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Fair Trial

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NEWS
November 7, 2000 | by Fatirah Abdul Aziz
Perhaps even the most die-hard Mumia haters will allow themselves a moment of pause from their intimidation to consider a few salient facts regarding the call for justice in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. The recently filed amicus briefs (dismissed out of hand by Judge William Yohn, now under appeal) clearly show that not only had Mumia been denied his constitutional right of having a person of his choice (John Africa) at his defense table, but his own attorney aided the sabotage of any appeals he would later make.
NEWS
February 27, 1990 | BY DAVE BARRY
I guess you're all as excited as I am about the upcoming fair trial and conviction of Manuel Noriega on charges of being a little toad-faced human spittoon. As you recall, Noriega surrendered to U.S. troops in the culmination of a major military operation ordered by President George "Geronimo" Bush after many anguished moments of agonizing over what the official operation nickname would be. Among the leading candidates were: "Operation Maximum Stud Hombre. " "Operation Testosterone Tornado.
NEWS
March 13, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis, HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - Montgomery County prosecutors said Friday that Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane can receive a fair trial in the county despite her claim that the entire bench there could be biased against her. In a 42-page filing, county District Attorney Kevin R. Steele fought Kane's request last week that a judge from outside Montgomery County be appointed to preside over her criminal trial, scheduled to begin Aug. 8. Kane has alleged...
NEWS
June 10, 1998 | By Ralph Vigoda, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Arthur Bomar will be tried in Delaware County in the murder of Aimee Willard, but the jury will come from elsewhere. Judge Frank T. Hazel on Monday granted a request by Bomar's lawyer, Mark Much, for a change of venire. That means Hazel and the lawyers in the case will travel to another county to select a jury. The county will be selected by the state Supreme Court. Usually, the court tries to pick a place that is far away and has a similar economic and racial makeup to the area where the case originated.
NEWS
May 26, 1997 | By Steve Ritea, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Raymond Stumpf, accused of killing his wife, cannot get a fair trial in Montgomery County, his attorney says, because the media have given "unprecedented space and attention" to the murder, as well as to the victim's on-line relationship with sports personality Howard Eskin. In a motion filed late Thursday in Montgomery County Court, lawyer George Ozorowski notes "undue excitement" over the case and refers to "a well-known radio and TV personality [who] broadcasts throughout Montgomery County," but does not name Eskin.
NEWS
December 17, 1998 | By Matt Stearns, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
An attorney for accused rapist-murderer Shane G. Wheale has asked a Montgomery County Court judge to either move his client's murder trial outside the Philadelphia area or bring in jurors from elsewhere. Wheale does not believe that he can get a fair trial or that an impartial jury can be found in the five or six counties around Montgomery County because pretrial publicity has irrevocably turned local opinion against him, according to documents filed with the court by attorney Richard D. Winters.
NEWS
April 13, 2005 | By Jacqueline Soteropoulos INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A giant courtroom projection screen yesterday showed the exuberant life and soulful music of slain singer Claire Clay - a video and photographic tribute for the judge to consider in sentencing the man who strangled the 25-year-old woman and set her body ablaze in West Fairmount Park. The montage, which moved Clay's family and friends to sobs, was a stark contrast to the final image shown on the screen in February to the jurors who convicted Benjamin Cooper of the crime: a grisly crime-scene photograph of Clay's charred, dumped body.
NEWS
October 11, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Invoking a rarely used provision of criminal law, a Philadelphia judge dismissed murder charges Thursday against three men in a 2002 execution-style slaying, ruling that prosecutorial misconduct in their 2006 trial was so egregious that they should not be retried. "It's a horrible case," Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner called the charges against Aquil Bond, Jawayne K. Brown, and Richard Brown. He said he was not suggesting they were innocent. "Our system was designed to protect the rights not only of the innocent," Lerner said, "but the guilty, when they are denied the elements of a fair trial.
NEWS
June 26, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
Writing from the Pennsylvania prison where he is serving three consecutive life terms, former West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams and the Daily News. The 14-page typed document, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, contends that public comments by Williams and Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron, and two 2015 articles in the Daily News, "compromised [Gosnell's]
NEWS
June 14, 2011 | By Emilie Lounsberry, Inquirer Staff Writer
Christopher Raspanti was about to graduate from Pennsylvania State University when, after a long night of partying, a fire swept through the off-campus house he shared with five other students in State College. At least 50 revelers had jammed the three-story brick home that Saturday night in April 2005. Things had just wound down when the blaze was reported about 6:35 the following morning. Everyone escaped - except 21-year-old Raspanti, a 2002 graduate of Pennsbury High School in Bucks County.
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NEWS
June 26, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
Writing from the Pennsylvania prison where he is serving three consecutive life terms, former West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams and the Daily News. The 14-page typed document, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, contends that public comments by Williams and Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron, and two 2015 articles in the Daily News, "compromised [Gosnell's]
NEWS
June 10, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
LAWYERS FOR real estate speculator Richard Basciano have asked to move the Sept. 6 civil trial in the deadly Center City building collapse outside Southeastern Pennsylvania, saying local media coverage "has been so extensive, sustained, inflammatory, and inculpatory" that Basciano could not get a fair trial. The 93-page petition to change the venue of the trial was filed Monday with Common Pleas Court Judge Mark I. Bernstein by veteran Philadelphia lawyer Richard A. Sprague. Sprague's firm represents Basciano and several of his corporate entities, property manager Thomas Simmonds, and Frank Cresci, Basciano's ex-chief financial officer.
NEWS
March 13, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis, HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - Montgomery County prosecutors said Friday that Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane can receive a fair trial in the county despite her claim that the entire bench there could be biased against her. In a 42-page filing, county District Attorney Kevin R. Steele fought Kane's request last week that a judge from outside Montgomery County be appointed to preside over her criminal trial, scheduled to begin Aug. 8. Kane has alleged...
NEWS
March 6, 2016 | By Craig R. McCoy, Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane asked Friday that a judge from outside Montgomery County be appointed to preside over her criminal trial there, saying the entire county bench could be biased against her. Her lawyers argued that the judge assigned to the case, Wendy Demchick-Alloy, as well as the other judges in the county, were too close to three county judges who the attorneys said are plainly hostile to Kane. Those judges, the lawyers said, are William Carpenter, Carolyn Carluccio, and Risa Vetri Ferman.
NEWS
March 5, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
Calling it an "intolerable mistake" but not a prosecution attempt to subvert a fair trial, a city judge has refused to bar the retrial of a North Philadelphia man whose 2007 death sentence was invalidated because of a mix-up in DNA evidence. Lawyers for Kareem Johnson, 31, argued Thursday that the DNA mix-up that resulted in his death sentence in the 2002 shooting of Walter Smith was so egregious that retrial should be barred under the Constitution's "double jeopardy" provision, which bars successive trials for the same conduct.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
DURING GRAPHIC testimony yesterday, a former Philadelphia deputy medical examiner snaked a belt around prosecutor Peter Lim's neck, demonstrating for a jury how he believes Dr. Melissa Ketunuti's killer tightened a leather belt around her neck before setting her body on fire. Dr. Gary Collins, now Delaware's chief medical examiner, testified for the prosecution on the third day of trial for 39-year-old Jason Smith. Smith is the exterminator accused of killing Ketunuti, 35, before binding her neck, wrists and ankles and setting her body ablaze Jan. 21, 2013 when he visited her Southwest Center City rowhouse to address a rodent problem.
NEWS
January 19, 2015 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
THERE WAS PLENTY of hand-wringing and eye-rolling in Common Pleas Court yesterday as Judge Gwendolyn Bright and accused serial stalker John Hart snapped at each other during a series of withering exchanges. Imagine what'll happen when Hart's trial actually gets underway next week. Hart, 38, is accused of stalking, harassing and stealing the identity of CBS3 anchor Erika von Tiehl in the wake of a brief, ill-fated relationship in 2011. Judge Bright and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Katona both seemed to expect that the trial would begin yesterday, after a handful of alternate jurors were selected.
NEWS
October 30, 2014 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Citing newly discovered evidence and errors made at trial, lawyers for a Catholic priest and a former parochial-school teacher jailed for sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy made their case to an appellate panel Tuesday for overturning the men's convictions. Attorneys Burton A. Rose, representing former St. Jerome teacher Bernard Shero, and Michael McGovern, representing the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, alleged prosecutorial misconduct and "abuse of discretion on the part of the trial judge" who sentenced the men to prison terms in June 2013 for abuse that occurred in the late 1990s.
NEWS
October 11, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Invoking a rarely used provision of criminal law, a Philadelphia judge dismissed murder charges Thursday against three men in a 2002 execution-style slaying, ruling that prosecutorial misconduct in their 2006 trial was so egregious that they should not be retried. "It's a horrible case," Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner called the charges against Aquil Bond, Jawayne K. Brown, and Richard Brown. He said he was not suggesting they were innocent. "Our system was designed to protect the rights not only of the innocent," Lerner said, "but the guilty, when they are denied the elements of a fair trial.
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