Violent Felony Offense Committed After Arraignment While Released on Bail

In People v. Garcia (84 NY2d 336 [1994]), the Court addressed the scope of the analogous provisions of Penal Law 70.25 (2-b), requiring a sentencing court to impose consecutive sentences where a defendant is convicted of a violent felony offense committed after arraignment and while released on recognizance or bail but committed prior to sentencing on the pending felony charge, unless the court determines that there exist "mitigating circumstances that bear directly upon the manner in which the crime was committed." There the Court observed that the provision for consecutive sentences was designed to circumscribe, rather than eliminate, the court's sentencing discretion. (Garcia, supra, at 341.) It also observed that factors " 'directly' flowing from and relating to defendant's personal conduct while committing the crime qualify as mitigating circumstances." ( Id., at 342.) In rejecting the trial court's finding that the defendant's age, prior criminal history and drug abuse problem constituted such circumstances, the Court observed that such factors "generally ... do not pertain to defendant's direct manner in the commission of the crime." (Id.)