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Commonwealth v. Carr

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that a sentencing court erred and abused its discretion by imposing unreasonable and inappropriate probation conditions. Appellant pleaded guilty to indecent assault of an adult victim who was deaf. Appellant is deaf and communicates primarily through American Sign Language and interpreters. He was sentenced to…

Commonwealth v. Carr
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that a sentencing court erred and abused its discretion by imposing unreasonable and inappropriate probation conditions. Appellant pleaded guilty to indecent assault of an adult victim who was deaf. Appellant is deaf and communicates primarily through American Sign Language and interpreters. He was sentenced to two years of probation with… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Carr

Commonwealth v. Simmons
Pennsylvania Superior Court

An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a landmark decision regarding a trial court’s authority to revoke probation. The Court interpreted 42 Pa.C.S. § 9721 and § 9754 to forbid the common practice of anticipatorily revoking a defendant’s probation before it begins. Here, the defendant was on county parole when he was… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Simmons

Commonwealth v. Stanley
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The defendant was on probation for failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements, pursuant to Megan’s Law III. Later, he was found to be in violation of his probation and sentenced to further probation. He appealed the VOP sentence. The Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated the sentence because Megan’s Law III expired in 2012 and must… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Stanley

United States v. Melvin
3rd Circuit

In United States v. Melvin, the 3rd Circuit clarified the standard for evaluating motions for early termination of supervision pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e). The Court disavowed two prior non-precedential opinions that required termination “only when the sentencing judge is satisfied that something exceptional or extraordinary warrants it, or upon a showing of new or… Continue reading United States v. Melvin

Commonwealth v. Shires
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Commonwealth v. Shires, the PA Superior Court discussed the distinction and significance of conditions of probation and/or parole imposed by the sentencing court, and conditions of supervision, which can be imposed by the probation and/or parole department. Here, the conditions of supervision that the defendant allegedly violated were never ordered by the court nor… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Shires

Commonwealth v. Starr
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The defendant entered guilty pleas to certain charges in the Allegheny County Sex Offender Court and received a probation tail to his sentence. One condition of his probation was that he was not permitted to possess a device that was capable of accessing the internet. The defendant was subsequently repeatedly caught with cell phones with… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Starr

Gass v. 52nd Jud. Dist.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The PA Supreme Court exercised its King’s Bench authority to consider whether Lebanon County courts and probation departments may prohibit a probationer from using medical marijuana where that probationer otherwise is in compliance with Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act. Simply put, the Court held that the courts and probation department could not prohibit medical marijuana use… Continue reading Gass v. 52nd Jud. Dist.