In a scathingly worded 34-page concurring opinion, Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille has accused lawyers from the capital habeas unit of the Federal Defender Office of engaging in "abusive" litigation tactics that are designed to create delay in order to pursue a "global strategy to obstruct capital punishment in Pennsylvania at all costs."
Castille’s anger in Commonwealth v. Spotz is also aimed at the federal judiciary which, he complains, has funded the Federal Defender Office in Philadelphia to work not only on death penalty litigation in the federal courts, but to begin that work by filing collateral appeals in the Pennsylvania courts.
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