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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: October 7, 2015 11:17 AM
From: Representative Todd Stephens
To: All House members
Subject: Restoring Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Violent Crimes Committed With Firearms

Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, invalidated many mandatory minimum sentences in Pennsylvania, including those for criminals who commit violent crimes with firearms because our law permitted a Judge rather than a jury to determine whether the mandatory minimum sentencing provisions applied in a particular case. Specifically, the Court ruled that the Constitution requires a jury to decide, beyond a reasonable doubt, whether the elements requiring the imposition of a mandatory minimum prison sentence have been satisfied.

Mandatory sentences ensure defendants who commit crimes of violence with firearms receive the punishment they deserve and are an important tool for our prosecutors in their efforts to deter, investigate and combat violent crimes.

I am introducing legislation to restore Pennsylvania’s mandatory minimum sentencing provisions relating to violent crimes committed with firearms in accordance with the U.S. and Pennsylvania Supreme Court rulings.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1632