Sunday, August 15, 2010

Allentown: Well we're living here with crony collusion, sadistic cruelty, and spineless apathy ... [Part 4]


That was the sensationalistic and insensitive headline The Morning Call "newspaper" chose to run with the day after my daughter Sheena's killer was sentenced to 5.5 to 12 years in the PA State Penitentiary for killing her. It was printed in large and bold "all caps" type in its original hardcopy version, and not the "CYA" shrunken size the "newspaper" has retroactively and deceitfully rigged for this archive version. By contrast, the same day, The Express-Times reported Sheena's previously unknown pregnancy (unknown beyond her immediate family) starting on line 14 of its balanced coverage (we'd link to it but we can't find Express-Times reporter Bevan Milavsky's report out there anywhere).

Sheena's family always perceived The Morning Call's sadistically cruel "DUI CRASH VICTIM PREGNANT" headline as being akin to the referees sucker punching the winning team as we walked off the court. Obviously, the "newspaper" and its crony-connected "club member" higher-ups were pulling for Sheena's killer, whose "club member" father was a partner in the juggernaut local law firm that has been representing The Morning Call for many years.

But the real shocker in "DUI CRASH VICTIM PREGNANT" is what The Morning Call "newspaper" did NOT tell you, to protect its colluding crony-connected "club president" DA Jim Martin.

I was there. Here's what The Morning Call "newspaper" never told you ...

It was Judge Steinberg who brought up Sheena's pregnancy at her killer's sentencing hearing, not DA Jim Martin "prosecutor" Richard Director, as the "newspaper" deceitfully leads you to envision in Manny Gamiz's skillfully edited article, see: paragraphs 1 through 4, page 2 of 3.

Get the court transcripts and you'll see that as his 2nd to last detail (2nd only to the sentencing itself), Judge Steinberg ominously declared to defense attorney Phil Lauer and DA Jim Martin "prosecutor" Richard Director that, "Now I need to address the one issue that neither of you has addressed." Judge Steinberg and the two attorneys then left the courtroom for a private conference about Sheena's pregnancy in Judge Steinberg's chambers. It was a moment of palpable high drama in the courtroom, but apparently one that somehow completely eluded Morning Call "reporter" Manny Gamiz, and/or his editor(s), as nary a rancid whiff of this 15- to 20-minute absence from the courtroom by the conferring Judge and the two attorneys ever made it into the "newspaper."

Readers: if DA Jim Martin "prosecutor" Richard Director had indeed "prepared a legal memo and asked the judge to consider the fact that Sheena was pregnant in sentencing," as The Morning Call helpfully reported the next day, then Richard Director apparently, what ... FORGOT (?) to reference his memo when standing in front of Judge Steinberg on sentencing day! This was either jaw-droppingly gross incompetence on the part of DA Jim Martin's office, flagrant crony-crooked collusion, or both.

No thanks whatsoever to DA Jim Martin's office, Judge Steinberg cited Sheena's early pregnancy, along with her killer's surrealistically high crash speed, and thrice the legal limit blood alcohol content, as his rationale for a sentence of 5.5 to 12 years in state prison or nearly double Pennsylvania's mandatory minimum state prison sentence of 3 years for vehicular homicide while DUI-- a token consolation, we felt, for the third degree murder conviction and sentence Sheena's killer earned and should have gotten.

BTW, the oh so remorseful convicted Sheena killer The Morning Call couldn't stop sobbing about wanted to stick Sheena's family with the trauma unit/hospital bills he created when he killed Sheena (he also expected an immediate release from prison) but the PA Superior Court quickly and comprehensively rejected his appeal.

Bottom Line: The Morning Call "newspaper" purposefully concealed the truth from you.

In our next "Allentown" post, we'll examine other equally newsworthy items The Morning Call "newspaper" purposefully concealed from you regarding DA Jim Martin's shamefully lackluster prosecution of Sheena's killer and Allentown's in-progress persecution of Sheena's dad for calling out DA Jim Martin and The Morning Call "newspaper" for their gross incompetence and crony-colluding crookedness.