For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 53

Commonwealth v. Small, filed August 2, 2019;
joint Amicus with the ACLU.
Authors: Michele D. Hangley and Matthew A.
Hamermesh, of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin &
Schiller; Mary Catherine Roper, of the ACLU.
Issue: Argues that the PCRA's time limits are
not jurisdictional, and PCRA courts may, when
appropriate, apply equitable tolling to those time
limits.
Commonwealth v. Sierra, filed August 29, 2019;
joint Amicus with the ACLU.
Authors: Michele D. Hangley and Matthew A.
Hamermesh, of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin &
Schiller; Mary Catherine Roper, Nyssa Taylor and
Andrew Christy of the ACLU.
Issue: This Amicus was submitted in support
of a Petition for Allowance of Appeal. The issue
presented is whether, regardless of the PCRA's time
limits, a PCRA Court has jurisdiction to consider a
claim that a sentence is patently illegal because it
exceeds the statutory maximum sentence.
Commonwealth v. McCloud, filed October 1,
2019; joint Amicus with the ACLU and the Public
Defender Association.
Authors: Mary Catherine Roper and Andrew
Christy of the ACLU.
Issue: This Amicus was also submitted in support
of a Petition for Allowance of Appeal. The issue
involves the propriety of imposing court costs on
individuals without fully assessing their ability to
pay. The Amici ask the Court to review the case
to resolve inconsistent case law on this issue and
provide guidance and clarity to the trial courts.

Special report
League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v.
Boockvar: ___A.3d___, 2019 WL 5690318 (Pa. Nov.
4, 2019)(per curiam); Amicus filed November 1,
2019.
The League of Women Voters and Lorraine
Haw (the "Petitioners") filed a Petition for
Review in the Commonwealth Court challenging
the proposed Victims' Rights Amendment (also
known as "Marsy's Law") to the Pennsylvania
Constitution and the related ballot question. The
Petitioners also filed an Application for Special

Relief in the Form of a Preliminary Injunction
(the "Application"). On October 30, 2019,
Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler granted
the Application and enjoined the Acting Secretary
of the Commonwealth "from tabulating and
certifying the votes in the November 2019 General
Election relating to the ballot question asking
voters whether the Pennsylvania Constitution
should be amended to include a new section
providing for victims' rights until final disposition
of the Petition for Review, including appeals." The
Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth appealed
that Order to the Supreme Court.
On November 4, 2019, in a Per Curiam Order,
the Supreme Court affirmed the order of the
Commonwealth Court. Chief Justice Saylor issued
a dissenting statement that was joined by Justices
Dougherty and Mundy. Although Justice Saylor
indicated that he is "certainly given pause by

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For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4

Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 1
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - Contents
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