Commonwealth v. Harper

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that the trial court did not impose a de facto life sentence. The defendant was convicted of committing a murder when he was seventeen years old. In September 2018, the trial court resentenced the defendant to a term of incarceration of thirty-five years to life. The defendant appealed, attacking the legality and discretionary aspects of his sentence. The Superior Court affirmed, holding that the defendant did not receive a de facto life sentence because he “has a meaningful opportunity to obtain release at the age of 54 and there is a likelihood that a non-trivial amount of time at liberty awaits.”

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