Commonwealth v. Williams

The Pennsylvania Superior Court begrudgingly vacated the defendant’s illegal sentence. The defendant pleaded guilty to various crimes and was sentenced to two years’ state intermediate punishment (“SIP”) followed by three years’ probation. Less than a year later, the defendant absconded from SIP and remained a fugitive for twenty-two months. On December 18, 2019, the section of the Sentencing Code governing revocation of SIP was repealed. On September 11, 2020, the trial court resentenced the defendant and imposed forty-eight-to-ninety-six months’ incarceration. The defendant appealed and argued that the trial court lacked the authority to revoke his SIP sentence because 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9774, which controlled revocation of SIP sentences, was repealed at the time of his SIP revocation and resentencing. The Superior Court agreed. The Court ruled that the General Assembly unequivocally repealed the SIP revocation procedure, see 61 Pa.C.S. § 4105(f)(3) (repealed); see also 42 Pa.C.S. § 9774 (repealed), without enacting counterparts to those deleted sections in the new statute. Therefore, the trial court did not have the statutory authority to revoke the defendant’s SIP sentence.

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