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Author Archives: Jay Butchko

BusLit2

Was It Malicious Prosecution, Or Was The State Protecting Potential Victims?

By Gary E. Gerson |

United States law considers liberty a fundamental human right, and the state does not have the right to take away your liberty by detaining you in a jail or prison except as a punishment for a crime, although, in practice, there are some exceptions.  Judges can decide to hold a defendant in jail until… Read More »

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Freezer

Lancaster Man Charged With Murder And Other Crimes After Relatives And Police Find Dismembered Body In Family Home

By Gary E. Gerson |

In recent years, lawmakers and voters in Pennsylvania and other states have made some changes to the laws to reflect the belief that most crimes are not committed by dangerous people, and that the motive for these crimes is not incorrigible evil.  For example, possession of drug paraphernalia and controlled substances are symptoms of… Read More »

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MoneyLaund3

Allegheny County Woman Sentenced To One Year In Prison For Conspiracy To Commit Money Laundering

By Gary E. Gerson |

The term “money laundering” means something different in the popular imagination, as does “conspiracy.”  You can get convicted of money laundering even if the amount of money involved was relatively small.  Likewise, you do not have to be a criminal mastermind to commit conspiracy.  Depending on the circumstances, it is possible for people charged… Read More »

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DoctorArrest

Allegheny County Doctor Sentenced To 78 Months In Prison For Health Care Fraud

By Gary E. Gerson |

In these tough economic times, almost everyone in western Pennsylvania knows someone who has tried to recruit them to distribute nutritional supplements through a multilevel marketing (MLM) business model.  The products are ordinary vitamin supplements like the ones you can buy much cheaper at Walmart or Costco, but the former classmate who messages you… Read More »

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Alcohol

North Huntingdon Township Man Faces Criminal Charges For Rape Of Drinking Buddy

By Gary E. Gerson |

When you and your college classmates used to joke that a certain socially awkward guy who lived in your dorm looked like a rapist, those rumors were not only cruel; they were also wildly inaccurate.  There is no one way that rapists look. In fact, the only characteristic common to the majority of rapists… Read More »

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ArrestedCouple

Mount Airy Couple Charged With Drug Distribution And Held On Million Dollar Bond

By Gary E. Gerson |

The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects against cruel and unusual punishment, including excessive financial penalties before or after a conviction.  This means that fines as a criminal penalty should not be disproportionate to the crime and that bail amounts should not be disproportionate to the amount of danger the defendant, who… Read More »

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MoneyLaund4

Federal Prison Sentence For Participant In Money-Laundering Conspiracy Involving Former Pennsylvania Narcotics Agent

By Gary E. Gerson |

Stories about family members working together in an “us against the world” scenario certainly make for interesting movies, especially when their quest is illegal.  When it happens in real life, though, it means being separated from your (proverbial and literal) partner in crime in different correctional institutions.  In fact, you and your family member… Read More »

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Jail5

Pittsburgh Man Sentenced To 57 Months In Prison For His Role In Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

By Gary E. Gerson |

57 months doesn’t seem like such a long time until it does.  If your child is 57 months old, you have probably long since stopped calculating your child’s age in months.  On three-day weekends, car dealerships offer promotions where you can buy a car for little or no down payment and pay off your… Read More »

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Drowsy4

Montandon Dad Charged With DUI And Child Endangerment For Falling Asleep In Parked Car While Daughter Was Present

By Gary E. Gerson |

Every parent knows the dangers, legal and otherwise, of leaving a child in an unattended vehicle.  Sleep-deprived parents exchange hacks on social media for how to remind themselves not to go inside the house without first taking the sleepy baby out of the car seat in the back; one grandmother even drives barefoot when… Read More »

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PhoneCrime

Black Creek Township Man Faces Charges For Possession Of Hundreds Of Images Of Child Sexual Abuse

By Gary E. Gerson |

Social attitudes toward sexuality have become less puritanical in recent decades, and laws have changed in accordance with this.  The underlying idea is that people are free to live their sexuality as they choose, as long as in doing so, they do not harm anyone.  Thus, sexuality activity between consenting adults is legal regardless… Read More »

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