Sunday, October 12, 2008

Walking "Perps,"
Pennsylvania Style

Pennsylvania's "Bonusgate" Prosecutions
Should Not Have Been Launched With "Perp-Walks"

Why wait for the uncertainty of a Common Pleas Court trial many months from now to convict "Bonusgate" defendants? Attorney General Tom Corbett and his law enforcement agents already secured convictions in the court of public opinion, perhaps forever, by permitting good old-fashioned perp walks.

On July 11 Pennsylvanians witnessed the unfair, prejudicial practice of walking hand-shackled defendants before cameras into their initial court appearances. But what makes good copy for the media is bad news for anyone perp walked who, down the road, receives ARD (pre-trial diversion), is acquitted, or whose charges are dropped in the interests of justice.

Note: Editors write headlines and descriptive lead-in copy. I had no control over either.

©Copyright 2008 Richard Lavinthal. Contact me for permission to reprint this July 2008 Op Ed on your Web site at no charge.

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