Pennsylvania v. Finley - Supreme Court of the United States

Pennsylvania v. Finley

By Supreme Court of the United States

  • Release Date: 1987-05-18
  • Genre: Law
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In 1975 respondent was convicted of second-degree murder by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. She was sentenced to life imprisonment. Her appointed trial attorney appealed the conviction to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. That court unanimously affirmed the conviction. 477 Pa. 211, 383 A. 2d 898 (1978). Having failed on direct appeal, respondent, proceeding pro se, sought relief from the trial court under the Pennsylvania Post Conviction Hearing Act. See 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. ? 9541 et seq. (1982). She raised the same issues that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania had rejected on the merits. The trial court denied relief, but the State Supreme Court reversed, holding that respondent was entitled, under state law, to appointed counsel in her post-conviction proceedings. 497 Pa. 332, 440 A. 2d 1183 (1981). On remand, the trial court appointed counsel. Counsel reviewed the trial record and consulted with respondent. He concluded that there were no arguable bases for collateral relief. Accordingly, he advised the trial court in writing of his conclusion and requested permission to withdraw. The trial court conducted an independent review of the record and agreed that there were no issues even arguably meritorious. The court thus dismissed the petition for post-conviction relief.

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