Opening arguments in the trial of Pennsylvania State Senator Jane Orie and her sister Janine Orie had to be postponed this morning. The twelve members of the jury and the two alternates were brought into the courtroom shortly after 9:30 and Common Pleas Judge Jeffery Manning informed them that two of the jurists had to be excused. He says juror number one reported to him this morning that her Father-in-law “deluged” her with information about the case last night and felt she was no longer able to serve as a fair an impartial jurist. The judge then went on to say juror number three also reported this morning that he had been exposed to information that had tainted him. The members of the jury were then sent out of the courtroom and told to return at 1:30 this afternoon.
The judge and the lawyers then went down to the jury pool to select two new jury members.
Senator Orie is charged with ten counts of corruption including seven felonies. Janine is charged with three counts. Two of them are felonies. The case stems from allegations that the senator used her taxpayer funded staff to work on the judicial campaign of her sister, Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. Melvin has not been charged.