COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA v.MICHAEL LANE
No. 1602 EDA 2004 2008 PA Super 8 Atlantic: n/a Filed: 1/4/2008
Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence dated December 16, 2003,In the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County,Criminal Division at No. 3487 of 2002
Before: JOYCE, STEVENS, LALLY-GREEN, TODD, KLEIN, BENDER, GANTMAN, McCAFFERY and PANELLA, JJ.
Opinion by: McCAFFERY, J.
Dissenting Opinion by: BENDER, J.
Appellant, Michael Lane, appeals from the judgment of sentence imposed after a jury convicted him of three counts of robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, and one count of possessing an instrument of crime. Specifically, Appellant argues that a jury, rather than the judge, should have determined whether to sentence Appellant to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9714. We conclude that because the protections of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution do not extend to the fact of prior convictions and because it is solely the existence of two prior convictions that caused Appellant to be eligible to possibly be sentenced within a range of increased penalties, the trial court properly imposed the judgment of sentence. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of sentence.