Thursday, June 23, 2011

Orie Gets Day in Different Court

Pennsylvania's high court says state senator Janie Orie of McCandless should be allowed to argue that a new trial on public corruption charges would constitute double jeopardy.

The state Supreme Court ruled 6-to-0 Thursday that Superior Court should consider Orie's claim that she should not be subject to a second trial on charges tat she misused her public office for campaign purposes.

Orie's sister, Justice Joan Orie Melvin, didn't participate in the decision. The charges allege that Sen. Orie and a third sister conspired to use public assets to support campaigns for both the senator and the judge.

The high court order says the lower Superior Court should consider whether retrial should be barred on grounds that include the trial judge declaring a mistrial without considering less drastic measures. The mistrial was declared after it appeared that fraudulent documents were among those presented to the jury.

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