Not being able to stay on top of court costs can land people more probation, parole, or incarceration. It’s a problem for many Pennsylvanians who deal with the criminal justice system, especially for those who require a public defender. And over in a federal court in New Jersey, a jury has found a former police chief guilty of lying to the FBI. But there are still two charges left that the jury may continue to discuss.
Not being able to keep up with court-ordered payments remains a common reason for judges to give people more probation, more parole, or more incarceration. And it’s keeping people under court control for years.
Although poor defendants are entitled to legal representation, it doesn’t mean that their access to the justice system is free. Costs pile up so high, according to an ACLU study, that among people poor enough to be assigned public defenders, court costs were paid in full in less than a quarter of cases over 10 years.
A jury yesterday found the former police chief of Bordentown Township guilty of lying to the FBI. The jury still is working to see if it can reach a unanimous verdict on Frank Nucera Jr.'s two remaining counts: hate-crime assault and deprivation of civil rights. It will return to court this morning to tell the judge whether it will continue to deliberate.
Nucera is accused of hitting a handcuffed black suspect during an incident in September 2016. Fellow officers say the teen was in custody and not resisting arrest when Nucera slammed his head against a wall. The case also involved recordings of Nucera using racial slurs.
For nearly three decades, Willie Veasy insisted that he didn’t kill a man on a Philadelphia street corner in 1992. And last week, the District Attorney’s Office agreed that the 54-year-old was likely innocent in the fatal shooting.
Veasy’s exoneration is the 10th under DA Larry Krasner. Prosecutors say they’re investigating if the detectives who interrogated Veasy had committed any misconduct in his case or others.
Some courtside pics from the Sixers’ preseason win Tuesday night. Awesome shots, @jamieamalea.
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“Krasner has made clear that he does not want to overcharge defendants. That is a proper goal provided the charging decision is governed by the evidence and the law. But to set aside the law and the evidence in order to undercharge a defendant as a matter of ease or convenience for the prosecution or because defense counsel might make a countervailing argument at trial is a gross dereliction of Krasner’s duty to the citizens of Philadelphia.” — George Parry, a former federal and state prosecutor, writes about the decision to withdraw a first-degree murder charge in the Rittenhouse stabbing case.