CLEs, Meetings and Events
11/21/2019 to 11/22/2019 EST
PACDL Provides Sentence Commission Testimony
On June 12, 2019, PACDL submitted testimony on the Sentencing Commission's Proposed Amendment 5 to the 7th Edition Guidelines and Proposed Resentencing Guidelines urging support of the proposed revisions to 303.3 pertaining to the offense gravity score for fentanyl. Additionally, it opposed proposed revisions to 303.6 that would include prior juvenile adjudications for driving under the influence and operating a watercraft under the influence, and changes to Section 7314 pertaining to the fraudulent traffic in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits that proposes to increase the maximum offense grading to a felony of the second degree for trafficking offenses in excess of $2,500. Finally, it reiterated is concerns about the Risk Assessment Instrument. To read more . . . .
PACDL Files Comment to PA R. Evid. 401
On May 29, PACDL submitted comments to proposed changes to Pa. R. Evid. 401 Comment. It indicated that as a general rule, it supports additional language that would make it clear that a person's class is irrelevant and can only result in injecting prejudice into trial assessment. However, it also noted that such proof may be relevant to present a defense or confront adverse witnesses. It pointed out that the immigration status of a government cooperating witness is often relevant to establish a motive to blame others. Read the entire letter.
PACDL Files Comments re: Proposed Criminal Proc. Rule 231 (Grand Jury Secrecy)
On May 10, PACDL filed comments to the proposal that would make changes to Rule 231. PACDL noted that the proposed language falls short because it fails to resolve ambiguous language that suggests it is appropriate to swear witnesses to secrecy. Additionally, PACDL objected to routinely requiring counsel to be sworn to secrecy and fetters counsel's ability to represent witness. To read PACDL's comments, click here. Thank you to Justin Danilewitz at Saul Ewing for preparing the comment letter.
PACDL Opposes Marsy's Law
PACDL voiced its opposition to Senate Bill 149 and House Bill 276 (commonly known as Marsy's Law) which propose to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to establish a crime victims' bill of rights. PACDL argued that these bills suffer from substantial defects which undermine defendants' fundamental due process and constitutional rights including the right to a presumption of innocence, the right to a fair and impartial trial, and right to confront witnesses and evidence against him/her. PACDL's opposition letter can be found here.