Pennsylvania School Zone Mandatory Sentence Unconstitutional and Unseverable
The Altoona Mirror reported that Blair County Judges reached a 4-2 vote rejecting the state’s mandatory sentence laws, specifically those imposing minimum sentences. This decision comes following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Alleyne v. United States, ruling that a jury should decide whether certain factors have been proven to trigger a mandatory sentence.
If this trial decision stands on appeal we can expect legislative action soon. This decision may have an impact on cases that involve crimes committed within a school zone or crimes committed with a deadly weapon, which can carry mandatory minimum sentences. When invoked, a mandatory minimum removes the discretionary authority of a judge to impose a sentence that best suits the needs of a particular offender and protection of the public.
If you or someone you know has pending criminal charges that involve the possibility of a mandatory minimum sentence, please contact an attorney at The Mazza Law Group, P.C. to see how this recent decision may apply.
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Pennsylvania School Zone Mandatory Sentence Unconstitutional and Unseverable was last modified: September 17th, 2015 by Mark Weaver