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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down School Zone Mandatory Minimum

Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared Pennsylvania's school zone mandatory minimum sentence for drug offenses to be unconstitutional in the case of Commonwealth v. Hopkins. This affirmed an earlier Pennsylvania Superior Court decision in Commonwealth v. Bizzel, which had already declared the school zone mandatory minimum to be unconstitutional in 2014. The highly-criticized school zone mandatory created a two to four year mandatory minimum sentence for any drug felony occurring within 1,000 feet of the real property line of any school or university. In densely populated areas, or college towns like State College, entire communities were "school zones."

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