Pennsylvania v. Goldhammer
Annotate this Case
474 U.S. 28 (1985)
U.S. Supreme Court
Pennsylvania v. Goldhammer, 474 U.S. 28 (1985)
Pennsylvania v. Goldhammer
Decided November 12, 1985
474 U.S. 28
Respondent was convicted in a Pennsylvania trial court on multiple counts of theft and multiple counts of forgery. He was sentenced to two-to-five years of imprisonment on a single theft count and five years of probation on one of the forgery counts. Sentence was suspended on the remaining counts. On respondent's appeal, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that the statute of limitations barred the prosecution of several of the theft counts, including the count on which respondent had received his sentence of imprisonment. On the Commonwealth's appeal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court's ruling on the statute of limitations, and denied the Commonwealth's request that the case be remanded to the trial court for resentencing on the remaining theft counts. The court acknowledged that a defendant could be twice sentenced for the same count when there was an intervening retrial at the defendant's request, but it held that resentencing on the counts which were affirmed after an appeal by the Commonwealth was barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause when the sentence of imprisonment on another count was vacated.
Held: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's rationale was inconsistent with the rationale of the holding in United States v. DiFrancesco, 449 U. S. 117, that the Double Jeopardy Clause was not violated by 18 U.S.C. § 3576, which allows the United States to appeal to a court of appeals the sentence given a "dangerous special offender" by a district court, and allows the court of appeals to affirm the sentence, impose a different sentence, or remand to the district court for further sentencing proceedings. Since the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in this case held that resentencing was barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause, it did not consider whether Pennsylvania laws in effect at the time allowed the State to obtain review of the sentences on the counts for which the sentence had been suspended. Accordingly, the judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded for a determination of that issue and for further consideration in light of DiFrancesco.
Certiorari granted; 507 Pa. 236, 489 A.2d 1307, reversed and remanded.
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