By Burt Rose
In Com. v. Hill, 2011 WL 832941, No. 521 CAP (March 11, 2011), by a 5-2 vote, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has dismissed a capital PCRA petition from Philadelphia for the failure to comply with Rule 1925(b) and has stated the following:
“Our jurisprudence is clear and well-settled, and firmly establishes that: Rule 1925(b) sets out a simple bright-line rule, which obligates an appellant to file and serve a Rule 1925(b) statement, when so ordered; any issues not raised in a Rule 1925(b) statement will be deemed waived; the courts lack the authority to countenance deviations from the Rule’s terms; the Rule’s provisions are not subject to ad hoc exceptions or selective enforcement; appellants and their counsel are responsible for complying with the Rule’s requirements; Rule 1925 violations may be raised by the appellate court sua sponte, and the Rule applies notwithstanding an appellee’s request not to enforce it; and, if Rule 1925 is not clear as to what is required of an appellant, on-the-record actions taken by the appellant aimed at compliance may satisfy the Rule. We yet again repeat the principle first stated in Lord that must be applied here: In order to preserve their claims for appellate review, appellants must comply whenever the trial court orders them to file a Statement of Matters Complained of on Appeal pursuant to Pa.R.A.P.1925. Any issues not raised in a Pa .R.A.P.1925(b) statement will be deemed waived.”
The Appellant was represented by the Defender Association of Philadelphia, Federal Court Division, Capital Habeas Unit.
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