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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
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
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
September 4, 2016
THE U.S. Supreme Court this year ruled that juveniles sentenced to life with no chance of parole must be given new sentencing hearings. In Pennsylvania, which has more juvenile lifers than any state, this is a massive undertaking. A key mover in the process is state Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, prisons boss since 2011. Wetzel, 47, from Myerstown, Lebanon County, has 26 years of prison experience, starting as a part-timer during college. He has worked in or run prisons in Lebanon, Berks, and Franklin Counties.
NEWS
September 3, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
Tyrone Jones rode the elevator up to the 28th floor of One Liberty Place, a building that didn't exist the last time he was a free man, and looked out over a city transformed. "Before I went to prison, Market Street wasn't this crowded. The sports complex, that wasn't there," he said Thursday. He was seeing the city for the first time in more than 40 years. He'd been locked up since age 16, sentenced to life in prison for a murder he's always maintained he did not commit. He's now a month shy of his 60th birthday.
NEWS
August 20, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in January that states including Pennsylvania must resentence those given mandatory life-without-parole terms as juveniles, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has signaled that parole will be the primary, perhaps only, means of release for the city's 300 or so juvenile lifers, the largest such population in the world. Now, a federal judge who remanded two cases, one from Philadelphia and another from Delaware County, has said such a resentencing scheme - accomplished by pairing a minimum sentence, such as 35 years, with a maximum of life - would violate the high court's ruling.
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.
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