Monday, January 29, 2018

Joey Merlino Rolls the Dice


By George Anastasia

Same game.

Different venue.

Philadelphia's only celebrity gangster, Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, goes on trial this week in federal court in Manhattan for racketeering and conspiracy charges that could land him in jail or a good part of the rest of his life.

He's been there before.

But this time the stakes seem even higher.

The rest of the story can be read HERE.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

How Vince Fumo Saved The Eagles From Moving To Phoenix

From Target: The Senator;
A Story About Power And Abuse of Power

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Motorcycle cops in South Miami were stopping traffic at every intersection, to let a long black limousine go by without having to brake for any red lights.

Inside the limo, Leonard Tose, the flamboyant big spender who owned the Philadelphia Eagles, was on the way to his super box at the Orange Bowl.

On the afternoon of November 11, 1984, the Eagles were playing the Miami Dolphins. And riding in the back of the limo along with Tose and his daughter, Susan Fletcher, were their VIP guests: Pennsylvania Senator Vincent J. Fumo and his fifteen-year-old son, Vincent E. Fumo II.

The Eagles owner had invited the senator to the game because he wanted to get something off his chest. Up in the super box, Tose told Fumo about his recent negotiations with the City of Philadelphia. The Eagles owner wanted to build luxury skyboxes atop aging Veterans Stadium, to bring in new revenues. But Philadelphia officials had blown him off, and Tose wasn't happy about it.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Msgr. Lynn's Lawyers: D.A. Knowingly Put Liar On Stand

New D.A. Larry Krasner Scopes Out His Options In The Lynn Case
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn have accused the district attorney's office of dishonesty and cowardice, for attempting to escape the consequences of knowingly putting a lying witness on the stand.

The lying witness, of course, is "Billy Doe," AKA Danny Gallagher, the lying, scheming altar boy.

In a testy five-page reply brief filed yesterday in state Superior Court, Lynn's lawyers took issue with the D.A.'s contention that there was no so-called Brady violation that resulted from the testimony last year in Common Pleas Court of retired Detective Joe Walsh, who came forward to expose Gallagher for the fraud he is.

Walsh testified that when he prepped Gallagher for trial in 2012, the detective quizzed the former altar boy about the numerous factual discrepancies in his many imaginative and vastly differing tales of abuse. According to Walsh, Gallagher responded by claiming he was high on drugs, hanging his head and saying nothing, or telling some new stories.

None of Gallagher's evasive activities were reported to Lynn's lawyers, as required by Brady v. Maryland, the landmark 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case that held that prosecutors must turn over any evidence that might be beneficial to a defendant.

Monday, January 22, 2018

"Hey Fredo -- Bring Out The Peppers And Sausage"

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Last week, I took a virtual tour of the new merged Inquirer/Daily News/philly.com newsroom, thanks to a brand new feature on their website that's accessible to even hardcore non-subscribers like myself.

It's been 20 years since my last day at the Inquirer, when I was escorted out of the building by an editor. So, I figured I was due for a return visit. But I emerged from my virtual tour feeling like Frank Pentangeli.

Remember the scene in Godfather II where crusty old Frank [AKA "Frankie Five Angels" and "Frankie Pants"] attends the first communion of the late Don Corleone's grandson. It's a big fancy party on the shores of Lake Tahoe, Nevada back in 1958; quite a contrast with the old-fashioned Sicilian wedding scene set on Long Island  in 1945 that opened the original Godfather.

"Hey Fredo," Frank says, "What's with the food around here?"

"A kid comes up to me in a white jacket, gives me a Ritz cracker, and uh, chopped liver, he says canapés  I say uh, uh, can o' peas my ass, that's a Ritz cracker and chopped liver! . . . Bring out the peppers and sausage."

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

New D.A. Krasner Going Forward With Retrial Of Msgr. Lynn

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

It didn't take long for our new D.A., Progressive Larry Krasner, to screw up big-time.

In a 24-page brief filed Tuesday in state Superior Court, Krasner, who's in his first month on the job, has decided to go forward with an ill-advised appeal in the case of Msgr. William J. Lynn. He's the former secretary for clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia whose 2012 conviction on one count of endangering the welfare of a child has twice been overturned by the state Superior Court.

In the brief, which is filled with all sorts of official dishonesty in a case that is already a travesty of justice, the new D.A. pretends that a trial judge last year didn't find the D.A.'s office under Krasner's predecessor, Rufus Seth Williams, guilty of prosecutorial misconduct. When the judge clearly did, and stated so in open court.

The D.A. also attempts to pave over the main issue in the case, mainly that one of the prosecutors, former Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen, had no qualms about putting a star witness on the stand, Danny Gallagher AKA "Billy Doe," the lying scheming altar boy, when she knew he was a liar. Even though she had been repeatedly informed by Detective Joseph Walsh, the lead detective in the case, that all the evidence Walsh had gathered during his investigation contradicted the fables Gallagher was telling, but they were politically correct fables that the prosecutors wanted to hear.

D.A. Won't Press Charges Against Teacher Who Cursed Out Cops

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

A Philadelphia schoolteacher who yelled and cursed out police officers during a protest last August over the Frank Rizzo statue will not have to face any legal consequences for his actions.

Police have been informed by the D.A.'s office that Progressive Larry Krasner, our new D.A. bought and paid for with more than $1 million of George Soros money, has dropped the charges against John Sheerin, who had been arrested and charged with harassment and making terroristic threats.

Police said that Sheerin, 63, a teacher at Julia De Burgos Elementary School in North Philadelphia,  got into an argument with the cops and cursed them out. It happened at a rally where protesters were chanting "Tear it down." Sheerin, standing at a police barricade in front of the statue, was recorded on a cell phone video yelling obscenities at white "racist" cops who were guarding the Rizzo statue at Thomas Paine Plaza.

Sheerin was suspended by the school district, pending an internal investigation. But now that Krasner has let him off, he can return to his job and teach our kids how to curse out cops and get away with it, all in the name of social justice.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Chaos At The D.A.'s Office; Two Different Lists Of Fired Employees

Back In Action
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

On Friday, when the Philly D.A.'s office was closed due to frigid weather, assistant district attorneys were getting calls on their cell phones, telling them to come right down to the office.

Inside, people were lined up, waiting to be fired.

The first list of the newly fired people that went up had 28 names on it. The man on the right, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington, was No. 25 on that list.

But by the end of the day, a new list of 31 names went up. And Blessington's name was nowhere to be found. Rumor had it that some last-minute lobbying had saved the job of the lead prosecutor in the case of Msgr. William J. Lynn.

Blessington, who had been targeted in the "Porngate" scandal -- unfairly, truth be told, because he supposedly never opened any of the pornographic emails sent to his cue -- had been spared in the purge by Krasner.

"District Attorney Lawrence S. Krasner requests the resignations of the following," the memo from the new chief of staff said, "with the understanding that they are not to return."

Three of the names on the list were circled, highlighting the ADAs with gun permits.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

At D.A.'s Office Nobody Left To Prosecute Msgr. Lynn

Jeff Lindy: The Left-Wing D.A.'s New Right Hand Man
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

After new District Attorney Larry Krasner got through cleaning house yesterday by firing 30 assistant district attorneys, there's nobody left to prosecute Msgr. William J. Lynn.

One of the ADAs whacked by Krasner was Patrick Blessington, the lead prosecutor on the Lynn case. Blessington was also the guy who attacked retired Detective Joe Walsh as a "rogue" cop, saying he wasn't authorized to interview more than 30 witnesses in the Billy Doe case.

 Blessington had nonsensically claimed that Walsh had done the interviews on his own. That, of course, prompted laughs from Judge Ellen Ceisler. In the Philadelphia archdiocese sex abuse prosecutions, Walsh was the key witness who came forward to say that he believed Billy Doe was a liar, and that Doe, whose real name is Danny Gallagher, had admitted to Walsh that he just "made up stuff." The retired detective's testimony has already forced the D.A. to let Bernard Shero, a former Catholic schoolteacher convicted of raping Gallagher, out of jail nearly a dozen years early.

Walsh was going to be the defense's star witness if the D.A. proceeded with its announced plans to retry Msgr. Lynn on one count of endangering the welfare of children. But now it looks as though that retrial may never happen, because of some other moves Krasner made.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

For Big Trial, A Look Back, A Look Forward

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

If they made a movie out of Big Trial's top stories from 2017, it would be called Trading Places, starring former District Attorney Rufus Seth Williams and convicted child rapist Bernard Shero.

Shero, falsely accused of rape by a lying scheming altar boy, got out of jail nearly a dozen years early, thanks to the dogged reporting of this blog, and the revelatory testimony of retired Detective Joe Walsh.

Williams, the corrupt D.A. who cooked up the fraudulent "Billy Doe" prosecution that sent former Catholic schoolteacher Shero to jail, along with three falsely accused Catholic priests, wound up in prison for political corruption, thanks to the work of the U.S. Attorney's Office from Jersey, which prosecuted the case.

If it wasn't legal justice, it certainly was poetic justice -- Shero, finally a free man, and Rufus, in a jump suit, and finally where he belongs, behind bars.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Harvey Silverglate's Foreword To Target: The Senator

By Harvey A. Silverglate

My criminal defense and civil liberties law practice, spanning half a century, has exposed me to several shockingly broad gaps in American life between appearance and reality. 

No gap, in my experience, has been broader than that between the commonly accepted reputation of federal criminal justice and the sordid realities of how the United States Department of Justice, often with the connivance of the federal judiciary, dispenses justice.

A disproportionate number of federal trial and appellate court judges are former prosecutors, and so there is an uncomfortable amount of symbiosis between the Justice Department and the bench. The number and variety of innocent people railroaded by the system would be sufficient to undermine any semblance of public confidence in federal criminal justice if the public understood the details of these cases.


 

Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog Copyright © 2016 BigTrial.net

Privacy Policy: BigTrial.net does not distribute, share or sell email addresses, or any other personal information received from this website.