Gavel Grab

Suspended PA Justice Declines to Testify During Trial

The defense for suspended Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin rested this week after Melvin declined to testify in her trial on corruption charges, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin on Friday. 

Janine Orie, Melvin’s sister who worked as her assistant, also declined to testify. The two are charged with theft of services for using state-paid staff to work on Melvin’s 2003 and 2009 campaigns for the state Supreme Court.

The defense focused on refuting evidence from the prosecution that Melvin’s actions had cheated taxpayers out of $33,475 (see Gavel Grab).

Melvin’s attorneys outlined the costs of running Melvin’s Superior Court chambers between 2002 and 2009, adding that her expenses were less than the average total at that time.

When asked how she felt about her legal representation, Melvin replied that she felt satisfied “beyond my wildest expectations.”

Learn more about Melvin’s trial in Gavel Grab.

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