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Commonwealth v. Harry Galendez 2009 PA Super 185 (9/16/2009)

Topic: Defendant’s Right to be Present – Parole and Probation Searches

Summary: 1.) The defendant and his counsel have the right to be present at every crucial stage of the trial process, including the issuing of probationary conditions. 2.) Searches made as a condition of parole or probation must be supported by reasonable suspicion. Additionally, the trial court may not make any parole or probation conditions for any sentence that would subject the defendant to the supervision of the State Board of Probation and Parole.

http://www.pacourts.us/OpPosting/Superior/out/a15016_09.pdf

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Commonwealth v. Mears 2009 PA Super 83 (5/04/2009)

Topic: Sentencing Conditions – Random Searches as a Condition of Probation or Parole

Summary: The Superior Court reversed and remanded where the trial court made random residence searches a condition of Mears’ sentence. The sentence was invalid because 1.) Mears was not sentenced to probation and 2.) Mears’ was given a state sentence, therefore, the sentencing court could not usurp the power of the State Parole Board by giving parole conditions.

http://www.pacourts.us/OpPosting/Superior/out/a04025_09.pdf

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Commonwealth v. Desmond Scott 2009 PA Super 34 (2/25/2009)

Topic: Escape Charges – Parole v. Pre-release Status

Summary: Where a defendant is under pre-release status, he is not on parole and can thus be charged with escape if he leaves detention without permission.

http://www.pacourts.us/OpPosting/Superior/out/a01010_09.pdf

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Commonwealth v. Hunter 2008 PA Super 294 (12/31/2008)

Topic: Parolee-Validity of Search

Summary: Regardless of any waivers a parolee may have signed, the search of a parolee’s home must be supported by reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion exists where a parolee is in violation, the parolee has absconded from supervision, and the officers are attempting to find information pertaining to the parolee’s whereabouts. Judge Freedberg wrote a concurring opinion to emphasize the fact that reasonable suspicion existed in this situation only because the Appellant was a known absconder, was suspected to be in violation of his probation, and because Appellant’s aunt gave consent to the search.

http://www.pacourts.us/OpPosting/Superior/out/A26001_08.pdf

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After receiving the results of a review of Pennsylvania’s parole system, Gov. Rendell has lifted the moratorium on state parole for violent offenders. The review concluded that the “state’s existing procedures were sound.” The review also recommends procedures for classifying violent offenders, determining which are likely to reoffend, and determining whether the offender is likely to commit a violent crime.

For more information, go to:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08336/931985-100.stm?cmpid=latest.xml

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Governor Rendell has lifted the moratorium on parole for non-violent offenders. The moratorium is still in effect for violent offenders.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08295/921550-100.stm

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In the News: Rendell Suspends Parole

Published on 05 October 2008 by in Parole

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On September 30, 2008, Gov. Ed Rendell suspended parole for state sentences in Pennsylvania. The suspension is pending an evaluation and study of the early release program in Pennsylvania.

For more information, go to:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08274/916224-100.stm

http://www.phoenixvillenews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20143138&BRD=1673&PAG=461&dept_id=17915&rfi=6

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