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NEWS
March 24, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
William H. Kelly, 86, of Mayfair, a court administrator and professor of criminology at Temple University, died last Saturday, March 15, of causes related to aging at Holy Redeemer Lafayette. Mr. Kelly was a forensic expert who worked his way up in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to become director of police, prison, and parole. Known to friends as Bill, Mr. Kelly built his life around caring for family, friends, the community, and even a nameless murder victim. The impetus to do that was rooted in his faith in God, his family said.
NEWS
March 23, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
The state's highest court will consider whether Camden residents should have been allowed to vote on the disbanding of its police force two years ago. The case, headed to the Supreme Court, is unlikely to affect the current Camden County Metro police division but could have implications on how local governments and petitioners interact on divisive issues. Many of the petitioners who challenged the city two years ago say they're no longer fighting to roll back the new force but for the rights of citizens.
NEWS
March 21, 2014 | BY ERWIN CHEMERINSKY
  JUSTICE Ruth Bader Ginsburg should retire from the Supreme Court after the completion of the current term in June. She turned 81 on Saturday and by all accounts she is healthy and physically and mentally able to continue. But only by resigning this summer can she ensure that a Democratic president will be able to choose a successor who shares her views and values. A great deal turns on who picks Ginsburg's successor. There are, for example, four likely votes to overturn Roe v. Wade on the current court: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. If a Republican president selects Ginsburg's replacement, that justice easily could be the fifth vote needed to allow the government to prohibit all abortions.
NEWS
March 16, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON Gov. Christie's administration on Friday won more time from the state Supreme Court to write new rules to jump-start the state's affordable housing program. The decision vacated a recent appellate court ruling that ordered the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) - which has been near-dormant under Christie's administration - to resume meeting immediately, setting a deadline this month for the agency to create new rules. In a 5-1 decision, the state's high court said COAH could have until May 1, the date it requested, to produce new rules outlining how many affordable homes must be available in each municipality.
NEWS
March 13, 2014 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
GLASSBORO An appellate court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a complaint by a Glassboro police officer who contended he should have been given notice and a hearing before a written reprimand by his superior. The court, affirming a trial court's rejection of David B. Burns' claim, cited state law that specifically requires such process for suspension, removal, fines, and reduction in rank. Thomas Cushane, the attorney for the now-retired officer, said the matter provides an opportunity to address a legislative void.
NEWS
March 13, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
HIS FIVE-YEAR career with the Philadelphia Police Department was drama-filled - and so, too, is his fall from grace. Richard DeCoatsworth, who survived a shotgun blast to the face as a rookie cop in 2007 and was invited to Washington by Michelle Obama in 2009, today is scheduled to be sentenced in criminal court for promoting prostitution and for drug and assault charges. But the drama may not be over. Sources yesterday said DeCoatsworth, 28, refused to submit to a mental-health evaluation, which Common Pleas Judge Charles Ehrlich ordered when he pleaded guilty Feb. 26. There was also speculation that the former cop was waffling on going through with the guilty plea, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Criminal Justice Center.
NEWS
March 13, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
ERICA SANCHEZ - the woman at the center of a swirling scandal that led to the firing and investigation of a homicide detective - calmly waived her right yesterday to a preliminary hearing on charges that she murdered an ex-lover. Sanchez, 33, appeared in court for her abbreviated hearing looking much different from how she did in the police mugshot taken when she was arrested last year in the Sept. 8 knife slaying of her ex-boyfriend, Cesar Vera. Sanchez, a mother of six, was photographed when she surrendered to police in October sporting long, unkempt dyed-blond locks and dark circles under her eyes.
NEWS
March 13, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - Lawyers for two former advisers to Gov. Christie embroiled in the George Washington Bridge controversy argued before a judge Tuesday that their clients should not be compelled to turn over documents about the lane closures to a legislative panel. Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Stepien, his former campaign manager, are not required to comply with subpoenas that violate their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, their attorneys said in Superior Court.
NEWS
March 12, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON The Christie administration's fight over affordable housing mandates is back before the state Supreme Court, which will consider whether to uphold a lower court's order that a near-dormant state agency resume meeting about the rules this week. The state responded in legal filings Sunday that the appellate court had overstepped its boundaries and that the Supreme Court should put on hold the lower court's order setting a schedule for the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). The appellate court, which issued its decision Friday, ordered COAH to quickly produce new rules determining how many affordable homes municipalities must provide.
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