The Second Department, over a dissent, determined an 8 to 16 year sentence for criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree was unduly harsh and reduced the sentence to 5 to 10 years. Defendant had absconded in 1992 and was sentenced in absentia:
“An intermediate appellate court has broad, plenary power to modify a sentence that is unduly harsh or severe under the circumstances, even though the sentence may be within the permissible statutory range” … . Our sentencing review power “may be exercised, if the interest of justice warrants, without deference to the sentencing court” … . In considering whether a sentence is unduly harsh or severe under the circumstances, we exercise our discretion giving consideration to, “among other things, the crime charged, the particular circumstances of the individual before the court and the purpose of a penal sanction, i.e., societal protection, rehabilitation, and deterrence” … .
Here, taking into account the circumstances of the defendant's nonviolent felony drug conviction, which involved the sale of a relatively small amount of cocaine for the sum of $60, the defendant's prior nonviolent felony drug offense, the probation department's finding that the then 22-year-old defendant had a $100 per day drug addiction at the time, and that the People recommended a lower sentence than what was imposed, we find that, even considering that the defendant absconded, the sentence of 8 to 16 years imprisonment was unduly harsh and severe. People v Kordish, 2016 NY Slip Op 04733, 2nd Dept 6-15-16
CRIMINAL LAW (UNDULY HARSH AND SEVERE SENTENCE FOR SALE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE REDUCED)/SENTENCING (UNDULY HARSH AND SEVERE SENTENCE FOR SALE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE REDUCED)/UNDULY HARSH AND SEVERE SENTENCE (UNDULY HARSH AND SEVERE SENTENCE FOR SALE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE REDUCED)/CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, SALE OF (UNDULY HARSH AND SEVERE SENTENCE FOR SALE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE REDUCED