relief. As we explained in Commonwealth v. Saunders, 60 A.3d 162, 165 (Pa.Super. 2013), "[w]hile Martinez represents a significant development in federal habeas corpus law, it is of no moment with respect to the way Pennsylvania courts apply the plain language of the time bar set forth in section 9545(b)(1) of the PCRA." Thus, the PCRA court properly dismissed Appellant's petition as untimely filed.

Order affirmed.

Judgment Entered.


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