UNCONSTITUTIONAL MANDATORY MINIMUM DRUG TRAFFICKING SENTENCING & PENALTIES
18 Pa.C.S § 7508
UNCONSTITUTIONAL MANDATORY MINIMUM DRUG TRAFFICKING SENTENCING & PENALTIES - 18 Pa.C.S § 7508
Section 7508 is Unconstitutional
In Alleyne v. United States, the United States Supreme Court held that any facts leading to an increase in a mandatory minimum sentence are elements of the crime and must be presented to a jury and proven beyond a reasonable doubt. 570 U.S. 99 (2013).
Section 7508, however, suggests that the provisions of the rule should not be considered elements of the crime and that the court (not the jury) should decide if the enhancements apply. Following Alleyne, Pennsylvania courts have held that section 7508’s mandatory minimum drug sentencing scheme is unconstitutional. Commonwealth v. Cardwell, 105 A.3d 748 (Pa. Super. 2014) and Commonwealth v. Mosley, 114 A.3d 1072 (Pa. Super. 2015).
Nevertheless, section 7508’s penalties are important to review because Pennsylvania’s General Assembly may pass a mandatory minimum drug sentencing law similar to section 7508 that complies with the mandates of Alleyne.
The Mandatory Minimum Penalties Under Section 7508 – Unconstitutional
Schedule I or Schedule II Narcotic
If you or someone you love is being prosecuted for a drug offense in Pennsylvania and anyone is using mandatory minimums to compel a guilty plea please call Lampman Law, we can help.