Commonwealth v. LaltaprasadAnnotate this Case
After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Defendant pleaded guilty to the subsequent offense portion of each of these charges. After a hearing, the trial judge stated that she would depart downward from the mandatory minimum sentence provisions of the two subsequent offense statutes. The Commonwealth filed a petition for relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3. The Supreme Court allowed the Commonwealth’s petition for relief and vacated Defendant’s sentences, holding that because the Legislature has not yet enacted into law sentencing guidelines recommended by the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211E, 3(e) does not authorize a sentencing judge to depart from the mandatory minimum terms specified by statute for subsequent drug offenses.