Court calls man's prison term of up to 216 years 'excessive'

AP News
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Posted: Sep 05, 2015 3:09 PM

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania appeals court has overturned a drug dealer's prison sentence of up to 216 years, calling it "excessive."

A Blair County senior judge had imposed the 104 1/2- to 216-year sentence four years ago on 43-year-old Gene "Shorty" Carter, of Philadelphia. Carter had been convicted of running a major heroin ring while serving time in a halfway house for a drug conviction.

The judge imposed mandatory sentences for 16 separate crimes Carter committed, then ran them consecutively.

Although the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld those convictions, the Altoona Mirror (http://bit.ly/1KvkP0b) reports Friday that the court ordered Carter must be resentenced.

The court cited a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision that determined juries, not judges, must decide whether mandatory sentences are warranted. It also called Carter's sentence "manifestly unreasonable and excessive."

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Information from: Altoona Mirror, http://www.altoonamirror.com