The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

May 15, 2014

Blair County bench rejects mandatory sentence procedure

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Common Pleas judges in Blair County have voted 4-2 to reject the state’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year.

In Alleyne vs. United States the high court ruled that a jury, not a judge, should decide whether certain factors that trigger a mandatory sentence have been proven. The case involved a man whose minimum sentence increased from five to seven years in prison after a judge determined the man’s accomplice brandished a weapon during a robbery.

The Altoona Mirror reports the issue was raised in a Blair County drug case in which prosecutors were seeking mandatory sentences.

District Attorney Richard Consiglio called the decision a “sad day for society” and says he’ll appeal. Defense attorney Tom Dickey says state legislators must amend the mandatory sentencing rules.

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State News
  • PennDOT pushes ‘Yellow Dot’ vehicle stickers

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    July 28, 2014

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  • State briefs 7/29/2014

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  • TSA finds gun, ammo in Pittsburgh airport carry-on

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  • Youth pastor fired, jailed after teen-sex charges

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    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the past century.
    But boom times in the Marcellus Shale are bringing online thousands more wells that use a complicated process requiring more careful oversight.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Strained relationship between Corbett, Legislature not new

    Poking and prodding the Legislature to act on pension reform, Gov. Tom Corbett urged lawmakers to shorten their summer break and come back to the Capitol early.
    It’s a modest victory. The House will return to session Aug. 4, instead of the middle of September. And there’s little hint that lawmakers intend to knock themselves out trying to satisfy the governor.

    July 26, 2014

  • Wolf: Wealthy should pay more to cut school taxes

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf would make a centerpiece of his first budget proposal an increase in income taxes on Pennsylvania’s higher-earners to help expand the state’s share of public education funding in exchange for a dollar-for-dollar reduction in local property taxes levied by school boards.

    July 26, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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