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Trial judge delays Melvin ruling pending appeal

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 15, 2013 7:39 AM
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(Pittsburgh) --Former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin's trial judge has delayed ruling whether she violated her house arrest sentence by not yet sending autographed pictures of herself in handcuffs apologizing to other state judges for her campaign corruption conviction earlier this year.

Instead, Allegheny County Judge Lester Nauhaus says he'll wait for the state Superior Court to rule on the legality of the apologies before he holds another hearing on the matter December 4th. Melvin's attorneys say the apologies unfairly force Melvin to incriminate herself while she appeals her conviction.

The Superior Court has ordered that part of Melvin's sentence delayed temporarily until it rules formally. But prosecutors say Melvin has already apologized in court, so mailing more apologies shouldn't violate her rights. They want Nauhaus to imprison Melvin for not sending the picture apologies.

This story has been updated from an earlier version.

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