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[U] Commonwealth v. Jackson

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 6, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
EDMOND JACKSON, Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the PCRA Order September 11, 2013 in the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County Criminal Division at No.: CP-26-CR-0001871-2011

BEFORE: FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E., DONOHUE, J., and PLATT, J. [*]

MEMORANDUM

PLATT, J.

Appellant, Edmond Jackson, appeals pro se from the dismissal of his first petition pursuant to the Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA), 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 9541-9546. After careful review, we affirm.

On February 14, 2011, Appellant threw a container of urine and feces at two corrections officers when they came to pick up his food tray in the restricted housing unit of SCI Fayette. The incident was recorded on video surveillance tape. (See N.T. Trial, 6/07/12, at 99). After a trial, a jury convicted Appellant of two counts of aggravated harassment by a prisoner. The court also found Appellant guilty of two counts of harassment as a summary offense.[1] (Id. at 101). On June 7, 2012, the court sentenced Appellant to an aggregate sentence of incarceration of not less than twenty-seven nor more than fifty-four months, to be served consecutively to the previous, unrelated sentence he was serving already. The same day, Appellant signed a "Rejection of Appeal" form provided by the Public Defender's office stating that he did not wish the Defender's Office to file an appeal. (See Motion to Withdraw, 8/09/13, at Exhibit 1 ("Rejection of Appeal")).

On May 31, 2013, Appellant filed a timely pro se PCRA petition, alleging insufficient evidence, a weight claim, and ineffective assistance of trial counsel. (See Pro Se PCRA Petition, 5/31/13, at 3).[2] The court appointed counsel, who filed a no-merit letter, a motion to withdraw from representation, and a supporting brief on August 9, 2013.[3] The PCRA court granted counsel's motion and entered notice of its intent to dismiss Appellant's PCRA petition without a hearing on August 19, 2013. See Pa.R.Crim.P. 907. Appellant filed a pro se objection to the notice of intent to dismiss on August 26, 2013. The PCRA court dismissed Appellant's petition on September 11, 2013. Appellant timely appealed pro se.[4]Appellant raises four questions for our review:

I. Whether the Appellant was entitled to relief as [a] result of PCRA counsel rendered [sic] ineffective assistance of [counsel] when she failed to raise trial counsel's ineffectiveness for placing [a] mental[ly] incompetent defendant on the witness stand when it was known before doing so that [Appellant] suffered from schizophreni[a] and was heavily medicated with psychoactive drugs and was unable to recall events leading to his arrest and prosecution[?]
II. Whether the Appellant was entitled to relief as [a] result of PCRA counsel's rendered [sic] ineffective assistance of counsel when she failed to raise trial counsel's ineffectiveness for not objecting to the prosecutor using his peremptory challenges in a racially discriminatory manner to strikes [sic] blacks and latinos venire persons from jury service[?]
III. Whether the Appellant was denied due process of law as [a] result of him having consistently requested the complete transcripts of his trial[, ]voir dire[, ]trial counsel's and prosecutor's closing arguments as well as the trial court's final instructions to the jury to no avail[?]
IV. Whether the Appellant's claim that he is entitled to relief as [a] result of his trial counsel fraudulently induced [sic] him to waive his appellate rights by misinform[ing] his client who suffered with psychiatric disabilities to forego his direct appellate rights to cover-up his own ineffectiveness during his client's criminal trial[?]

(Appellant's Brief, at 5-6).

When reviewing the denial of a PCRA petition, our scope of review is limited by the parameters of the act. Our standard of review permits us to consider only whether the PCRA court's determination is supported by the evidence of record and whether it is free from legal error. Moreover, in general we may affirm the decision of the [PCRA] court if there is any basis on the record to support the [PCRA] court's action; this is so even if we rely on a different basis in our decision to affirm.

Commonwealth v. Heilman, 867 A.2d 542, 544 (Pa.Super. 2005), appeal denied, 876 A.2d 393 (Pa. ...


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