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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. CLIFFORD DEWAYNE VICKERS (04/04/88)

submitted: April 4, 1988.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
CLIFFORD DEWAYNE VICKERS, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence November 6, 1987 in the Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County, Criminal, No. 425 Criminal 1987.

COUNSEL

James M. Goodwin, Assistant Public Defender, Sharon, for appellant.

Lorinda L. Hinch, Assistant District Attorney, Mercer, for Com., appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Popovich and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Cirillo

[ 374 Pa. Super. Page 116]

This is an appeal from a judgment of sentence entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County. Appellant, Clifford DeWayne Vickers, does not challenge the legality of the sentence. Thus, an appeal is not taken as of right. See 42 Pa.C.S. § 9781(a). Here, Vickers challenges the discretionary aspects of the sentence.

When appealing the discretionary aspects of a sentence, the appellant must invoke this court's jurisdiction by including in his appellate brief a separate concise statement demonstrating that there exists a substantial questions as to the appropriateness of the sentence under the Sentencing Code. 42 Pa.C.S. § 9781(b); Commonwealth v. Tuladziecki,

[ 374 Pa. Super. Page 117513]

Pa. 508, 511-513, 522 A.2d 17, 19 (1987). Only after appellant has fulfilled these requirements will this court review the merits of the case. Tuladziecki, supra; Commonwealth v. Cummings, 368 Pa. Super. 341, 344, 534 A.2d 114, 115 (1987).

Vickers has included in his brief a statement of the reasons relied upon for allowance of appeal. See Pa.R.A.P. 2119(f). However, "[i]t is only where a party can articulate reasons why a particular sentence raises doubts that [the sentencing] scheme as a whole has been compromised that the appellate court should review the manner in which the trial court exercised its discretion." Tuladziecki, 513 Pa. at 515, 522 A.2d at 20. Here, appellant merely states that a substantial question is raised "because the court below erred in imposing consecutive terms of imprisonment in a state penal institution, each being for not less than nine months nor more than three years, upon a twenty year old man who has admitted his guilt, has admitted his need for help with his drug and alcohol problem, and who has no significant criminal history . . ." The appellant concludes that the court has deprived him of his freedom without addressing a clear need for treatment.

This assertion does not provide the court with any articulable reasons why the sentence imposed compromises the sentencing scheme as a whole. Simply stated, the statement fails to mention the crimes for which appellant was sentenced. This court, in Commonwealth v. Cummings, supra, recently articulated the minimum requirements needed in order for this court to determine whether a "substantial question" is raised:

The terms of the sentence the appellant is asking us to review and the crime or crimes which gave rise to that sentence are sine qua nons of a petition for allowance of appeal of the discretionary aspects of a sentence. This court simply cannot gauge whether there is a "substantial question" that "a particular sentence raises doubts that [the scheme of the Sentencing Code] as a whole has ...


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