ACLU-PA Position: Opposes
For each conviction of a violent offense while incarcerated, HB 146 , known as "Markie's Law," delays consideration of parole by adding a mandatory 24 months to the minimum term of incarceration for their original offense or 24 months following the conviction, whichever is longer. For obstruction of justice convictions while incarcerated, the bill delays consideration of parole by adding a mandatory 12 months to the minimum term of incarceration for their original offense or 12 months following the conviction, whichever is longer.
HB 146 would effectively establish two separate mandatory sentencing enhancements by delaying consideration of parole for convictions of certain offenses committed while a person is incarcerated. Of critical concern is how the bill proposes to impose these mandatory sentences. HB 146 may be construed as a re-sentencing. Depending on the conviction, the bill would permit an additional 12 or 24 months of incarceration beyond the statutory minimum for their original offense. In other words, HB 146 would increase the term of incarceration after a judge has imposed the sentence. It is unclear where the legislature derives this authority and may create grounds for a constitutional challenge for violating the ex post facto clauses of the Pennsylvania and U.S. constitutions
Governor Wolf vetoed HB 146 on September 30, 2022. Read his veto message here.