Rep. Stephens Named to Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission

HARRISBURG-- House Speaker Sam Smith has appointed Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) to the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.


“I’m honored Speaker Smith has selected me to serve on this important Commission,” Stephens said.  “I look forward to ensuring the sentences imposed upon criminals in our Commonwealth deliver justice.”


Speaker Smith cited Rep. Stephens’ work with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office as the basis for the appointment.  “Todd’s experience as a state and federal prosecutor will enable him to hit the ground running as a member of the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing,” Smith said.


The commission establishes the sentencing guidelines judges must follow when sentencing criminal defendants in Pennsylvania.  The guidelines were implemented to maintain a consistent and rational statewide sentencing policy throughout the Commonwealth.  Judges must explain any reason they went above or below the sentencing guidelines for a particular defendant.   


“The guidelines are far more important than the maximums set by the legislature since few defendants receive the maximum sentence,” Stephens said.  “As a prosecutor I worked with the sentencing guidelines every day and am thrilled at the opportunity to help shape them for the entire Commonwealth moving forward.”


In 2008, additional mandates directed the commission to develop resentencing guidelines, state and county parole guidelines, and state recommitment ranges. These new responsibilities enhance accountability and transparency and more closely align state and county parole procedures.


The commission also collects data and information to systematically monitor and report on conformity to guidelines, advises and consults on policy and practices, and undertakes research and evaluation to determine the effectiveness of guidelines.


Stephens replaces former Rep. Doug Reichley who is now a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Lehigh County.


State Representative Todd Stephens

151st District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster


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