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In a follow-up to the post about Bishop Samuel Mullet, a federal court sentenced the Amish man to 15 years in prison on Friday.  The US Attorney’s Office requested that Mr. Mullet serve life in prison.

For more information, go to:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/02/08/171503838/amish-beard-cutting-ring-leader-sentenced-to-15-years-in-prison

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Commonwealth v. Christopher Doty  2010 PA Super 105 (06/09/2010)

Topic: Fugitive Status – Waiver v. Forfeiture of Appellate Rights Challenging an Illegal Sentence

Summary: When a defendant becomes a fugitive from justice during the appellate period, he may forfeit his right to pursue an appellate review.  This forfeiture applies to issues that cannot be waived, like the legality of the sentence.

http://www.aopc.org/OpPosting/Superior/out/S09009_10.pdf

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The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that the new Allegheny County Veteran’s Court program has started.  The program, which is targeted to non-violent offenders, is designed to keep veterans out of jail.  Program participants are required to complete a treatment program in order to graduate.

For more information, go to:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_652631.html

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BriefLaw: Commonwealth v Garcia-Rivera

Published on 05 November 2009 by in Blog

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Commonwealth v. Melvin Garcia-Rivera 2009 PA Super 213 (11/05/2009)

Topic: Sentencing – Deviation from the Sentencing Guidelines – Consecutive Sentences for Multiple Deaths Arising From a Single Event

Summary: 1.) When issuing a sentence in the mitigated range of the sentencing guidelines, the sentencing court is required to state its reasons for the downward deviation on the record.  2.) A person convicted of homicide by vehicle under 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3732 may be sentenced separately for each death caused by the automobile accident.

http://www.aopc.org/OpPosting/Superior/out/S21040_09.pdf

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BriefLaw: Commonwealth v. Steven Smith

Published on 04 November 2009 by in Blog

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Commonwealth v. Steven T. Smith 2009 PA Super 209 (10/30/2009)

Topic: Drug Offenses – Mandatory Sentences – Sentencing Entrapment and Sentencing Manipulation

Summary: If the Commonwealth prolongs an investigation in order to increase a defendant’s sentence, the mandatory sentence will not apply to the latter sentences.

Facts: The Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force made four controlled drug buys from Steven T. Smith over the course of a year.   The additional transactions raised the mandatory minimum sentence from three years to seven years.  The Superior Court concluded that the additional mandatory time will not stand if the Commonwealth intentionally waited to arrest and prosecute Smith in order to make a  more severe mandatory minimum sentence apply.

http://www.aopc.org/OpPosting/Superior/out/s74010_09.pdf

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BriefLaw: Commonwealth v. Brown

Published on 29 October 2009 by in Blog

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Commonwealth v. Zebula Melvin Brown  2009 PA Super 199 (10/14/2009)

Topic: Appeal of the Discretionary Aspects of Sentencing– Plea Bargain

Summary: A defendant may not challenge the discretionary aspects of a sentence that has been negotiated as part of a plea bargain.  However, a defendant may challenge the discretionary aspects of whatever parts of a sentence that were not negotiated as part of the plea bargain.

http://www.aopc.org/OpPosting/Superior/out/s56038_09.pdf

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Commonwealth v. Patrick A. Haag, Sr  J-41-2009 (10/23/2009)

Topic: DUI – Prior Offenses

Summary: For a DUI offense to be a second or subsequent conviction for sentencing purposes, the offender must be convicted of the prior offense before committing the second or subsequent offense.

http://www.aopc.org/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-41-2009mo.pdf

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Commonwealth v. Harry Galendez

Published on 04 October 2009 by in Legal Briefs

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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. 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. Christina Marie Houtz 2009 PA Super 186 (9/16/2009)

Topic: Terms of Probation – Undue Restrictions

Summary: A probationary restriction must be reasonably tied to the illegal act. Therefore, where a defendant was not accused of using the Internet to commit her offense, the trial court is not justified in prohibiting Internet usage as a term of probation.

http://www.pacourts.us/OpPosting/Superior/out/s23028_09.pdf

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