Commonwealth v. Aldan – Case Brief Summary (N.Mariana Islands)

In Commonwealth v. Aldan, 1997 MP 31 §§ 35-39, 5 N. Mar. I. 139 (Villagomez, J., dissenting), the dissent addressed the issue of whether the trial court was required to sentence the defendant under a certain subsection of 6 CMC § 2142.

While the majority's opinion determined issues not directly related to those at issue in this case, we explicitly adopted the dissent's analysis of 6 CMC § 2142. 1997 MP 31 § 21 n.8, 5 N. Mar. I. 139.

The Court found 6 CMC § 2142 to be unambiguous, explaining that:

Read in their entirety, the plain language of subsections 2142(a) through (d), means that a defendant who has been convicted under subsection 2142(a) shall be sentenced under subsection 2142(b). However, if the defendant's conviction is for possession of methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroine, then in addition to the penalties imposed under subsection (b), the court may also impose the applicable penalties under subsection (d). (Id. § 37.)