October 24, 2014 |
When Mary DeWitt began painting portraits of lifers in the Pennsylvania correctional system - people even prison administrators believed deserved clemency - she was filled with optimism. "It was 1993, 1994, when I started the program, with the idea that they should've been pardoned in the '90s," she recalled. Twenty years later, DeWitt, 65, has painted new portraits of the women - all of whom remained incarcerated. "Then and Now: Women in Prison," an exhibition of portraits from 1996 and 2014, is on view at Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral through next Thursday.
October 3, 2014 |
When Meek Mill was last seen, on Aug. 18, the rising Philadelphia rapper was in prison clothes while his legal team tried to persuade a judge to parole him early from her three- to six-month sentence for violating probation from a 2009 gun and drug conviction. Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley wasn't moved then. Still isn't. On Monday, Brinkley denied a new petition for early parole filed by the rapper's new lawyer, Tariq K. El-Shabazz. The action signaled that the 27-year-old artist - whose real name is Robert Williams - will likely stay in jail at least until his minimum sentence ends Oct. 11. El-Shabazz, a veteran Philadelphia criminal lawyer, was not immediately available for comment.
September 17, 2014 |
Career criminal Kevin Green last week got a prison sentence that should keep him behind bars the rest of his life. Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Ehrlich on Friday gave the 57-year-old a sentence of 55 to 110 years for a violent North Philadelphia home invasion last year that briefly netted Green and an accomplice $7,713. Green was convicted on July 10 of terrorizing Jose Torres, his wife, Elizabeth Varela, and her autistic son, Joshua, 12, in their home on the 3500 block of North Fifth Street.
August 14, 2014 |
William J. Gray, "the Jogging Rapist" who sexually assaulted 16 girls under age 18 in Olney and Northeast Philadelphia during a self-described "raping spree" in 1979, has been denied parole. It's the 10th time that the state has refused parole to Gray, 71, who is serving a sentence of 20 to 50 years in the State Correctional Institution at Waymart, near Scranton. Gray pleaded guilty to multiple counts of rape and assault in 1980. The Inquirer, which in June published a series of articles on the Jogging Rapist and his bid to get out of prison, has obtained a copy of a letter sent from the state Office of the Victim Advocate to one of his victims, Susanne Worsham, announcing the denial of parole.
August 9, 2014 |
Former Philadelphia Police Lt. Aisha Perry seems to have learned that a 10-minute rant at the judge is not the path to freedom. After a brief court appearance in which she said she was "humbled" and sorry, and respected the jury that convicted her of stealing utility services, Perry was paroled Thursday from her six- to 23-month prison term by Common Pleas Court Judge Earl W. Trent. Trent had sent Perry to prison June 12 after two extraordinary in-court tirades, one after a jury found her guilty, and the other when she was sentenced and accused the prosecutor of being a liar "jealous of my lifestyle.
August 8, 2014 |
Former Philadelphia Police Lieutenant Aisha Perry seems to have learned that a 10-minute rant at the judge is not the path to freedom. After a brief court appearance in which she said she was "humbled" and sorry and respected the jury that convicted her for stealing utility services, Perry was paroled from her six- to 23-month prison term on Thursday by Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Earl W. Trent. Trent had sent Perry to prison on June 12 after two extraordinary in-court tirades, one after a jury found her guilty and the other when she was sentenced and accused the prosecutor of being a liar who was "jealous of my lifestyle.
July 22, 2014 |
TYRONE WERTS waited in the car while his four buddies walked two blocks to a North Philadelphia speakeasy to commit a robbery on the night of May 6, 1975. Werts, 23, didn't know that the robbery victim had been fatally shot until his accomplices jumped back inside the car. The District Attorney's Office offered Werts a plea bargain of eight to 20 years in prison, but he opted for a jury trial and wound up getting convicted of second-degree murder. That resulted in a mandatory life sentence without parole - the punishment in Pennsylvania state court for first- or second-degree murder.
July 13, 2014 |
The rapper Meek Mill called next Saturday's concert at Temple University's Liacouras Center his "Homecoming Tour," a return to Philadelphia to "play in front of his hometown at the height of his career. " That concert and other bookings abruptly fell through Friday when a Philadelphia judge sentenced the rising music star to three to six months in prison for violating his probation on a 2009 drug and gun conviction. Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley seemed by turns infuriated and saddened during the four-hour hearing.
June 11, 2014 |
Pennsylvania has more inmates convicted as juveniles for murder and sentenced to life without parole than any other place in the world. That distinction was reinforced Monday by a U.S. Supreme Court decision. The high court declined to hear an appeal by juvenile-justice advocates to revisit the sentences of those prisoners. "We are obviously disappointed," said Marsha Levick, deputy director and chief counsel of the Juvenile Law Center, a national, nonprofit, public-interest law firm for children, based in Center City.