PENNSYLVANIA SENTENCING GUIDELINES: EXPOSED!!!



     Pennsylvania's Sentencing Guidelines were initially established with the primary purpose of creating a system where not only would offenders be properly punished for their transgressions, but also where like offenders would be treated consistently.
[ see:  Commonwealth v. Royer, 476 A.2d 453, 328 Pa.Super. 60 (1984)]


     Further support of Judge Cavanaugh's premise can be found in quotes from the introductory comments of House Representative Scirica when the enabling legislation was introduced. House Representative Scirica stated in pertinent part:

 

"We are amending a Senate bill, and this amendment changes the way we sentence criminals in Pennsylvania. The purpose of the amendment is to make criminal sentences more rational and consistent, to eliminate unwarranted disparity in sentencing, and to restrict the unfettered discretion we give to sentencing judges"

 

 

Pennsylvania House Journal, 3130 (September 21, 1978)

 

 




     It must be fully understood that once the Sentencing Code became effective on March 30, 1975 (with the passing of the Act of 1974, December 30, P.L. 1052, No. 345) sentencing matters in Pennsylvania fell under the jurisdiction of the Sentencing Code:

               "Sentencing is now governed exclusively by the Sentencing Code."

               - Commonwealth v. Aeschbacher, 419 A.2d 596, 276 Pa.Super. 554
               - Commonwealth v. Craig, 475 A.2d 1310, 311 Pa.Super, 533



     Being as though sentencing matters in Pennsylvania fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the "Sentencing Code", the introduction of the "Sentencing Code" was initially a part of the "Crimes Code" (Chapter 13 of  Title 18 - Crimes and Offenses)


[EDITOR'S NOTE: TITLE 18 - CRIMES and OFFENSES is technically known as the "Crimes Code"... For a more in-depth explanation on the intricacies of the "Crimes Code" and the "Sentencing Code", go to the PAsentencing.com homepage and click on the "CRIMES CODE vs. SENTENCING CODE" option.]


     However, once the "Sentencing Code" was transferred out of the "Crimes Code" with the passing of the Act of 1980, October 5, P.L. 693, No. 142, the "Sentencing Code" (formerly Chapter 13 of Title 18) was effectively separated from the "Crimes Code" and it became Chapter 97 of Title 42 - Judiciary and Judicial Procedure. This "transfer" which separated the "Sentencing Code" from the "Crimes Code", created an inescapable problem for the Judicial System that was never corrected because the "Crimes Code" was the only place in Pennsylvania statutory law that established Pennsylvania's maximum sentencing limits.  [see: Title 18, Chapter 11 - Authorized Disposition of Offenders]   Once the "Sentencing Code" was separated from the "Crimes Code" in 1980, there were no laws within the "Sentencing Code" that controlled Judges discretionary powers. So a Judge could essentially sentence a defendant to 500 -to- 1,000 years for a single offense and lawfully get away with it!!!


     Most of you may not understand the importance of what you are currently reading, but its really as simple as this...


     (1) Sentencing matters in Pennsylvania are exclusively governed by the
     "Sentencing Code",

     (2) Once the "Sentencing Code" was effectively separated from the "Crimes
     Code" with the passing of the Act of 1980, October 5, P.L. 693, No. 142,
     Pennsylvania Judges were no longer compelled to sentence defendants
     within the statutory maximum limits found at "Chapter 11 - Authorized
     Disposition of Offenders" in the "Crimes Code"  [ see: 18 Pa.C.S. Sections
     1101 through 1106 ],

     (3) When sentencing a criminal defendant, a Pennsylvania Judge must follow
     the procedures mandated at 42 Pa.C.S. Section 9721(a) and 42 Pa.C.S.
     Section 9721(b)   (which is in the "Sentencing Code"),

     (4) The "Sentencing Code" has no statutory maximum limits set in place to
     prevent a Pennsylvania Judge from imposing an excessive, disproportionate,
     and arbitrary sentence upon the defendant (for example:  500 - to- 1,000
     years total confinement),

     (5) Legislators established the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines in an
     attempt to keep Pennsylvania Judges from abusing their discretionary
     powers when imposing sentences.



     Although Pennsylvania's Sentencing Guidelines were initially established with good intention, it must be duly noted that corruption soon followed the establishment of such guidelines...


     The 1st Edition of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines became effective on July 22, 1982, and three (3) amendments to the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines were approved before all such editions were invalidated and deemed unconstitutional on October 7, 1987, pursuant to the landmark decision in Commonwealth v. Sessoms, 532 A.2d 775, 516 Pa. 365 (Pa. 1987).

     Before we get into the specifics behind the "corruptions" that have infiltrated the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines, as well as why the Guidelines are only advisory by nature, you will first need to understand what "Edition" of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines apply to your individual case(s)... The Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines have numerous amended "Editions" that apply to criminal offenses, and each "Edition's" applicability is determined by the actual date of the criminal offense itself:


EFFECTIVE DATES OF PENNSYLVANIA SENTENCING GUIDELINES


    

      

Date of Offenses  Applicable Guidlines...
July 22, 1982 - June 2, 1983 1st EDITION, 
June 3, 1983 - January 1, 1986 1st EDITION, Amendment 1
January 2, 1986 - October 6, 1987  1st EDITION, Amendment 2
   
   
***October 7, 1987***

Landmark Decision in

Commonwealth v. Sessoms,

532 A.2d 775, 516 Pa. 365

(Pa.1987)   [which invalidated 

all previous Sentencing Guidlines]

   
   
April 25, 1988 - August 8, 1991 3rd EDITION
August 9, 1991 - December 19, 1991 3rd EDITION, Revised
December 20, 1991 - August 11, 1994 3rd EDITION, Revised Amendment 1
August 12, 1994 - June 12, 1997 4th EDITION
June 13, 1997 - June 2, 2005 5th EDITION
June 3, 2005 - December 4, 2008 6th EDITION 
December 5, 2008 - Present Day 6th EDITION, Revised



 

 

 

As you can see by the above displayed chart on October 7, 1987, the 1st EDITION, the 1st EDITION Amendment 1, the 1st EDITION - Amendment 2, and the 2nd EDITION  were all deemed  ( incapable of being considered by the courts) by the landmark adjudication in  Commonwealth v. Sessoms (supra). As a result, if your criminal offense occurred anytime before April 25, 1988, then there is no Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines that a court can use to consider your recommended sentence.


     Now that we've covered how you can determine what "Edition" of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines apply to your individual case(s), the next thing you may need to know is:   How can I get a copy of my Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines edition???


     There are many different ways in which you can retrieve a copy of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines, but for the sake of simplicity, I am recommending the following 2 methods.



     (1) Go to www.pcs.la.psu.edu

           This is a website that will direct you in all areas concerning the
            Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines. Make sure you download
            the desired "Edition" of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines
            and print that document out...


     (2) Go To Your Local Law Library

            Depending on where you live, there should be a Law Library located
            nearby for you to retrieve a copy of the Pennsylvania Sentencing
            Guidelines.  If you are incarcerated, you will need "someone on the
            outside" who can physically make such a trip for you to retrieve what
            you desire.




     Now that we've covered how you can determine what Edition of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines apply to your criminal offense, as well as how to retrieve a copy of such Guidelines, it is important to note that one of the biggest misconceptions that exist among criminal defendants is that most defendants believe Pennsylvania Judges must follow the Sentencing Guidelines when sentencing them... However, this misconception is far from the truth. When sentencing a criminal defendant, a Pennsylvania Judge is only mandated to "consider" the Sentencing Guidelines, not implement them:

               "Although a sentencing court is not required to follow the guidelines, it
               is obligated to provide, on the record, a statement of the reason or
               reasons for deviation from the guidelines."

               - Commonwealth v. Vinson, 522 A.2d 1155, 361 Pa.Super. 526 (1987)





     With that being said, you should also know that if a Pennsylvania Judge decided to sentence you outside of the Sentencing Guidelines, that Judge must complete a document known as the "Guideline Sentence Form" and enter that document onto the records of the court. The purpose of the Judge completing the "Guideline Sentence Form" is so the Judge can explain why the defendant was sentenced outside the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines:



               "...In every case where the court imposes a sentence outside the
               sentencing guidelines adopted by the Pennsylvania Commission
               on Sentencing, the court shall provide a contemporaneous written
               statement of the reason or reasons for deviation from the guidelines.
               Failure to comply shall be grounds for vacating the sentence                

               and resentencing the defendant."

               (***emphasis added***)


               - Act of 1980, October 5, P.L. 693, No. 142, Section 9721(b)
               - 42 Pa.C.S. Section 9721(b)



               "In every case where the court imposes a sentence outside the
               sentencing guidelines, the court shall provide a contemporaneous
               written statement of the reason or reasons for the deviation from the
               guidelines. These reasons shall be recorded on the Guideline
               Sentence Form, a copy of which is forwarded to the
               Commission on Sentencing."

               (***emphasis added***)


               - 204 Pa.Code, Section 303.1 (d)    



It must be fully understood that even though the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidlines are only "advisory" in nature (meaning the Sentencing Judge only has to consider what the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines recommends as a sentence), if the Sentencing Judge chooses to impose a sentence outside of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidlines, then such Sentencing Judge must provide a contemporaneous written statement of the reason or reasons for deviation from the guidelines, and failure to comply shall be grounds for vacating the sentence and resentencing the defendant!   [see above-cited exerpt of the Act of 1980 (supra) and 42 Pa.C.S. Section 9721(b).]

 

Furthermore, it must be fully understood that the "contemporaneous written statement" mentioned in the above-cited statutory provisions is a reference to the "GUIDELINE SENTENCE FORM" document which was explained previously in this analysis. This fact is substantiated by the above-cited exerpt from 204 Pa.Code, Section 303.1(d)... This fact is extremely crucial to note because many Judges throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania simply sentence convicted defendants outside of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines without such Judges ever bothering to complete the "contemporaneous written statement"  (GUIDELINE SENTENCE FORM) that is mandated by enacted legislation!!! 

 

 

In addition to all of the above explained matters of importance regarding the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines, there is one matter of extreme importance that must be realized as arbitrary, unlawful, and tyrranical in nature...

 

 

 

FRAUDULENT    CRIMINAL    OFFENSES !!!

 

 

It may sound extremely incredulous to hear that the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines actually promulgates criminal offenses that do not actually exist within Pennsylvania's Crimes Code (technically referred to as TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES),  but it's true! Proof of this shocking fact can be found within any edition  of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines at 204 Pa.Code, Section 303.15 - Offense Listing.  At this particular statute, you will notice that the provisions include a listing of all the criminal offenses (supposedly) enacted under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. However, upon close examination of the offenses, you will notice that there are many criminal offenses mentioned within the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines that have never actually been enacted as crimes by the Pennsylvania General Assembly!!!

 

 

For example, within the 5th Edition of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines at 204 Pa.Code, Section 303.15 - Offense Listing  you'll notice that there is a chart with Crimes Code Offenses displayed for you to see. However, the following offenses are fraudlent in nature:

 

 

 

 

18 Pa.C.S. Section    OFFENSE TITLE  STATUTORY CLASS

2502 (a)

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to First Degree Mirder

18 Pa.C.S. Section 1102(c)

 2502(b)

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to Second Degree Murder

18 Pa.C.S. Section 1102(c)

2502 (c)

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to Third Degree Murder 

18 Pa.C.S. Section 1102(c) 

 2503

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to Voluntary Manslaughter

18 Pa.C.S. Section 905

2506

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to Drug Delivery Resulting in Death

18 Pa.C.S. Section 905

2702 (a) (1)

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to Aggravated Assault

18 Pa.C.S. Section 905

2702 (a) (2)

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to Aggravated Assult

18 Pa.C.S. Section 905

2901

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to Kidnapping

18 Pa.C.S. Section 905

3121

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to Rape

18 Pa.C.S. Section 905

3123

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse

18 Pa.C.S. Section 905

3301(a)

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to Arson Endangering Persons

18 Pa.C.S. Section 905

3502

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy 

to Burglary

18 Pa.C.S. Section 905

3701 (a)(1)(iii)

INCHOATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to Robbery

18 Pa.C.S. Section 905

3702

INCOHATE

Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

to Robbery of a Motor Vehicle

18 Pa.C.S. Section 905

 

 If you examine the Pennsylvania Crimes Code (Title 18 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes),   you'll see for yourself that none of the above listed "criminal offenses" actually exist!!!... Once you realize this shocking revelation after conducting your own reserch and examination, the first questions that should come to mind are:

 

HOW DOES A PERSON GET CONVICTED OF AN OFFENSE SUCH AS "ATTEMPTED MURDER", "CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MURDER",   OR   "SOLICITATION TO MURDER" IF PENNSYLVANIA'S GENERAL ASSEMBLY NEVER ENACTED ANY SUCH CRIMINAL STATUTES TO DEFINE THE CONDUCT WHICH CONSTITUTES THOSE "CRIMES" AS REQUIRED BY 18 Pa.C.S. Section 104(4)   and   18 Pa.C.S. Section 107(b) ???

 

 - and -

 

 

IF THESE "CRIMES" DO NOT ACTUALLY EXIST WITHIN PENNSYLVNIA'S ENACTED LEGISLATION (THE LAWS), THEN HOW ARE PEOPLE ACTUALLY BEING CONVICTED AND SENTENCED BY PENNSYLVANIA JUDGES, AND WHY ARE THESE "FRAUDULENT CRIMINAL OFFENSES" CURRENTLY BEING PROMULGATED BY THE PENNSYLVANIA SENTENCING GUIDELINES???

 

 

 

 

 

 

[EDITOR'S NOTE: For an in-depth explanation concerning Pennsylvania's Inchoate criminal offenses, see INCHOATE CRIMES IN PENNSYLVANIA: EXPOSED!!! Which is part of the PAsentencing.com FREEDOM PACKET, 2nd Edition, available Spring 2014 ! ]

 

 

 

 

SEEK TRUTH... BE AWARE.. MAKE A DIFFERENCE...

 

 

Signing Off, 

THE SOLUTIONIST

 

 

 

 

PAsentencing.com was created solely for the purpose of providing the public with accurate information concerning the Pamphlet Laws of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and other related subject matter. However, this website was not created by persons licensed to practice law throughout the state of Pennsylvania. PAsentencing.com should not be construed as a substitute for the advice or representation of an attorney, but rather an aid towards addressing specific aspects concerning illegal sentencing procedures throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

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