Commonwealth v. DeJesus

An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that the defendant waived his challenge to the sentencing court’s consideration of mitigating factors because he did not invoke the Court’s jurisdiction to review the discretionary aspects of his sentence. In 1997, the defendant was sentenced to life without parole (“LWOP”). In 2017, the lower court re-sentenced him to LWOP. On appeal, the Superior Court ruled that although the defendant framed his challenge as a legality of sentence issue, the crux of the argument was that the sentencing court improperly weighed certain expert testimony regarding his mental health and erroneously concluded that he was incapable of rehabilitation. In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Jones v. Mississippi, and that the defendant did not argue the sentencing court failed to consider his “youth and attendant characteristics,” the Superior Court characterized the defendant’s challenge as one to the discretionary aspects of his sentence, not its legality. But he waived the claim because he did not include a Pa.R.A.P. 2119(f) Statement in his brief and explain how his sentence was inappropriate under the Sentencing Code or sentencing norms.

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