A blog of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section

By Burt Rose

Click for Opinion

Those of you who practice death penalty law may want to check out the decision of a unanimous PA Supreme Court in the matter of COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellant v. Connie WILLIAMS, Appellee, 2013 WL 221790, 611 CAP (Jan. 22, 2013).

In this capital case, the defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief. The Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, Allegheny County, CP–02–CR–0001876–2000, vacated the defendant’s death sentence on the basis of his mental retardation. The Commonwealth appealed. The Supreme Court per Justice Eakin held that substantial expert evidence supported the conclusion that the defendant was mentally retarded and affirmed.

It is interesting to note that the attorney for the Appellee was one of the Court’s favorites, Billy Horatio Nolas, Esq. of the Federal Community Defender Office of Philadelphia.


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