A blog of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section

December 11, 1787– Pennsylvania ratifies the Constitution.

Judge Jack Panella elected President Judge of Superior Court

Click for news release.

Supreme Court adopts new rules of bench warrants, material witnesses

Click for Order

Click for Text

Click for Final Report

The materials below are from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest.

2017-18 Legislative Session Ends, 2019-20 Legislative Session on the Horizon

The 2017-18 legislative session officially ended on November 30. All bills that were introduced during this session have ‘ died’ and now need to be reintroduced. The 2019-20 session will formally convene at 12:00 noon on the first Tuesday of January 2019, which happens to be New Years Day, when new members will be sworn in. The inauguration and swearing in of Governor Tom Wolf and Lt. Governor John Fetterman is scheduled for January 15 in Harrisburg… marking the formal beginning of their 4-year term.  The Governor’s budget address will be February 5.

Commonwealth Court ‘Shoots Down’ Part of Pennsylvania’s New Fireworks Law

On Tuesday, Commonwealth Court ruled that part of Pennsylvania’s new fireworks law is unconstitutional. Specifically, the judges shot down all provisions of that law which allow for more powerful fireworks to be sold from temporary tents and other structures that have popped up in parking lots. Read more here.

Senate Session Schedule

January 1, 15, 16, 28, 29, 30

February 4, 5, 6  

Budget Hearings: Feb. 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, March 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

March 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

April 8, 9, 10, 29, 30

May 1, 6, 7, 8

June 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

House Session Schedule

January 1, 15, 16, 28, 29, 30

February 4, 5, 6, 19, 20, 21

Budget Hearings: Feb. 11 March 7

March 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

April 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 29, 30

May 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23

June 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to hold hearing on Risk Sentence Risk Assessment Instrument on Wednesday in Philadelphia

The Commission will hold the following five public hearings to receive comments on the proposed Sentence Risk Assessment Instrument. Click for link to Risk Assessment Instrument.


Hearing I.
Date: Thursday, December 6, 2018
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Pennsylvania Judicial Center, Conference Room A
601 Commonwealth Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Hearing II.
Date: Monday, December 10, 2018
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Monroe County Courthouse, Courtroom 1
610 Monroe Street
Stroudsburg, PA 18360

Hearing III.
Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice, Courtroom 504
1301 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Hearing IV.
Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Allegheny County Courthouse, Courtroom 327
436 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Hearing V.
Date: Friday, December 14, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: Warren County Courthouse, Main Courtroom
204 Fourth Avenue
Warren, PA 16365

Persons or organizations wishing to testify before the Commission are asked to contact the Commission no later than 48 hours prior to the hearing (Cathy Dittman at 814.863.5729 or CWD2@PSU.EDU) and bring 30 copies of any written comments to the public hearing.


Written comments from persons or organizations not wishing to testify at one of the five public hearings should be submitted no later than Friday, November 30, 2018 to: Mark H. Bergstrom, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, P. O. Box 1200, State College, PA 16804-1200.

Source:  http://hominid.psu.edu/specialty_programs/pacs/news/public-hearing-notice

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Supreme Court adopts new Criminal Rule 556.13 concerning post indictment arrest warrant proceduresC

Click for Order

Click for Text

Click for Final Report

February 1 is deadline to comment on proposed rules on PACFiling in Juvenile Court

Click for Notice

The information below is from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest.

Session Schedule                                                                                               

Senate [Updated]

January 1, 15, 16, 28, 29, 30

February 4, 5, 6  

Budget Hearings: Feb. 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, March 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

March 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

April 8, 9, 10, 29, 30

May 1, 6, 7, 8

June 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

House [Updated]

January 1, 15, 16

Budget Hearings: Feb. 11, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, March 4, 5, 6, 7

Weeks Ahead                                                                                              

December 5-6-Commission on Sentencing.  Harrisburg. (formal notice)

January 15– NEW. Inauguration Day For Governor Wolf, Lieutenant Governor Fetterman

February 5– NEW. Governor’s Budget Address.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale issues firearm safety special report.

Click for news release

December 3, 1818.  Illinois admitted to the Union.

Murals by Violet Oakley in Senate Chamber

Session Schedule

Senate 

January 1, 28, 29, 30

February 4, 5, 6  

March 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

April 8, 9, 10, 29, 30

May 1, 6, 7, 8

June 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

House

January 1

Commission on Sentencing meets December 5-6.  Click for notice.

Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest

News from The Marshall Project

What’s really in the First Step Act?

Treatment denied.  The mental health crisis in Federal Prisons.

  • November 26, 1861 – Delegates convene in Wheeling to draft a state constitution. They name the new state West Virginia, add five additional counties to the state boundary (bringing the total to forty-four).  Source:  Encyclopedia Virginia.

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The General Assembly is in recess until January.  The members of the newly elected General Assembly have chosen the following leaders:

House Republicans 

— Speaker: Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), re-elected

— Majority Leader: Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster), previously served as Whip

— Majority Whip: Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre), previously served as Policy Chair

— Majority Appropriations Chair: Stan Saylor (R-York), re-elected

— Caucus Chair: Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery), re-elected

— Policy Committee Chair: Donna Oberlander (R-Armstrong), served as Caucus Secretary

— Caucus Administrator: Kurt Masser (R-Columbia), re-elected

— Caucus Secretary: Mike Reese (R-Somerset)

The new House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler highlighted 3 priorities Republicans will be working on starting in January– career and technical education, expansion of the EITC Education Tax Credit Program and enacting the regulatory reform package two of the new members of the new leadership team were promoting– Reps. Benninghoff and Oberlander.

Rep. Cutler said he is focused on finding solutions to problems and reaching across the political aisle on issues were Republicans have common ground with Democrats, like on education funding and jobs.

House Democrats 

— Majority Leader: Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny), re-elected

— Majority Whip: Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia)

— Majority Appropriations Chair: Matt Bradford (D-Montgomery)

— Caucus Chair: Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia)

— Policy Committee Chair: Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster), re-elected

— Caucus Administrator: Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill), re-elected

— Caucus Secretary: Rosita Youngblood (D-Philadelphia) re-elected

Senate Republicans

— President Pro Tempore: Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), re-elected

— Majority Leader: Jake Corman (R-Centre), re-elected

— Majority Whip: John Gordner (R-Columbia), re-elected

– Majority Appropriations Chair: Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), re-elected

— Caucus Chair:  Robert Mensch (R-Montgomery), re-elected

— Caucus Secretary: Richard Alloway (R-Adams), re-elected

— Caucus Administrator:  [To Be Named ]

— Policy Committee Chair: David Argall (R-Schuylkill), re-elected

Senate Democrats

Minority Leader: Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), re-elected

— Minority Whip: Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia), re-elected

— Minority Appropriations Chair: Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia), re-elected

— Caucus Chair: Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny), re-elected

— Caucus Secretary: Lawrence Farnese (D-Philadelphia), re-elected

— Caucus Administrator: John Blake (D-Lackawanna), re-elected

— Policy Committee Chair: Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh), re-elected

The Commission on Sentencing meets December 5-6.  Click for formal notice.

(Information above from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

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Public Hearing December 12 in Philadelphia for Proposed Sentence Risk Assessment Instrument

During the June 14, 2018 quarterly meeting, the Commission approved a motion to postpone adoption of the proposed Sentence Risk Assessment Instrument and to direct staff to do the following:

1. Prepare and publish a summary of the issues raised during the public hearings and responses to those issues.

2. Publish the findings of the Urban Institute’s external review of the proposed Sentence Risk Assessment Instrument upon receipt;

  • To date, the Commission has not received the Urban Institute’s review

3. Solicit proposals from the public for a Sentence Risk Assessment Instrument as described in 42 Pa.C.S. 2154.7; and

4. Schedule a minimum three public hearings in December 2018 to receive proposals and to review comments on any revisions to the Commission’s proposal.

  • Harrisburg, Thursday, December 6, 2018, 2:00 p.m.
  • Stroudsburg, Monday, December 10, 2018, 2:00 p.m.
  • Philadelphia, Wednesday, December 12, 2018, 10:00 a.m.
  • Pittsburgh, Thursday, December 13, 2018, 10:00 a.m.
  • Warren, Friday, December 14, 2018, 9:00 a.m.

On September 6, 2018, the Commission on Sentencing approved for purposes of public comment, the Sentence Risk Assessment Instrument. It is published in the November 3, 2018 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Proposed Sentence Risk Assessment Instrument (48 PaB 6961, published November 3, 2018)

Information above from Commission on Sentencing website.  Click for details.

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Criminal Justice Section Holiday Party and Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, December 12
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Drexel University
Thomas R. Kline School Of Law Institute of Trial Advocacy
12th and Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia

Presenting 
The Thurgood Marshall Award (posthumously) to
Stuart H. Schuman, Esq. 
And the Henry Czajkowski Award to
Philadelphia Veterans Court

Enjoy the company of colleagues and friends over drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres

Registration required by December 7

Click to Register $50 – Public Interest and Government Attorney Members
$50 – Law Student Members
$60 – Members
$70 – Non-Members
Judges Complimentary

 

download

North Carolina ratifies Constitution, November 21, 1789

Legislative leaders chosen

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From Crisci Associates:

Leadership chosen for next session of the General Assembly

— President Pro Tempore:Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), re-elected
— Majority Leader:Jake Corman (R-Centre), re-elected
— Majority Whip:John Gordner (R-Columbia), re-elected
— Majority Appropriations Chair:Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), re-elected
— Caucus Chair:  Robert Mensch (R-Montgomery), re-elected
— Caucus Secretary:Richard Alloway (R-Adams), re-elected
— Caucus Administrator: [ to be named ]
— Policy Committee Chair:David Argall (R-Schuylkill), re-elected
.
–Minority Leader:Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), re-elected
— Minority Whip:Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia), re-elected
— Minority Appropriations Chair:Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia), re-elected
— Caucus Chair: Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny), re-elected
— Caucus Secretary:Lawrence Farnese (D-Philadelphia), re-elected
— Caucus Administrator:John Blake (D-Lackawanna), re-elected
— Policy Committee Chair:Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh), re-elected
.
— Speaker:Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), re-elected
— Majority Leader:Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster), previously served as Whip
— Majority Whip:Kerry Benninghoff( R-Centre), previously served as Policy Chair
— Majority Appropriations Chair:Stan Saylor (R-York), re-elected
— Caucus Chair: Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery), re-elected
— Policy Committee Chair:Donna Oberlander (R-Armstrong), served as Caucus Secretary
— Caucus Administrator:Kurt Masser (R-Columbia), re-elected
— Caucus Secretary:Mike Reese (R-Somerset)
.
            The new House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler highlighted 3 priorities Republicans will be working on starting in January– career and technical education, expansion of the EITC Education Tax Credit Program and enacting the regulatory reform package two of the new members of the new leadership team were promoting– Reps. Benninghoff and Oberlander.
.
            Rep. Cutler said he is focused on finding solutions to problems and reaching across the political aisle on issues were Republicans have common ground with Democrats, like on education funding and jobs.
.
— Majority Leader:Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny), re-elected
— Majority Whip:Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia)
— Majority Appropriations Chair:Matt Bradford (D-Montgomery)
— Caucus Chair: Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia)
— Policy Committee Chair:Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster), re-elected
— Caucus Administrator:Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill), re-elected
— Caucus Secretary:Rosita Youngblood (D-Philadelphia) re-elected

stateCapital

Session Schedule                                                                                               

Senate (Recessed to the Call of the President Pro Tempore)

November 14 (leadership elections)

House (On A 12-Hour Call)

November 13 (Now Voting Day) (leadership elections)

Weeks Ahead                                                                                              

December 5-6-Commission on Sentencing.  Harrisburg. (formal notice)

Election Results

What’s Coming Up This Week In The Waning Days Of House, Senate Session

The House returns to Harrisburg November 13 and the Senate November 14 for the same purpose– to elect their legislative caucus leaders for the new legislative session starting in January..

Because of retirements, House Republicans have the most slots to fill, including House Majority Leader, followed by House Democrats who need to fill their Whip and Appropriations Committee Chair positions.

The House also has the most new members– Democrats with 23 and Republicans with 20– which means most anything could happen in their selection of leaders.

Senate Republicans and Democrats, with fewer retirements, don’t have as many vacant leadership positions, but again, things happen.

After they adjourn this week, they will not return until January 1 at Noon to start the new 2019-20 legislative session.

Then it will be off to the races– all bills needing to start over, new committee chairs and members to name, hearings in the Senate on Gov. Wolf cabinet nominations (because he has a new terms) and the Governor’s budget proposal.

Wolf, Casey Win, Democrats Add Members In Senate, House And Congress

Election Day in Pennsylvania was a good day for Democrats with Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Senator Bob Casey both winning the statewide races.

Although the control of the state House and Senate have not changed, Democrats made significant gains in each chamber, primarily from districts in the Southeast.

Democrats won five state Senate seats from Republicans, with incumbent Republican Senators McGarrigle (Delaware) and Rafferty (Montgomery) losing. Republican Sen. Tomlinson (Bucks) won his seat with a 100 vote margin. As a result, Republicans have lost their veto-proof voting margin.

A special election will need to be held to fill the seat of Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny), who won his race in the 14th Congressional District.

The split in the Senate is now 29 Republicans and 21 Democrats.  It was 34 Republicans (including 1 vacant seat) and 16 Democrats.  

In the House, Democrats, overall won 14 seats and lost 3– two incumbent House Democrats lost– Bryan Barbin (Cambria) and Helen Tai (Bucks). Democrats lost one open seat (Rep. Hanna). Republican incumbents Alexander Charlton (Delaware), Rebecca Corbin (Chester), Kate Harper (Montgomery), Warren Kampf (Chester/Montgomery), Duane Milne (Chester), Thomas Quigley (Montgomery), Eric Roe (Chester) and James Santora (Delaware) losing their bid for reelection. Republicans also lost 5 open seats, all in the Southeast.

There will need to be a special elections to fill the 114th District seat of Rep. Sid Kavulich (D-Luzerne), who passed away in October, and presumably for Rep. Vanessa Brown (D-Philadelphia), who was re-elected, but recently convicted on corruption charges.

The split in the House is now 110 Republicans and 93 Democrats (including special election seats). It was 121 Republicans and 82 Democrats.

In U.S. House seats, Democrats picked up 5 seats, all but one in the Southeast, which means the state Congressional delegation is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats 9 to 9.

Visit the Department of State Election Results website for all the details on statewide, House, Senate and Congressional election results.

Here are some details–

— Governor:

Tom Wolf (D) Scott Wagner (R)  Paul Glover (Green) Kenneth Krawchuk (Libertarian)

— U.S. Senator:

Bob Casey (D)  Lou Barletta (R)  Neal Taylor Gale (Green)  Dale Kerns (Libertarian)

— PA State Senate: Revised Total – 29 R, 21 D (Was 34 R, 16 D, 1 R Vacant)

10th District (Open, Was R): Marguerite Quinn (R)   ✔ Steve Santarsiero (D)

12th District: (Open, Was R) Stewart Greenleaf, Jr. (R)    ✔ Maria Collett (D)

26th District (Was R): Tom McGarrigle (R)   ✔ Timothy Kearney (D)

38th District: (Open, Was R): Jeremy Shaffer (R)   ✔ Lindsey Williams (D)

44th (Was R): John Rafferty (R)   ✔ Katie Muth (D)

— PA State House:  Revised Total 110 R, 93 D (Was 121 R, 82 D)

53rd District (Open, Was R): George Szekely (R)   ✔ Steven Malagari (D)  John Waldenberger (Libertarian)

61st District (Was R): Kate Harper (R)  ✔ Laura Hanbridge (D)

71st District (Was D):James Rigby (R)     Bryan Barbin (D)

74th District (Was R): Amber Little-Turner (R)   ✔ Dan Williams (D)

76th District (Open, Was D): ✔ Stephanie Borowicz (R)  Mike Hanna Jr. (D)

143rd District (Was R): Joseph Flood (R)   ✔ Wendy Ullman (D)

146th District (Was R): Thomas Quigley (R)  ✔ Joseph Ciresi (D)

150th District (Was R): Nicholas Fountain (R)   ✔ Joseph Webster (D)

155th District (Was R):  Becky Corbin (R)   ✔ Danielle Otten (D)

157th District (Was R): Warren Kampf (R)   ✔ Melissa Shusterman (D)

158th District (Was R): Erie Roe (R)   ✔ Christina Sappey (D)

162th District (Open, Was R): Mary Hopper (R)    ✔ David Delloso (D)

163th District (Was R): James Santora (R)     ✔ Michael Zabel (D)

165th District (Was R): Alexander Charlton (R)   ✔ Jennifer Omara (D)

167th District (Was R): Duane Milne (R)   ✔ Kristine Howard (D)

177th District (Was R): Patty Kozlowski (R)   ✔ Joseph Hohenstein (D)

178th District (Was D): ✔ Wendi Thomas (R)    Helen Tai (D)

— U.S. Congress: Delegation now evenly split 9 R to 9 D (Was 10 R, 6 D, 2 R Vacancies)

4th District (Open, Was R): Daniel David (R)     ✔ Madeleine Dean Cunnane (D)

5th District (Open, Was R): Pearl Kim (R)     ✔ Mary Gay Scanlon (D)

6th District (Open, Was R): Gregory Michael McCauley (R)   ✔ Christina Jampoler Houlahan (D)

7th District (Open, Was R): Martin Nothstein (R)    ✔ Susan Ellis Wild (D)

17th District (Was R): Keith Rothfus (R)    ✔ Conor Lamb (D)

Visit the Department of State Election Results website for all the details on statewide, House, Senate and Congressional election results.

The information above is from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest

 

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Pennsylvania Veterans Courts make a difference.

News Release from Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, November 9, 2018

Pennsylvania’s veteran population ranks fourth in the U.S. with 819,185 veterans as of 2017. Since 2009, Pennsylvania’s Veterans Courts have been assisting veterans who are charged with crimes and are struggling with addiction, mental illness or co-occurring disorders. Veterans Court participants appear before a judge on a regular basis; receive support and guidance from veteran mentors; and get treatment to address underlying problems often caused by posttraumatic stress disorder. In 2017, 196 out of 284 veterans graduated from this specialty court, which is a 73 percent successful graduation rate.

Pennsylvanias Veterans Courts Make a Difference for Veterans - 007384

 

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Session Schedule

Senate (Recessed to the Call of the President Pro Tempore)

November 14 (leadership elections)

House (On 12-Hour Call)

November 13 (Now Voting Day) (leadership elections)

The Weeks Ahead

December 5-6– Commission on Sentencing.  Harrisburg. (formal notice)

The information above is from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest.

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Montana Statehood, November 8, 1889

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