August 27, 1988 |
Philadelphia defendants who believe they have been denied their right to speedy trials lost another round in Common Pleas Court yesterday. Judge Gene D. Cohen refused to overturn an order preventing Philadelphia judges from deciding speedy-trial complaints until further notice. Cohen said in his ruling that although the order implemented a Supreme Court justice's letter that is not in the formal court record, there was "not enough evidence to overcome the assumption" that the letter was a valid directive from the high court.
June 18, 1988 |
The state Supreme Court has been asked to order Philadelphia judges to begin ruling on defendants' claims that they were denied their right to a speedy trial. In a petition filed Wednesday and made public yesterday, the Defender Association of Philadelphia contends that an order suspending rulings on such claims, issued May 27 by Common Pleas Court Judge Edward J. Blake, administrative judge of the Philadelphia trial division, is "arbitrary and capricious. " The petition also contends that Blake's order "violates firmly entrenched due-process and equal-protection rights" under the state and federal Constitutions.
August 3, 1988 |
Two state Supreme Court justices have said they were unaware that Philadelphia judges were ordered May 27 not to rule on petitions contending that criminal suspects' rights to a speedy trial have been violated. Justice Nicholas P. Papadakos, in a letter to the chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and Justice John P. Flaherty, in an interview yesterday, said they knew nothing about a memorandum from Common Pleas Court Judge Edward J. Blake, administrative judge for the trial division, suspending all rulings on speedy-trial petitions pending further order from the Supreme Court.
August 31, 1988 |
A former police officer and two other men charged with attacking two men in Center City because they believed the two were gay have asked that the assault charges be thrown out because their speedy-trial rights have been violated. Thomas Duffy, the former officer, and brothers Joseph Lemly of the 3000 block of Teesdale Street and James Lemly of the 4200 block of Marple Street are charged with aggravated and simple assault, criminal conspiracy and recklessly endangering another person in connection with a May 1987 attack on Carl Vetter of Norristown.
September 21, 1993 |
Time waits for no one, says the old saw, and it didn't wait for the robbery victims who could have testified against the man accused of robbing them. Haibe Vann, 19, had wanted a jury trial for his robbery case, but his lawyer, Michael G. Floyd, noticed that the victims had not shown up for the start of the trial Friday. He urged his client to forget about a jury and go before the judge. "We don't want to take any chances that they will walk in during the trial," Floyd told Vann.
March 20, 1992 |
It took 31 years to bring Jesse Stroman to trial for murder, and less than two minutes for the case to be dropped yesterday. Assistant District Attorney Joseph LaBar told Common Pleas Judge Michael R. Stiles that because of "the unusual nature" of the case, the prosecution has decided not to try the 76-year-old partially blind man for the Jan. 10, 1961, fatal shooting of Charles Young. Stiles called the DA's decision "appropriate and reasonable. " Defense lawyer Peter F. Rogers was prepared to ask Stiles to dismiss the case because Stroman's right to a speedy trial had been violated.
April 3, 2013 |
TRENTON - A Pennsylvania man has been cleared of drunk-driving charges in New Jersey because a municipal court in Camden County did not give him a speedy trial. The state Supreme Court ruled Monday that a lower court was right to drop the charge against Michael Cahill. In 2007, Cahill swerved to avoid a blocked traffic lane and hit a Pennsauken police car, injuring an officer. He later pleaded guilty to assault by auto and served a year of probation. But a drunk-driving charge was referred to the municipal court, which took 16 months to set a trial date.
July 26, 2014 |
TRENTON - With less than two weeks to vote on a measure that could lead to pretrial detention without bail, New Jersey lawmakers remain divided over how to address the right to a speedy trial. The schism could upend the criminal-justice reform package that has been in the works for two years. The proposed constitutional amendment, which requires voter approval, would allow judges to deny bail if, following a prosecutor's motion, they are concerned that defendants would not show up to court, would threaten the safety of others, or would obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice.
August 11, 1988 |
A defense attorney has asked a Common Pleas Court judge to declare illegal an order barring judges from ruling on motions contending that suspects' speedy-trial rights have been violated. The request was filed on behalf of John Goetz, a Philadelphia man who has been free on bail awaiting trial since his March 31, 1987, arrest on drug charges. Goetz's attorney, Samuel C. Stretton, contended in court papers filed this week with Common Pleas Court Judge Gene D. Cohen that an order temporarily barring Cohen and all other Philadelphia judges from ruling on such defense motions is illegal and unconstitutional.
May 30, 1995 |
Two accused cop-killers think they have found the key to the jailhouse door. It's called court Rule 1100 E, and requires defendants be brought to trial within 180 days or be freed without posting bail until their trial. Tucker Ginn, 35, and his brother, Allen, 33, say they should be freed because they have been denied a speedy trial in the killing of Police Officer Charles Knox Jr., 31, and the shooting and wounding of his partner, Officer Anthony Howard Jr., on Aug. 30, 1992.