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NEWS
May 9, 2013
Read between the dance lines Last weekend's performance of Chinese classical works by the Shen Yun Performing Arts group included magnificent choreography, costumes, and music. However, unbeknownst to many ticket buyers - unless they thought to research it, which I did not - the Merriam Theater appearance also had a political/religious agenda that I found to be disconcerting. Shen Yun is part of the international Falun Gong movement, a religious practice that has borne the brunt of brutal persecution by the Chinese government.
NEWS
April 26, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Determinate vs. indeterminate sentencing isn't a topic that comes up in everyday conversation - until a convict's jail term or release boils over into a public controversy. That's what happened in January, when former University of Pennsylvania professor Rafael Robb's near-parole after he served a minimum amount of his five-to-10-year prison term for killing his wife, Ellen Gregory Robb, unleashed strong criticism. The state's sentencing system was discussed in a calmer fashion Thursday during a Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on possible changes.
NEWS
April 18, 2013 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
New Jersey's parole officers can continue to carry their guns under most circumstances, according to a lawyer representing the officers in a court case. The parole officers and parole board came to an informal agreement tentatively settling the case just as the two sides were set to appear before Superior Court Judge Paul Innes Wednesday. The officers had asked the Mercer County judge to block a new work policy from going into effect restricting when they could carry their guns. "I was surprised at the health and safety issues that these employees face every day," said Robert O'Brien, of O'Brien, Belland & Bushinsky in Cherry Hill.
NEWS
April 18, 2013 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
It should have been routine. The parolee, on supervision after being released from prison, was buzzed into the New Jersey parole office on Mount Ephraim Avenue in Camden, there for a normal appointment with his parole officer, Mark Carozza. But the visit, just before Christmas, quickly turned dangerous - the kind of danger that Carozza worried about earlier this month when he and fellow officers received a policy e-mail that they believed prohibited them from wearing their guns during regular visits with the former inmates they supervise.
NEWS
March 8, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
State Rep. Mike Vereb introduced legislation Wednesday that would give crime victims and their families the right to speak directly to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole before parole decisions were made. Technically, the proposal is known as House Bill 492. But Vereb (R., Montgomery) said at a news conference in Norristown packed with state and local officials that he was naming it the "Ellen Gregory Robb Legislation. " "Out of the tragic, horrific death of Ellen Gregory Robb, we are seeing something very positive happen," said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who was among those who worked on the legislation with Vereb and the victim's family.
NEWS
March 7, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
State Rep. Mike Vereb introduced legislation Wednesday that would give crime victims and their families the right to speak directly to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole before parole decisions were made. Technically, the proposal is known as House Bill 492. But Vereb (R., Montgomery) said at a news conference in Norristown packed with state and local officials that he was naming it the "Ellen Gregory Robb Legislation. " "Out of the tragic, horrific death of Ellen Gregory Robb, we are seeing something very positive happen," said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who was among those who worked on the legislation with Vereb and the victim's family.
NEWS
March 7, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Relatives and friends of Ellen Gregory Robb were astonished when they learned that her killer - her husband - was about to get out of prison. When they sought to raise their objections with the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, however, they had a hard time getting an audience. Spurred by their experience, State Rep. Mike Vereb (R., Montgomery) is proposing legislation designed to clear up confusion and give crime victims and other interested parties the ability to talk directly to board members.
NEWS
March 6, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Six weeks ago, as their sister's killer was about to be let out of prison, relatives and friends of Ellen Gregory Robb struggled to get an audience with the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. On Wednesday, State Rep. Mike Vereb, joined by other by Montgomery County and state officials, plans to announce legislation that would clear up confusing state laws and give crime victims or their representatives the ability to talk directly to board members about an inmate's possible release.
NEWS
February 16, 2013 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
  David Matusiewicz, son of the man who killed two women in a Delaware courthouse this week, will remain in jail after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing in a parole-violation case on Friday. Matusiewicz, who kidnapped his three daughters in 2007 and took them to Central America for 19 months, had been scheduled for a child-support hearing Monday at the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington. Before that hearing began, however, his ex-wife, Christine Belford, and her friend Laura Mulford were shot and killed in the courthouse lobby by Matusiewicz's father, Thomas Matusiewicz.
NEWS
February 16, 2013 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
A federal judge is to decide Friday whether international kidnapper David Matusiewicz should be sent back to prison - but she could make that decision without even mentioning the shootout that left his ex-wife, her friend, and his father dead. Thomas Matusiewicz opened fire Monday in the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington, killing Christine Belford and her friend Laura Mulford and injuring two Capitol Police officers before taking his own life, according to Delaware State Police.
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