Topic: Sentencing – Abuse of Discretion – Impermissible Factors to Consider
Summary: Where a sentencing court justifies its enhanced sentence (in part) by stating that the facts of the case support a more serious offense, it has not abused its discretion.
Illustration: Macias entered a guilty plea to third-degree murder. The sentencing court noted that, considering the facts of the case, Macias could have been convicted of first or second degree murder. The sentencing court used this fact as part of its justification for sentencing Macias to the statutory maximum. The Superior Court concluded that the sentencing court did not abuse its discretion by considering these facts.