December 15, 1991 |
A teenage mother carries a toddler son on her hip while seeking protection from the child's 18-year-old father. An elderly couple cry for their middle-aged son, who has already taken $10,000 from them and now wants more. A woman dressed in a blue sweat suit, who sat next to her husband in a court waiting room, later pulls at her upper lip to show where he bloodied it with his fist. "I just don't want him putting his hands on me," she tells the judge. And so it goes in Courtroom 3 of Family Court, the one courtroom in the city that handles only domestic abuse cases.
February 8, 2001 |
Maurice Moore's brother apparently wanted the last word. His street hustler brother had just been ordered to stand trial for stabbing to death city police Officer Quinn Rose. As the officer's family filed out of the courtroom yesterday, witnesses said Moore's brother cracked: "That's what happens when you are a f------ trick. " The courtroom went berserk. People started screaming and cursing. The cop's family, about 30 strong, began to swarm in the direction of Moore's brother, who was on crutches.
January 17, 1998 |
The uncle accused of trying to rape his 5-year-old niece in 1995 took the witness stand hoping to persuade the judge that the girl had fabricated the story. He didn't succeed. The girl's demeanor on the witness stand "spoke volumes, and reflected her pain of having to relive this," said Assistant District Attorney Robyn Ellen Schwartz yesterday. "It was clear that she actually experienced this," said Schwartz. Common Pleas Judge Robert A. Latrone agreed. He convicted Eric Battle, 29, of 72nd Avenue, of attempted rape, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child and corrupting the morals of a minor.
December 6, 1987 |
In a mammoth courtroom created here in the shell of an abandoned high school, a landmark trial is under way. It heralds what many legal observers are calling a new era of "megatrials. " Megatrials are complex cases involving so many trial lawyers that a conventional courtroom cannot contain them all. Some legal observers laud these cases - and the new facilities and technologies that have made them possible - as pioneering efforts to adapt the legal system to increasingly complex societal problems.
March 19, 1992 |
Privatization: Is it a simple cure to nurse the city's ailing finances back to health? Or an experimental treatment that promises relief, but delivers little? The buzzword of the 1991 mayoral campaign, privatization is now a real option for the city as it grapples with ways to cut a potential $400 million deficit. Mayor Rendell's deficit remedy, the five-year plan, targets several areas as ripe for takeover by private business. One is management of the city's 6,300 cars, trucks and heavy equipment; another is custodial services.
July 20, 1994 |
Admittedly, it is damning with faint praise to call The Client the best film culled from the novels of John Grisham, the reigning master of the legal thriller. Reflecting Hollywood's current antipathy toward attorneys, Joel Schumacher's movie gets off to the right start by killing a lawyer in the very first scene. But The Client ultimately works because of its willingness to depart from the worn conventions of its genre in a way that eluded The Firm and The Pelican Brief. The plot does not deal in the usual courtroom confrontations (there is only one brief but telling session before a judge)
April 21, 2000 |
It was a sight to make courthouse familiars stop in their tracks: A judge, black robes flying, running down a corridor in pursuit of a reluctant defendant. As he ran, the judge gathered from the crowded hallway an impromptu posse of cops and civilians running behind him. But despite the pursuing mob, and cops who spotted the man outside the Criminal Justice Building later, the fugitive made his escape. The ruckus began when John Jordan, 36, awaiting trial for theft, receiving stolen goods and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, decided he wanted no part of the proceedings.
December 22, 1988 |
Gary Davis had a run of bad luck yesterday. After his hopes of staying out of jail for Christmas were dashed when trial commissioner James Thorpe revoked his $10,000 bail for failing to show up at a November drug trial, Davis panicked and made a run for freedom from the eighth-floor courtroom. "He took off like a jackrabbit," said Sheriff's Capt. John Gleason. "My people were right on his tail. " Deputies Anthony DiSanto and James Ingram took up the chase as Davis, 26, of Brown Street near 5th, leaped about 14 steps to the seventh-floor hallway and ran past two courtrooms toward the circular stairway on the northwest corner of City Hall.
January 27, 1991 |
There are a thousand and one excuses for killing in the city. Most of them can be heard at one time or another in the dull beige confines of Courtroom 675 at City Hall. Some headline cases - mob hits, mass murders and sensational sex slayings - are heard there. But the usual fare is a dreary procession of drug murders and deadly domestic disputes that pass endlessly through preliminary hearings in Room 675 every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The plots of these killings are almost always dismally petty.
February 9, 1986 |
Eleanor Johnson leaned toward her daughter and silently mouthed the words, hoping that the courtroom full of curious spectators would not eavesdrop on their private moment. "It was beautiful," Johnson said to her daughter, Ramona Africa, describing Africa's closing argument in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court on Friday. "I'm so of proud of you. " Africa, the tough-talking, professed revolutionary who had represented herself in court on charges stemming from the May 13 confrontation between police and MOVE, looked at her mother and grinned.