Gavel Grab

PA Justice Orie Melvin’s Attorneys Seek a Probation Sentence

Rather than face incarceration, suspended Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin’s lawyers argued this week that she should receive a sentence of probation instead.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Melvin will be sentenced May 7. She was convicted earlier this year on criminal corruption charges (see Gavel Grab). Her sister, Janine Orie, was convicted of similar charges as well.

In arguing for probation, Melvin’s attorney Patrick Casey wrote that she is a family-oriented individual, with a life dedicated to public service.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. filed a statement that Melvin should serve a  sentence similar to her sister’s, former state Sen. Jane Orie. Orie is currently serving 2 1/2 to 10 years in prison after being convicted of misusing her state paid staff, says the Associated Press.

“Regarding defendant Joan Orie Melvin, the actions of all three co-defendants are coextensive; therefore, we would expect a sentence similar to that given Jane Orie,” Zappala said in his statement.

Melvin submitted her resignation from the court effective May 1 earlier this year, but she was suspended from the bench in August 2012.

The article says that Gov. Tom Corbett has announced he will nominate an interim justice within 90 days of the suspended justice’s resignation.

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