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NEWS
April 17, 1987 | BY JAY S. POLIS
Remember the great crackdown? On Feb. 19, U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese charged into Philadelphia, walked along 8th and Butler Streets with Mayor Goode, and declared before blazing TV lights that a great victory had been won in the war against drugs He was here to announce one of the biggest drug "sweeps" in the city's history, a 12-month police effort that netted from 800 to 1,000 arrests, and seemed to hold out to the besieged residents of...
NEWS
September 2, 2010 | By Walter Phillips
Philadelphia suffers from the highest per-capita fugitive rate in the country, with 47,000 defendants on the streets having skipped bail, as The Inquirer reported last year. There is a cheap, practical way to deal with this problem that has not been widely discussed: The city's judges should try in absentia all defendants who are freed on bail and deliberately fail to appear in court. Most of the defendants who have thumbed their noses at the system figured that, rather than appear, testify, and face cross-examination, they had better odds of beating the rap if they simply didn't show up. Despite Philadelphia's abysmal conviction rate, they were right.
NEWS
March 16, 1989 | By Susan Caba, Inquirer Staff Writer
Eugene Milano, who was to go on trial for murder yesterday with Nicodemo Scarfo and seven others, has said he wants to cooperate with authorities, law enforcement officials said yesterday. As a result, the Scarfo trial was postponed at least until today, and defense attorneys said the defection might lead them to ask for selection of a new jury - meaning an additional delay. Milano apparently telephoned authorities from prison on Tuesday. Scarfo, the other co-defendants and the defense attorneys - including Milano's own attorney - learned of his decision yesterday just minutes before opening statements were to begin in Common Pleas Court.
NEWS
April 8, 1986 | By RON AVERY, Daily News Staff Writer
Testimony in the murder trial of two Mount Airy men has lived up to the prosecutor's early billing that the evidence would be unusual and often hard to believe. A Mount Holly, N.J., jury considering murder charges against Dwayne Wright, 21, and James Clausell, 22, both of Temple Road near Upsal Street, has heard that: Edward Atwood, 37, of Willingboro, N.J., was ordered killed in 1984 because he filed a minor complaint against a neighbor for not cleaning up his dog's mess.
NEWS
December 14, 2010 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Witness intimidation has pervaded the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court trial of two men charged with a racially tinged double murder in the Tacony section in 2007. Now, a brother of one of the defendants has been arrested in connection with the intimidation. Michael Drummond, 24, allegedly threatened a witness last week in the hallway of the city's Criminal Justice Center. Charged Saturday, he remains in custody, with bail set at $250,000, pending a Dec. 29 hearing. Gerald Drummond, 26, and Robert McDowell, 28, both white, face possible death sentences if convicted of first-degree murder in the July 13, 2007, slayings of Damien Holloway, 27, a black landscaper, and his friend and worker Timothy Clark, 15, who was white.
NEWS
March 2, 2012
The welcome decision by the Philadelphia courts to dramatically boost the fees paid to lawyers appointed to represent indigent defendants facing the death penalty strikes a long-overdue blow for justice. As long as Pennsylvania maintains what Supreme Court Justice Harold Andrew Blackmun famously called "the machinery of death," the state cannot afford to scrimp on fairness. Yet, for decades, the legal representation provided the poor in capital cases has been called into question by the courts themselves.
NEWS
September 19, 1995 | by Kitty Caparella, Daily News Staff Writer
Consider for a moment how the mighty have fallen. Reputed crime boss John Stanfa, who is supposed to wield such power over gangland slayings, a multimillion-dollar illegal gambling empire, and other illicit activities, can't get a razor in jail. His acting underboss, Frank Martines, sporting six days of growth on his face, can't get clean underwear. Nor can the other six mob guys on trial get basic toiletries or towels to take a shower. Martines' lawyer, Brian McMonagle, called it "cruel and unusual punishment" yesterday before U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter, who is hearing the federal murder-racketeering trial.
NEWS
July 30, 1990 | By Susan Caba, Inquirer Staff Writer
The defense and prosecution flip-flopped last week, when one of the defendants accused of killing Port Richmond teenager Sean Daily took the witness stand and became what one law enforcement observer called "a prosecutor's dream. " The damage wasn't in what James "Bebe" Martinez said about himself and the six other defendants so much as what his presence on the stand allowed Assistant District Attorney Michael McGovern to say about the slaying of Daily. McGovern was able to recapitulate three weeks of evidence he had presented earlier.
NEWS
January 12, 1989 | By Denise-Marie Santiago, Inquirer Staff Writer Inquirer correspondent Robert McSherry contributed to this article
The scene was the Montgomery County Courthouse, but it could have been a Perry Mason rerun. An Upper Merion Township man was waiting Tuesday in the hallway of the courthouse in Norristown to testify on his cousin's behalf in a rape trial when the teary-eyed complaining witness, 34, saw him and identified him as the second man who raped her. "She just walked over to me, pointed to him and said, 'That's the other guy,' " said state Trooper Robert...
NEWS
October 5, 1989 | By Emilie Lounsberry, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a speech laced with emotion and indignation, the man who headed the elite police drug unit called Five Squad portrayed himself yesterday as an aggressive foe of drug dealers and denied ever stealing money seized during police raids. "I was a captain in the Philadelphia Police Department. I would never do anything to disgrace my name," declared John Wilson at the start of his 20- minute address to a U.S. District Court jury. "I always did the right thing. " His statement - sandwiched between opening addresses by co-defendants James Cattalo and Richard Jumper - came on the first day of their racketeering retrial.
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BUSINESS
January 29, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, Staff Writer
The ACLU of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on Wednesday announced the settlement of a federal lawsuit over treatment delays for defendants who courts had ordered be given mental-health care. In an October lawsuit, the ACLU and its co-counsel, Arnold & Porter, alleged that severely mentally ill defendants languished in Pennsylvania's county jails, sometimes for more than a year, while awaiting treatment to restore competence, so they could stand trial. Under the settlement, Pennsylvania agreed to add nearly 200 treatment slots, including at least 50 in supportive housing in Philadelphia.
NEWS
January 29, 2016 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Staff Writer
Top officials at the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department praised the beleaguered director of its Philadelphia benefits office on Wednesday, describing her as one of the agency's finest employees and questioning claims that she improperly schemed to land an easier job at the same pay. Testifying before an administrative law judge in Philadelphia, Acting Under Secretary for Benefits Danny Pummill said Diana Rubens, a career VA manager, was the perfect...
SPORTS
January 21, 2016 | By Jeff McLane, Staff Writer
Doug Pederson said he would call plays on offense as the Eagles' new head coach. That might not necessarily be good news considering that he confirmed that he directed the Chiefs' sluggish final drive in the divisional playoff loss to the Patriots on Saturday. Many assumed that it was Andy Reid (who has had game management woes over his entire coaching career) calling the plays. But Pederson, the former Chiefs offensive coordinator, said that he started calling plays in the second half of games dating back to Week 7. "Coach Reid and I had a great understanding and a great feel for the game," Pederson said Tuesday.
SPORTS
January 21, 2016 | By Marc Narducci, Staff Writer
The Union completed their defensive-oriented Major League Soccer SuperDraft by selecting a defender and a midfielder in the closing two rounds. The first two rounds took place Thursday in Baltimore, and the final two rounds were conducted by teams over the telephone. Rutgers defender Mitchell Lurie was selected in the third round by the Union, and Northwestern midfielder Cole Missimo was taken in the fourth round. Lurie was the 44th overall selection; Missimo was the 64th. Four of the Union's six draft selections were defenders, with one midfielder and another mid-fielder/forward.
SPORTS
January 9, 2016 | By Sam Carchidi, STAFF WRITER
ST. PAUL, Minn. - When Paul Holmgren was general manager, he made many strong deals, transforming the Flyers from the worst team in hockey in 2006-07 to a conference finalist the following season. But two moves he made later in his tenure - acquiring stay-at-home defenseman Luke Schenn for blossoming left winger James van Riemsdyk, and signing free-agent Vinny Lecavalier to a five-year, $22.5 million contract - did not work out as planned. Fact is, they set the team back on a number of levels.
NEWS
December 29, 2015
NORRISTOWN Montgomery County has named a new chief public defender. Dean Beer, previously the deputy chief public defender, was appointed this month. Beer had been leading the office on an interim basis since Keir Bradford-Grey left in August to become chief of the Philadelphia Defenders Association. Before going to Montgomery County, Beer worked as a public defender in Philadelphia and North Carolina. In Philadelphia, he cofounded the Defenders Association's immigration project to advise attorneys and clients on the consequences their cases could have on immigration status.
NEWS
December 24, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer
A Pennsylvania appellate court on Tuesday ordered a new trial for Msgr. William J. Lynn, overturning for a second time a landmark verdict that was the first conviction nationwide of a Catholic Church official for covering up child sex abuse by priests. A three-judge Superior Court panel found that Lynn's 2012 conviction had been tainted by prosecutors' presentation of nearly two dozen examples of the Philadelphia Archdiocese's failure to handle pedophilia within its ranks. Lynn, however, was only charged in connection with his supervision of two priests.
NEWS
December 20, 2015 | By Robert Moran, Staff Writer
John D. Green first ran for the office of Philadelphia sheriff in 1987 as a reformer. His predecessor, Ralph C. Passio III, had earned an almost comical reputation for running a dysfunctional department. Passio chose not to run for reelection, and the Democratic Party backed a new candidate. That candidate was not Green, a former Philadelphia police sergeant who had been president of the Guardian Civic League, an organization of black officers. But Green beat the party. A Simon Gratz High School graduate with a bachelor's degree from Temple University, he was endorsed by The Inquirer for his "commitment to reforming the Sheriff's Department.
NEWS
December 16, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, TRENTON BUREAU
TRENTON - Senate President Stephen Sweeney on Monday defended his proposal to amend New Jersey's constitution to require the state to ramp up contributions to the public-employee pension system, saying the proposal was not fueled by political ambitions. "This has nothing to do with running for governor or running for anything," Sweeney (D., Gloucester), a likely candidate to succeed Gov. Christie in 2017, said at a Statehouse news conference. "I laid my you-know-what on the line to reform the pensions," Sweeney said, referring to his support for a 2011 law that drew the ire of public-sector unions, a crucial Democratic constituency.
NEWS
December 15, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Staff Writer
Kathryn Knott, the 25-year-old woman accused of yelling slurs at a gay couple and punching one of the gay men during a fight, took the stand in her own defense Tuesday morning. Knott, of Southampton, Bucks County, told a Philadelphia Common Pleas jury of eight women and four men that she did not hit anyone that night or say anything demeaning toward the couple. "No, I did not," Knott, dressed in a light-blue sweater, glasses and dark slacks, calmly replied under questioning by her attorney Louis Busico.
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