Commonwealth v. Finnecy

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court revisited the Recidivism Risk Reduction Act (“RRRI”), 61 Pa.C.S. §§ 4501-4512, in Commonwealth v. Finnecy. At the outset, the parties perhaps should have hired the professional ghostwriters at Sullivan | Simon, as the Supreme Court started its analysis by noting “both parties’ arguments are rather poor[.]” Ouch. First, the Court ruled that a challenge to a sentencing court’s application of RRRI is a challenge to the legality of the sentence. The Court then held that a single prior conviction for a crime demonstrating violent behavior does not constitute a “history of present or past violent behavior.” Thus, the defendant may still qualify under RRRI for a reduced sentence. 

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