Pennsylvania v. Castro

Appellee was arrested and charged with knowing and intentional possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (PWID), and conspiracy with another to commit PWID. At appellee’s bench trial, the Commonwealth presented Officer Richard Cujdik’s testimony, money seized from the other person, and the drugs. The trial court found appellee guilty of conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance, but not guilty of PWID. Appellee was then sentenced to six to 23 months imprisonment followed by two years' probation for conspiracy, and a concurrent six to 23 months imprisonment and one year of probation for possession. Four days after the trial, the Philadelphia Daily News published an article alleging police misconduct by Officer Cujdik, his brother (also a narcotics officer), and other officers during a raid of a convenience store in 2007. In this appeal, the issue on appeal to the Supreme Court was whether a newspaper article submitted as the sole support for a motion for new trial on the basis of after-discovered evidence warranted the grant of a hearing. Finding allegations in an article did not constitute evidence, the Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court’s order remanding for a hearing on appellee’s after-discovered evidence claim. View "Pennsylvania v. Castro" on Justia Law