Sentencing the Ories: Not enough time
The words of Allegheny County Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Claus don't jibe with the sentence his office is proposing for the Sisters Orie, convicted of public corruption charges.
In a Monday filing with Common Pleas Court Judge Lester Nauhaus, Mr. Claus said suspended and soon-to-resign state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin “should be held fully accountable under the law, and her sentence should be commensurate with the gravity of her misdeeds.”
Well, if that's the case, Mrs. Orie Melvin should be sentenced to far more than the four years in prison being proposed. How's that “fully accountable under the law” when the law calls for up to a 25-year sentence for such a gross violation of the public trust?
The same goes for Orie Melvin's sister, Janine Orie. She was considered “the linchpin in the criminal conspiracy” for which she and her sisters — that would include former state Sen. Jane Orie, already in prison — were convicted. Janine Orie could be sentenced to up to 27 years in prison. But the prosecution is seeking an even lighter sentence of just under four years.
One rationale is that the DA's office is seeking sentences more in line with that of Jane Orie, sentenced to 21⁄2 to 10 years in prison. But does that really serve justice in this case? The Sisters Orie, all in the public employ, arrogantly thumbed their noses at the law and hurled conspiratorial theories when their crimes were exposed. And never mind that after other pols already had been charged with similar crimes, they plied their lawbreaking with impunity.
Indeed, justice must be measured. But the measure of justice being proposed for Joan Orie Melvin and Janine Orie falls short.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- PSEA oops: Letters & the law
- Sunday pops
- U.N. Watch: Cheering on Iran
- The turnpike scandal: More wet noodles
- Obama’s amnesty: Abuse of power
- Taxing policies
- The Kathleen Kane chronicles: The Pa. attorney general’s credibility is gone
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances