No. 424 Harrisburg, 1982, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of December 10, 1982 in the Court of Common Pleas of York County, Criminal Division, No. 1528 C.A. 1982
John D. Finchbaugh, Assistant Public Defender, York, for appellant.
Sheryl A. Dorney, First Assistant District Attorney, York, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Spaeth, President Judge, and Cirillo and Cercone, JJ. Cirillo, J., files a dissenting opinion.
[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 200]
On August 12, 1982, appellant failed to return to the York County Prison where he was on work outmate status and was charged with escape. He was arrested four days later. Appellant entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to three (3) to six (6) years incarceration. His petition for reconsideration was denied and he has taken this appeal.
[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 201]
Appellant was sentenced under the new Sentencing Guidelines, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9721, 204 Pa.Code Ch. 303 (effective July 22, 1982). He had a prior record consisting of burglary, receiving stolen property and a previous charge of escape. Considering the offense gravity score of 7 for escape and the prior record score of 4,*fn1 the minimum range under the guidelines was 33 to 49 months. The sentence imposed fell within this range. However, appellant argues that the court abused its discretion in two respects. First, it is claimed that the court failed to consider appellant's background and the circumstances of the case. Next, he argues that the sentence exceeds the minimum amount of jail time consistent with the protection of the public and appellant's rehabilitative needs.
In Commonwealth v. Royer, 328 Pa. Superior Ct. 60, 476 A.2d 453 (1984), a panel of this court explicitly found that the requirement, announced in Commonwealth v. Riggins, 472 Pa. 115, 377 A.2d 140 (1977), that the sentencing court must articulate at the time of sentencing the reasons for the sentence imposed, was applicable to cases arising under the guidelines promulgated by the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.*fn2
In imposing sentence the court did review appellant's prior criminal involvement, as well as the circumstances of the present charge of escape. Appellant claimed to have left detention because he had received word that his mother in Puerto Rico was ill; he subsequently learned that she had passed away. He was re-captured in York County only after the police fired shots to stop him. He had attempted to justify his prior escape by claiming he wished to attend his grandmother's funeral. The court finding that appellant had a poor work history and no job possibilities found
[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 202]
no reason to deviate from the standard sentence established by the guidelines.
While it is clear that the court reviewed appellant's background and the circumstances of the case, we must conclude that its statement of reasons is wholly inadequate. The sentencing code requires that a court follow "the general principle that the sentence imposed should call for confinement that is consistent with the protection of the public, . . . and the rehabilitative needs of the defendant." 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9721(b). See Commonwealth v. McCall, 320 Pa. Superior Ct. 473, 467 A.2d 631 (1983); Commonwealth v. Brown, 314 Pa. Superior Ct. 311, 460 A.2d 1155 (1983). The court here did not address such considerations. Where a sentence falls within statutory ...