Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cuadra Omnibus Pre-Trial Motion: Motion to Quash/Dismiss Information-Lack of Specificity


33. Defendant incorporates by reference the allegations contained in Paragraphs 1-32, inclusive of this Motion as if same were fully set forth herein at length.

34. The Information filed to the above term and number charges Cuadra with a general count of Criminal Homicide, 18 Pa.C.S.A. §2501(a).

35. Under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, separate provisions characterize Criminal Homicide, which includes three (3) forms of murder: murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree and murder in the third degree as well as voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Each of the categories of murder have different, separate and distinct elements of the offense and carry different statutory maximum penalties.

36. In Jones vs. United States , 526 U.S. 227 (1999) and Apprendi vs. New Jersey. 530 U.S. 466 (2000), the United States Supreme Court held that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the notice and jury trial guarantees of the Sixth Amendment require that any fact (other than prior convictions) that increases the maximum penalty. for a crime must be charged in an indictment, submitted to a jury and proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The aforesaid Information fails to give Cuadra adequate notice of the charges against him, violates Pennsylvania’s Rules of Criminal Procedure and Cuadra’s rights under the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions and the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Apprendi vs. New Jersey and Jones vs. United States.

WHEREFORE, the Defendant, Harlow Cuadra, respectfully requests this Honorable Court to enter an Order quashing and/or dismissing the Information filed against Cuadra with prejudice.