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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. HAROLD THEODORE SMITH (11/06/81)

SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


November 6, 1981

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
HAROLD THEODORE SMITH, A/K/A HARRY THEODORE SMITH, APPELLANT

No. 834 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Please of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Criminal Division, Nos. 1718, 1719, 1720, 1721, 1775 of 1979.

Before Brosky, Johnson and Popovich, JJ.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Appellant entered pleas of guilty to one count of Robbery (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3701) and four counts of Burglary (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3502)*fn1 on January 17, 1980.Thereafter, the court sentenced the appellant to a term of 1 1/2 to 5 years for Robbery and 1 1/2 to 5 years for each of the remaining offenses. All the sentences were to be served concurrently. Appellant was also ordered to pay the cost of prosecution and to make restitution in each of the cases.

The only issue raised by the appellant is that the sentence imposed was excessive and an abuse of the lower court's discretion. We disagree.

It is well settled that the imposition of a proper sentence is a matter vested in the sound discretion of the sentencing judge. Commonwealth v. Valentin, 259 Pa. Super. 496, 393 A.2d 935 (1978). Of course, the sentence must be within the statutory limits, see 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 1103, and should impose confinement that is consistent with the protection of the public, the gravity of the offense and the rehabilitative needs of the defendant. See 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 1321(b); Commonwealth v. Andrew, Pa. Super. , 422 A.2d 855 (1980). If the sentence imposed is within the statutory limits, as is the case here, there is no abuse of discretion unless the sentence is manifestly excessive so as to inflict too severe a punishment. Commonwealth v. Hill, 453 Pa. 349, 310 A.2d 88 (1973).

At the hearing, appellant's counsel noted that the presentence report indicated that the 18 year old appellant "had a very unstructured life without any sort... of male guidance" for some 10 years since his father had left the family, and admitted that appellant "need[ed] some sort of structure." (N.T. 3) As for appellant, he merely shrugged his shoulders when asked by the court why he committed the offenses.

In determining the length of the sentence, the judge did not look solely to the nature of the criminal acts. Commonwealth v. Martin, 466 Pa. 118, 351 A.2d 650 (1976). In fact, in compliance with Pennsylvania's individualized sentencing system, Commonwealth v. Riggins, 474 Pa. 115, 377 A.2d 140 (1977), the particular circumstances of the offenses, the character of the appellant, Commonwealth v. Moody, Pa. , 382 A.2d 442 (1977), and the presentence report were all examined and given consideration. See Commonwealth v. Gillespie, Pa. Super. , A.2d (J. 1151/81 filed 9/4/81). Moreover, the judge's reasons for the sentences imposed were adequately stated on the record. (N.T. 7-9); see Commonwealth v. Riggins, supra. Therefore, we are unable to conclude, as appellant would have us do, that the sentences were manifestly excessive or that there was an abuse of the trial judge's discretion.

Judgments of Sentence affirmed.


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