Prior blogs have addressed mandatory minimums in Pennsylvania, though prosecutors have been trying to find ways around the constitutional defects and thus new cases interpreting the laws are decided every day. For a more thorough review of mandatory minimums, please see the prior blog, Mandatory Minimum Sentences Imposed Pursuant To Sex Offenses Deemed Unconstitutional in Pennsylvania.
In Commonwealth v. Fennell, the prosecution secured a stipulation from the defense as to the weight and contents of 55 bags seized. The stipulation, or agreement, removed any dispute as to the weight (2.035 grams) or content (heroin) of the bags. Following a trial where Fennell was found guilty of possessing the bags with the intent to distribute them, the prosecution successfully convinced the trial court to impose the three-year mandatory minimum sentence pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S.A. §7508(a)(7)(i) because the weight of the substance was over two grams.