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


Lawyers who are representing juvenile lifers under Miller andMontgomery ought to read the decision of a panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in the case of COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania v. Justin SECRETI, Appellant, No. 578 WDA 2015, 2016 WL 513341 (Feb. 9, 2016). This was an appeal from a PCRA in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, CP–63–MD–0001637–1994. The case was before Judges GANTMAN, SHOGAN and FITZGERALD. President Judge Gantman wrote the Opinion with no dissent.


The Court held that the Miller rule of law would be deemed to be retroactive for purposes of collateral review as of the date of the Miller decision on June 25, 2012. The date of the Montgomery decision (January 25, 2016, as revised on January 27, 2016) will control for purposes of the 60–day rule under 42 PaCS Section 9545(b)(2). Judge Gantman stated that “Miller remains the lodestar for substantive constitutional law on this subject such that the retroactivity determination will be deemed to have existed at the time the pending petitions were filed.”


Click for Secreti decision.


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