University of Pittsburgh

John Burkoff and David Harris on the Opening of Justice Orie Melvin's Corruption Trial

Publish Date/Time: 
January 23, 2013

Professors John Burkoff and David Harris commented on the opening of the corruption trial against Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin.  Justice Orie Melvin's sister, former state senator Jane Orie, is now serving a prison sentence for her conviction on similar corruption charges, and her defense consistently argued that the case was part of a political vendetta against her family by the prosecutor.  Professor Burkoff told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that it will not be apparent what the defense case will be until Justice Orie Melvin's lawyers begin making arguments, cross examining witness, and the like.  Professor Harris said that he sees little indication that the political vendetta defense will be used this time.  Professor Burkoff also told Law360 that the Justice has a tough case to make.  "A number of the witnesses who are appearing in Justice Melvin's trial appeared in the senator's trial, and it did lead to convictions."  

See the Tribune Review article here.  

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