October 21, 1998 |
Three Camden County men arrested last week during an all-out search for the prolific and daring "counter-vaulter" bank-robbery gang were already on parole or pretrial release for other crimes, prosecutors said yesterday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy D. Frey asked, during a detention hearing for the trio in U.S. District Court in Camden, that they be held without bail as "a risk and a danger to the community. " U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel B. Rosen ordered the suspects detained without bail after he reviewed their criminal records and was informed that they were indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy and armed bank robbery.
August 25, 2010 |
Philadelphia has to get more of its criminal defendants to show up in court, and it must manage them safely while they await trial. But bringing private bail bondsmen back to the city would ignore the lessons of research and history. There are well-documented problems with letting private entrepreneurs decide who among the accused is to be released or jailed while awaiting trial. Chief among them is the idea of basing such decisions on the dollar. We know several things about cash bail and justice in the United States.
October 29, 2011
DOVER, Del. - A Delaware woman charged with trying to sell her baby to a Philadelphia man for $15,000 is behind bars after violating the terms of her pretrial release. Court records indicate that Bridget Wismer, 33, of Newark, was taken into custody last week and is being held after failing to post $25,000 cash bail at Baylor women's prison in New Castle. Wismer had been released on $750 bail this month after being charged along with John Gavaghan with dealing in children and conspiracy.
July 6, 1995 |
The judge in charge of Philadelphia's controversial prison cap gave a tentative nod yesterday to returning control over which criminal defendants get jailed - and which go free - to local officials. U. S. District Judge Norma Shapiro hasn't made a formal decision yet. But in a brief hearing, she voiced support for the city's goal of gradually regaining control over difficult pretrial bail decisions and of creating a system of its own for keeping the prison population down. A first step would begin Monday if Shapiro signs a formal order, with control over the entire pretrial release system to be returned to the city and Municipal Court by October.
February 14, 2009 |
Prosecutors identified a previously undisclosed witness whom they say she saw Barry Bonds' personal trainer inject him. In a court filing yesterday, prosecutors said they will call Bonds' former personal shopper, Kathy Hoskins, to tell the jury inhis upcoming perjury trial that she saw the injection, though the filing did not say whether she believed it was steroids. Prosecutors also said they plan to call Jason Giambi, of the Oakland Athletics, and six former baseball players: Jason's brother, Jeremy Giambi; Benito Santiago; Armando Rios; Randy Velarde; Bobby Estalella; and Marvin Benard.
October 31, 2011
83-year-old survives Bucks home invasion * Crafton Drive near Windsor, Bensalem An 83-year-old Bensalem woman faked a heart attack during a home-invasion robbery early Saturday, prompting her assailant to turn on a ceiling fan and check her pulse, police said. Police were called to the victim's home at 2:15 a.m. after the suspect allegedly forced his way in and threatened her at knifepoint, demanding money, police said. He tied her up and cut her phone lines and fled with her debit card, according to police.
September 28, 2010 |
The Rev. Harry Davis wondered why truckloads of high-end construction materials were delivered to the alley behind a rundown three-story building in West Oak Lane, rather than to the front door. Davis, whose Holy Temple Baptist Church was three doors away, also found it odd that workers toiled night and day for nearly two weeks to renovate the building in summer 2008. Davis' son, Herman, said that some of the workers were PHA employees who seemed nervous about the job. "I heard one of them say, 'I don't get paid enough at PHA,' " Herman Davis said.
April 12, 2012 |
To stop criminal defendants from thumbing their noses at appearing in court, the Philadelphia criminal justice system is opening the door wider for private bail firms and starting a special court to crack down on fugitives. The changes are aimed at changing a toxic culture in Philadelphia in which defendants felt - rightly - that they could duck court with impunity, the two state Supreme Court justices who pushed through the changes said Tuesday. Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and Justice Seamus McCaffery have implemented numerous reforms in response to a 2010 Inquirer investigative series on the Philadelphia courts that documented widespread witness intimidation, a massive number of fugitives, and some of the nation's lowest conviction rates for violent crimes.
April 25, 1992 |
It was a typical week in the Philadelphia criminal justice system, the week beginning April Fool's Day 1991, a week in which police arrested and booked 823 men and women on a variety of charges. Almost immediately, 601 of them were released at the Police Administration Building - 387 because their charges were considered too slight to permit admission to the crowded city jails. Under provisions of the controversial prison cap imposed by federal court order, these defendants simply signed their names and walked away, with no bail required or supervision arranged.
April 3, 1989
Federal Judge Norma L. Shapiro has become the favorite villain of our local pols - because she's doing her job. Inflamed by demagogic politicians (including some who should know better, like District Attorney Ronald Castille), Philadelphians are convinced the alleged crime upsurge is the result of hordes of archfiends pouring out of the prisons because bleeding-heart Judge Shapiro is coddling convicts. The facts - if anyone cares to hear them - is that Philadelphia's prisons are dangerously overcrowded, and Shapiro has been threatening to fine the city for failing to meet court-ordered limits on prison population.