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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. PEGGY JEAN KRAFT (01/29/82)

filed: January 29, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
v.
PEGGY JEAN KRAFT, APPELLANT



No. 2612 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Chester County, No. 0857 of 1980.

COUNSEL

John R. Merrick, Public Defender, Charles M. J. Nester, Assistant Public Defender, West Chester, for appellant.

James Freeman, District Attorney, West Chester, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Hester, Cavanaugh and Beck, JJ. Cavanaugh, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Beck

[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 600]

Appellant Peggy Jean Kraft pleaded guilty to the charge of arson in the first degree, 18 Pa.S.C. § 3301(a) and, on October 27, 1980, was sentenced to "imprisonment in a State Institution for a period of not less than two years, nor more than four years, and to stand committed to the State Correctional Institution at Muncy for diagnosis and further assignment upon service of the sentence."

Appellant timely filed a Motion to Modify Sentence. The Motion was denied, and this appeal from judgment of sentence followed. The appellant presents two questions on appeal.

(1) Was the sentence to confinement of not less than two years nor more than four years manifestly excessive as to inflict too severe a punishment?*fn1

[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 601]

(2) Did the sentencing judge abuse discretion by reference to the proposed sentencing guidelines which were not in effect at the time sentence was imposed?*fn2

In reviewing a sentence challenged as manifestly excessive, this court is required to review the sentence itself and the process by which the sentencing judge reached it.

If the sentencing judge followed the obligatory procedures enacted to assure careful, intelligent and informed sentencing, then this court may review the sentence only to ensure that there has not been an abuse of the wide discretion accorded the sentencing court: Commonwealth v. Knight, 479 Pa. 209, 387 A.2d 1297 (1977); Commonwealth v. Martin, 466 Pa. 118, 351 A.2d 650 (1976); Commonwealth v. Landi, 280 Pa. Super. 134, 421 A.2d 442 (1980). On the other hand, if the sentencing judge did not follow the obligatory procedures, then this court must remand for resentencing in accordance with the applicable statutes and rules: Commonwealth v. Butch, 487 Pa. 30, 407 A.2d 1302 (1979); Commonwealth v. Bryner, 285 Pa. Super. 305, 427 A.2d 236 (1981); Commonwealth v. Wicks, 265 Pa. Super. 305, 401 A.2d 1223 (1979).*fn3 We find that the judge failed to follow the statutory mandates of the Sentencing Code. We therefore vacate judgment of sentence and remand for resentencing in accordance with this opinion.

42 Pa.C.S. § 9701 et seq. and Chapter 1400 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure control the procedure by which sentences are imposed. Within those confines, it is recognized that the sentencing judge has broad discretion. However, the judge is limited by the enacted boundaries. In the instant case, the sentencing judge demonstrated ...


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