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In re Order Revising Comments of Rules 900

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

October 1, 2019

IN RE: ORDER REVISING THE COMMENTS OF RULES 900 AND 901 OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

         CRIMINAL PROCEDURAL RULES DOCKET

          ORDER

          PER CURIAM

         AND NOW, this 1st day of October, 2019, upon the recommendation of the Criminal Procedural Rules Committee; the proposal not having been published before adoption in the interests of justice and efficient administration, and a Final Report to be published with this Order:

         It is Ordered pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania that the Comments to Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure 900 and 901 are revised, in the attached form.

         This Order shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. No. 103(b), and shall be effective immediately.

         Additions to the rules are shown in bold and are underlined. Deletions from the rules are shown in bold and brackets.

         RULE 900. SCOPE; NOTICE IN DEATH PENALTY CASES.

         (A) The rules in Chapter 9 apply to capital and noncapital cases under the Post Conviction Relief Act, 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9541-9546, as amended by Act 1995-32 (SS1).

         (B) Notice in Death Penalty Cases

         In all death penalty cases upon the Supreme Court's affirmance of the judgment of a death sentence, the Prothonotary shall include in the mailing required by Pa.R.A.P. 2521 (Entry of Judgment or Other Order) the following information concerning the Post Conviction Relief Act and the procedures under Chapter 9 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. "Parties" as used in Pa.R.A.P. 2521 shall include the defendant, the defendant's counsel, and the attorney for the Commonwealth for the purposes of this rule.

(1) A petition for post-conviction collateral relief must be filed within one year of the date the judgment becomes final, except as otherwise provided by statute.
(2) As provided in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9545(b)(3), a judgment becomes final at the conclusion of direct review, which includes discretionary review in the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, or at the expiration of time for seeking the review.
(3) (a) If the defendant fails to file a petition within the one-year time limit, the action may be barred. See 42 Pa.C.S. § 9545(b).
(b) Any issues that could have been raised in the post-conviction proceeding, but were not, may be waived. See 42 Pa.C.S. § 9544(b).
(4) Pursuant to Rule 904 (Appointment of Counsel; in Forma Pauperis), the trial judge will appoint new counsel for the purpose of post-conviction collateral review, unless:
(a) the defendant has elected to proceed pro se or waive post-conviction collateral proceedings, and the judge finds, after a colloquy on the record, that the defendant is competent and the defendant's election is knowing, intelligent, and voluntary;
(b) the defendant requests continued representation by original trial counsel or direct appeal counsel, and the judge finds, after a colloquy on the record, that the petitioner's election constitutes a knowing, intelligent, and ...

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