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NEWS
June 6, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
Over the last few decades, Philadelphia has become known as the juvenile-lifer capital of the world, home to 300 people sentenced as teens to die in prison. That era is rapidly drawing to a close. Two men locked up since the 1970s received new sentences Friday, making them eligible for parole immediately. It marks the start of a resentencing process in the city that could take up to three years. By the end of it, District Attorney Seth Williams expects almost no juveniles will be sentenced to life without parole - a fate the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama in 2012 must be "uncommon," reserved for the "rare juvenile offender whose crime reflects irreparable corruption.
NEWS
October 9, 2008 | By William M. DiMascio
Philadelphia police Officer Patrick McDonald's fatal encounter with the recently paroled Daniel Giddings is a tale about a system that worked precisely as designed and led to disaster. It touched off a furor in the city's law-enforcement community that echoed through City Hall and, eventually, the governor's office. When the pressure reached a certain point, the governor declared a freeze on state paroles pending a study on the process that let Giddings loose. It was a decision that never should have been made - a knee-jerk reaction that punishes thousands for the misdeeds of one. This is the kind of emotional decision-making that invariably leads to unintended consequences.
NEWS
May 8, 1997 | by Scott Heimer, Daily News Staff Writer Staff writer Jim Smith contributed to this report
The man who once was Philadelphia's third-highest-ranking mobster was caught yesterday sneaking through a South Philadelphia alley in his bathrobe and socks as he tried one last time to elude the feds. Reputed mob captain Ronald Turchi Sr. was arrested as he fled out the back door of his girlfriend's house on Camac Street near Mifflin, according to Alan D. Lewis, U.S. marshal for the district. Turchi, 58, a convicted arsonist, had been missing since New Year's Eve, when a federal bench warrant was issued for his allegedly violating parole by associating with convicted felons, including reputed Philadelphia mob boss Ralph Natale and underboss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino.
NEWS
February 11, 2009 | By Barbara Boyer and Zoe Tillman INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Daniel Trinsey served six years in prison for robbery before he was paroled in 2007 and given a chance to change his ways. But in recent weeks, the 48-year-old Trinsey failed to check in with his parole supervisor. Police said he returned to crime, robbing a bank Friday in the Northeast, and he even appeared to be smiling in surveillance photos taken as he grasped a stack of cash. His final act of defiance came Monday afternoon in Fox Chase, where, police said, he refused to surrender and pulled a gun - later determined to be a replica of a .40-caliber handgun - on authorities.
NEWS
February 6, 2016
Rafael Robb, the former University of Pennsylvania professor sentenced to five to 10 years in prison for killing his wife in their Upper Merion home in 2006, is again coming up for parole - and stirring a new round of opposition. Ellen Gregory Robb's family members, who have successfully argued in the past to reverse a parole board decision to release Robb, plan to renew their concerns in a meeting with the board next Tuesday. "We will collectively show that Robb remains controlling, manipulative, and unremorseful for his horrific actions," her brother Gary Gregory said in a statement Thursday.
NEWS
June 2, 2010 | By REGINA MEDINA, medinar@phillynews.com 215-854-5985
Susanna Goihman - the Queen Village restaurateur who pleaded guilty in the hit-and-run death of Kayla Peter nearly five years ago - was paroled Sunday from the Crawford County prison she used to call home, state prison officials confirmed. Now home looks more tropical for the convicted felon. Goihman, now 47, who was sentenced to three to six years for running over the 15-year-old victim while driving drunk, moved to Florida, where she'll be watched by the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision, said Leo Dunn, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.
NEWS
October 15, 1989 | By Rose Simmons, Inquirer Staff Writer
An Avondale man, who admitted murdering his wife nine years ago, contended Thursday in Chester County Court that he would never have entered a guilty plea if he had known he would spend the rest of his life in prison. Johnny Wayne Reece, 42, who is seeking a new trial, testified during a hearing in Chester County Court that his former attorney told him he would be eligible for parole in six to nine years. Reece told Judge Lawrence Wood that he only recently learned through a prison employee that the life sentence he received from then-President Judge D. T. Marrone made him ineligible for parole under Pennsylvania state law. Reece, who said he grew up in North Carolina, told Wood that he was unfamiliar the state law here when he pleaded guilty in 1980.
NEWS
January 28, 1999 | By Herb Drill, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Daniel Owen McElwee, 80, of Levittown, a retired parole supervisor, died Sunday of heart failure at St. Mary Medical Center, Middletown Township. He had been ill for some time. Mr. McElwee toured South America in the late 1940s to study penal institutions in several countries. He then worked in Philadelphia for 30 years for the Pennsylvania Board of Parole, retiring in 1983 as a parole supervisor. In retirement, he used his passion for reading and history to become a self-taught historian.
NEWS
September 14, 1999 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
Zachary "Kato" Earvin, 31, warned people in a house on Union Street near Parrish that someone was going to die. A few minutes later, shortly after 11 p.m. on May 13, 1998, Earvin, of Pennsgrove Street near 39th, triggered his own prophesy. He shot and killed Lonnie "Pop" Collins, 58, wounded Carlton "Blue" Randolph, and fired shots that missed Robert Collins, the victim's brother, said Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson. Yesterday, a jury that convicted Earvin of first-degree murder and aggravated assault was unable to agree on a life or death sentence.
NEWS
December 21, 1991 | By Peter Finn, Special to The Inquirer
Vincent Charles Marino wasn't rehabilitated the first time. And yesterday, his 33d birthday, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the second time in his life. His first sentence in 1979 was for sexual assault and lasted seven years. His second stemmed from a sexual assault that ended in death, and this time, the sentence will last much longer. Yesterday, Camden County Superior Court Judge David Eynon sentenced Marino, formerly of the first block of Maiden Lane, Somerdale, to 30 years without parole for the Sept.
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NEWS
August 1, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
After 43 years in prison for a West Chester purse-snatching that became a murder when the victim fell and died from the injuries, Earl Rice Jr., 60, finally had the chance to go before the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. The board's decision last week: 43 years was long enough for a crime committed when Rice was just 17. Rice and three other men, including two from Philadelphia, were approved for parole, making them the first in Pennsylvania convicted of first- or second-degree murder ever to be granted parole.
NEWS
July 29, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
AS HE AWAITS a possible retrial, Monsignor William Lynn will be paroled Oct. 16 after three years in prison for his now-overturned conviction in the Catholic clergy sex abuse case. In a motion filed Wednesday for Lynn's immediate release on bail, defense lawyer Thomas A. Bergstrom wrote that Lynn, 65, learned last week from the state Board of Probation and Parole that he will be paroled effective Oct. 16. Bergstrom wrote that Lynn should be released on his original bail of $250,000, adding that the parole board's decision "was a recognition that he was not a danger to the community.
NEWS
July 23, 2016 | By Michaelle Bond, Staff Writer
Samuel Edward Smith was 16 and wanted a car. On May 8, 1996, he got one by murdering his Coatesville neighbor, a retired teacher and Episcopal minister. Smith confessed to hitting David Kenny, 64, with a wrench more than 20 times, which broke his skull, and also cutting his neck with a butcher knife. After two weeks on life support, Kenny died. To avoid the death penalty, the teenager pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and related charges in October 1996. He was sentenced to life in prison.
NEWS
July 14, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
Kathryn Knott, the Bucks County woman convicted in a 2014 attack on a gay couple in Center City, was paroled Tuesday after five months in prison. Knott, 25, of Southampton, walked out of the Criminal Justice Center after the ruling by Common Pleas Court Judge Roxanne Covington. In February, Covington sentenced Knott to five to 10 months in prison after a jury found her guilty of misdemeanor charges of simple assault, conspiracy to commit simple assault, and two counts of reckless endangerment in the attack on Zachary Hesse and Andrew Haught.
NEWS
June 6, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
Over the last few decades, Philadelphia has become known as the juvenile-lifer capital of the world, home to 300 people sentenced as teens to die in prison. That era is rapidly drawing to a close. Two men locked up since the 1970s received new sentences Friday, making them eligible for parole immediately. It marks the start of a resentencing process in the city that could take up to three years. By the end of it, District Attorney Seth Williams expects almost no juveniles will be sentenced to life without parole - a fate the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama in 2012 must be "uncommon," reserved for the "rare juvenile offender whose crime reflects irreparable corruption.
NEWS
June 5, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
Philadelphia is home to more people sentenced as juveniles to life without parole than anyplace else in the world - about 300 inmates, all due a second chance under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found automatic life sentences for juveniles to be unconstitutional. On Friday, the first two inmates to be resentenced in Philadelphia struck agreements that will make them immediately eligible for parole. The sentences, of 35 years to life, offer the first glimpses of how Judge Lillian Ransom, who is overseeing the process, and District Attorney Seth Williams intend to handle these cases - and will soon be among the first tests of whether the state parole board will release people convicted of first- or second-degree murder, a question it has not faced in recent memory.
NEWS
May 18, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
Rafael Robb, a former University of Pennsylvania professor imprisoned for killing his wife in 2006, has been denied early release by the state parole board, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office announced Monday. The board's decision means Robb will serve his full 10-year sentence for the death of Ellen Gregory Robb. But her family is still concerned about the fact that Robb will be free in January, at the end of his sentence. "Our goal is clearly to make sure that his probation terms are of the strictest and tightest that they should be for a violent offender of this nature," Gary Gregory, Ellen Robb's brother, said at a news conference Monday.
NEWS
May 11, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
Thurmond Berry had served nearly four decades toward a life sentence when he received a note in his cell instructing him to meet with a Dr. Kathleen Brown, a professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. He'd been ill, so he figured it was a checkup. Instead, the woman waiting for him in a meeting room at Graterford Prison told him, "I'm here to get you out of prison. " The plan Brown laid out wasn't that much more far-fetched than if she'd suggested that the 68-year-old great-grandfather scale Graterford's high walls and shimmy through the barbed wire loops to freedom.
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