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Joan Orie Melvin

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NEWS
May 9, 2013 | By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PITTSBURGH - Former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin was sentenced Tuesday to house arrest and community service in soup kitchens, and ordered to send handwritten apologies for her crimes on photographs of herself in handcuffs to every judge in the state. She was given no prison time. Allegheny County Court Judge Lester Nauhaus sentenced Melvin to three years of house arrest, with two years on probation to follow. A jury convicted Melvin and her sister Janine Orie on Feb. 21 of using judicial staff, as well as aides to another sister, former State Sen. Jane Orie, to work on Melvin's 2003 and 2009 campaigns for the Supreme Court.
NEWS
May 10, 2013
The concept of cruel and unusual punishment dates to the Eighth Amendment and well before it. Now the Pennsylvania judiciary, which has never been all that attached to precedent, has given us an unexpected twist: kind and unusual punishment. Former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin is facing some unusual punishment indeed for staffing her election campaigns with state employees. Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Lester Nauhaus this week ordered her to write an apology to every judge in the state on a copy of a photograph of herself in handcuffs.
NEWS
November 3, 2009
HOW'S THIS FOR PRIORITIES? Far more people will have gone to a World Series game in the last week than will likely vote in today's election in the city. That's good for baseball, but for democracy? Not so much. With a hotly contested gubernatorial race, New Jersey may see far more activity than we will here in Philadelphia. But we have a few important races, for district attorney, controller and a number of judicial seats. Because of a snafu, a referendum to fund $65 million worth of city projects was left off the ballot.
NEWS
August 19, 2010
When it comes to spending money to elect state Supreme Court justices, Pennsylvania is No. 1. Unfortunately, this is not a top ranking to boast about. That's because the river of money that flows into judicial elections creates the perception for many that justice isn't always blind. Much of the money judicial candidates raise comes from lawyers and special-interest groups that may appear later before the court. "Three out of every four Americans believe campaign contributions affect courtroom decisions," former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said in a statement accompanying a study released this week.
NEWS
April 17, 2013 | Associated Press
PITTSBURGH - Suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin deserves a public corruption sentence similar to that being served by her sister, state Sen. Jane Orie, a prosecutor said Monday. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr.'s brief statement accompanied sentencing memorandums his staff filed for Melvin, 56, and a third sister, Janine Orie, 58, Melvin's former aide. They were convicted in February on theft of services and other charges for misusing the state senator's staff and Melvin's lower court staff to illegally campaign for Melvin when she ran for the state's highest court in 2003 and 2009.
NEWS
November 4, 2009 | By Amy Worden INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
Joan Orie Melvin, a Republican judge from Western Pennsylvania, prevailed in the Philadelphia suburbs yesterday to claim a decisive win in the hard-fought battle for a vacancy on the state Supreme Court. Melvin's victory shifts the political balance on the state's most powerful bench to Republican, and could portend a re-energized conservative base in the 2010 gubernatorial and congressional elections. With 91 percent of ballots counted, Melvin had won every suburban county around Philadelphia except Montgomery, where Democrat Jack Panella of Easton led by only a few hundred votes.
NEWS
October 23, 2003
ON ELECTION Day, Philadelphia voters will confront two relative unknowns in the race for a seat on the state's Supreme Court. Both the Democrat, Max Baer, and the Republican, Joan Orie Melvin, are from the Pittsburgh region. There, both candidates have built formidable reputations as fair jurists - Baer as the administrative judge in Allegheny County, Melvin as a Superior Court justice. Normally, this page's endorsement in this race would come down to resumes and the subjective yardstick known as "judicial temperament.
NEWS
November 5, 1997 | By Larry King, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Republican Thomas G. Saylor, a conservative appellate judge and former prosecutor, was headed to victory early today in his bid for a seat on the state Supreme Court. With 93 percent of the vote counted, Saylor, 50, of Cumberland County, appeared to hold an insurmountable lead over Democrat Joseph Del Sole, 56, a fellow Superior Court judge from Allegheny County. Saylor would become the only central Pennsylvanian on a seven-member court that is now stocked exclusively with justices from the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas.
NEWS
December 12, 2013 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG Prosecutors overreached and improperly tore down the wall between the executive and legislative branches in carrying out their corruption investigation of former State Sen. Jane C. Orie, her attorney told a state Superior Court appeals panel Tuesday. Lawyer William C. Costopoulos asked the three judges to bar the evidence against the former Republican majority whip and overturn her conviction on charges of using state staff to campaign for her and her sister, Joan Orie Melvin, the former state Supreme Court justice separately convicted of similar charges.
NEWS
April 22, 2010
THREE TIMES OUT OF FIVE, at least one party to a civil case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2008 and 2009 had given a campaign contribution to one or more of the justices. That's not saying that money had anything to do with an individual justice's decision, said the American Judicature Society, which released this analysis in a report last month. A justice may not even know if he or she was a beneficiary of one or more of the litigants, lawyers or law firms. Getting elected to the state's highest court takes a boatload of money, after all: The court's six elected justices had raised a combined $8 million to get where they were sitting.
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NEWS
December 12, 2013 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG Prosecutors overreached and improperly tore down the wall between the executive and legislative branches in carrying out their corruption investigation of former State Sen. Jane C. Orie, her attorney told a state Superior Court appeals panel Tuesday. Lawyer William C. Costopoulos asked the three judges to bar the evidence against the former Republican majority whip and overturn her conviction on charges of using state staff to campaign for her and her sister, Joan Orie Melvin, the former state Supreme Court justice separately convicted of similar charges.
NEWS
October 25, 2013
I'M IN THE inner sanctum of the chief, where I am facing the chief - and a dilemma. I oppose a mandatory retirement age for most professions. The problem: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille is standing for retention next month. He is 69. If retained for a third 10-year term, he'll have to retire after only one year, because he will turn 70 on March 16. The state constitution requires all judges retire by the end of the year in which they hit the Big 7-0. I don't like the mandatory retirement, but I would feel weird retaining Castille to serve one-tenth of his term.
NEWS
May 10, 2013
The concept of cruel and unusual punishment dates to the Eighth Amendment and well before it. Now the Pennsylvania judiciary, which has never been all that attached to precedent, has given us an unexpected twist: kind and unusual punishment. Former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin is facing some unusual punishment indeed for staffing her election campaigns with state employees. Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Lester Nauhaus this week ordered her to write an apology to every judge in the state on a copy of a photograph of herself in handcuffs.
NEWS
May 10, 2013 | By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The sentence imposed Tuesday on Joan Orie Melvin likely was meant to humiliate the former justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. And experts agree that it will. But it also requires her to apologize to former staffers and colleagues even though she has repeatedly proclaimed her innocence and said she intends to appeal her conviction. Some wonder whether such a caveat can be enforced. Melvin was found guilty in February of six criminal charges, including three felonies, for using her judicial staff on Superior Court to work on her two statewide campaigns for the high court, in 2003 and 2009.
NEWS
May 9, 2013 | By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PITTSBURGH - Former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin was sentenced Tuesday to house arrest and community service in soup kitchens, and ordered to send handwritten apologies for her crimes on photographs of herself in handcuffs to every judge in the state. She was given no prison time. Allegheny County Court Judge Lester Nauhaus sentenced Melvin to three years of house arrest, with two years on probation to follow. A jury convicted Melvin and her sister Janine Orie on Feb. 21 of using judicial staff, as well as aides to another sister, former State Sen. Jane Orie, to work on Melvin's 2003 and 2009 campaigns for the Supreme Court.
NEWS
April 17, 2013 | Associated Press
PITTSBURGH - Suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin deserves a public corruption sentence similar to that being served by her sister, state Sen. Jane Orie, a prosecutor said Monday. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr.'s brief statement accompanied sentencing memorandums his staff filed for Melvin, 56, and a third sister, Janine Orie, 58, Melvin's former aide. They were convicted in February on theft of services and other charges for misusing the state senator's staff and Melvin's lower court staff to illegally campaign for Melvin when she ran for the state's highest court in 2003 and 2009.
NEWS
February 23, 2013 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
Visitors to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court website Thursday night were greeted by a group photo of the high court that included a smiling Justice Joan Orie Melvin. There was no indication that a Pittsburgh jury had found Melvin guilty of criminal corruption earlier in the day. Melvin is a still a Supreme Court justice, albeit one suspended without pay. Her conviction on six of seven counts of corruption related to her 2003 and 2009 campaigns for the Supreme Court sparked renewed calls for replacing judicial elections with merit selection of judges.
NEWS
February 23, 2013 | By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PITTSBURGH - A jury delivered guilty verdicts Thursday on six of seven corruption charges against suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. Jurors convicted Melvin on theft and conspiracy charges. Her sister and codefendant, Janine Orie, was also convicted on all but one count of the charges against her. The sisters were charged with misapplication of state funds, theft of services, and conspiracy for using the justice's former Superior Court staff and the legislative staff of a third sister, former State Sen. Jane Orie, to work on Melvin's campaigns for the Supreme Court in 2003 and 2009.
NEWS
May 24, 2012 | Daily News Editorial
Joan Orie Melvin says that she is innocent of the four felonies and five misdemeanors that a grand jury charged her with last week, and claims that the investigation and charges were politically motivated. As a citizen, she's entitled to the presumption of her innocence. But as a state Supreme Court justice, she is subject to a higher standard; her actions impact the perception of fairness and justice for the entire court system. As the Philadelphia Bar Association said in a statement last week urging her resignation, "We cannot have a sitting justice who has been indicted.
NEWS
May 19, 2012 | By Michael A. Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Joan Orie Melvin's trajectory as a jurist had been ambitiously, relentlessly celestial - from Pittsburgh city magistrate in 1985 to a seat on the state's highest court by 2010. But on Friday, her plummet was precipitous. Again, she appeared in Pittsburgh City Court, but this time on the other side of the bar. Such a fall was particularly dramatic for a woman whose life had been one of achievements and firsts. Melvin, 56, of Marshal, Pa., grew up as one of nine competitive, sports-oriented siblings whose first names all begin with J. Raised by a doctor and an extroverted homemaker mother, all became successes: five lawyers, two cardiologists, an educator, and a human resources manager.
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