01 June 2020 :
U.S. Middle District Chief Judge Christopher Conner on 27 May 2020 overturned the murder convictions of Samuel Randolph, now 48, Black. Judge Conner ruled that the trial court unconstitutionally denied Randolph the right to be represented by counsel of choice, forcing him to go to trial with an unprepared court-appointed lawyer with whom he had an “absolute, complete breakdown of communication.”
The trial judge refused to delay his 2003 trial so his new attorney could prepare for the case.
After being represented at trial by an appointed attorney with whom he was at odds, Randolph represented himself during the penalty phase, presented no arguments and was sentenced to death, the judge said.
Conner cited the two possible death penalties and found not “a single countervailing reason” for denial of a delay in the trial. Samuel Randolph was convicted for the 19 September 2001 shooting deaths of Thomas Easter and Anthony Burton. Randolph was sentenced to death in Dauphin County on 15 May 2003. Conner gave prosecutors 90 days to determine whether to retry Randolph. District Attorney Fran Chardo said he is still reviewing Conner’s decision, which could be appealed to the 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals.