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Old 10-21-2019, 05:46 PM
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Default PA HBs will add Mandatory Minimums, enhancements & consecutive sentences

Pennsylvania, what are ya'll thinking! I've come across 4 Bills in this session of your Legislature that, if passed, will add Mandatory Minimums, enhancements and consecutive sentences for certain crimes. As we all know, you can't compare crimes, not even similar crimes and hand out the same sentence for all - there are just too many variables. Adding Mandatory Minimums takes from the Judge and hands to the Prosecutor. Not a good idea.

Here are the texts of the Bills:

HB726; HB1850; HB1851; and HB1852

You can keep up with the Bills progress on the PA General Assembly page; You can look up your Legislators and their contact info so you can call and ask that they vote "No!" Here is the link to PA General Assembly:


If these are passed, what offenders / crimes will they target next?

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Old 10-21-2019, 06:21 PM
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Mandatory minimums are a joke. Circumstances of the crime absolutely matter when sentencing happens. I'm so frustrated with these types of laws.
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Old 10-26-2019, 02:04 AM
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Way too many laws when does it stop...laws for laws or don't forget all the amendments attached to them laws. It is just crazy!!
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Old 10-26-2019, 05:17 AM
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Statistics show that in Pennsylvania violent crime is down a bit, murder is up a bit, but not much. It may be that recidivism is a visible issue with some. Here in Texas, when Bush became governor in 1994 the amount of time one has to serve on an aggravated offense to become eligible for parole went from 1/4 of the sentence flat to 1/2, drug offenses committed in a drug free zone went from 1/4 to 1/3, good time credit stopped being applied to the release process other than on paper, the Super Intensive Supervision Program (SISP) came into existence applying to violent & sexual offenses where parole is concerned and some other stuff, as well. Two people in particular who came along that influenced some of that....Henry Lee Lucas and Kenneth McDuff. We saw changes in sentencing & prison expansion that were extreme.

I don't know what the story is in Pennsylvania, but obviously something has happened or has been happening.
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:50 AM
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Actually, all of these efforts are riding the wave of gun-control campaigns. (It's always an election year for people in our legislature.) Research done within PA has already been offered; it's clear that these laws would not reduce crime and would reverse the declining trend of our prison population.

The fact is that we already have sentence enhancements for the mere presence of a deadly weapon at a crime and our Uniform Firearm Act creates a comprehensive scheme of gun-related offenses. Longer sentences won't change things.
Justice and compassion don't have to be exclusive.
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