5 things to know for Friday in Pennsylvania
A daily look at late-breaking news, coming events and stories that will be talked about in Pennsylvania on Friday:
RELEASE EXPECTED IN ARSON CASE
Seventy-nine-year-old Han Tak Lee is due to be released from a state prison in rural central Pennsylvania this morning. A federal judge threw out Lee’s state conviction and life sentence and gave prosecutors 120 days to decide whether they want to retry him in the 1989 arson death of his daughter. Prosecutors say other evidence points to Lee’s guilt, even if the arson science is flawed.
An appeals court says former Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin must still apologize to every judge in the state for her campaign corruption conviction. But she no longer has to do it by sending an autographed, handwritten note on a picture of her in handcuffs, which her trial judge ordered taken after her sentencing.
ABDUCTION SUSPECT WAS INTO TORTURE ANIME, PROSECUTOR SAYS
That evidence was disclosed as the trial of 21-year-old Christina Regusters was delayed a week. She’s charged with abducting a 5-year-old girl from school and raping the child.
MANDATORY SENTENCES ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL
The Superior Court ruling comes three weeks before state Supreme Court justices are scheduled to hear arguments on more than 20 similar cases. The state cases are fueled by Alleyne v. United States, a 2013 high court decision that found that juries, not judges, should decide whether a defendant committed crimes that trigger a mandatory minimum sentence.
GOV. TOM CORBETT ON CHALLENGER’S INCOME TAX PLAN
The Republican governor is responding to Democrat Tom Wolf’s plan to shift more of Pennsylvania’s income tax onto the wealthiest taxpayers. Corbett says that violates a section of the state constitution that says “all taxes shall be uniform, upon the same class of subjects.”