USA - Pennsylvania. Judge J. Scott O'Keefe overturned the conviction of Orlando Maisonet

26 February 2019 :

Judge J. Scott O'Keefe (Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas) overturned the conviction of death-row prisoner Orlando Maisonet based on a combination of prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel. The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office supported Maisonet's request to vacate his conviction, though it did not concede there was misconduct. Maisonet now is 60, Black. He was accused of participating in the August 15, 1982 robbery and shooting of a pizza shop owner. Three weeks later, one of the robbers, Jorge Figueroa, was found hacked to death, apparently by his fellow thieves who thought he was a snitch. Maisonet eluded capture for nearly a decade until he was located in Puerto Rico in 1990 and extradited back to Philadelphia. Maisonet was sentenced to life in prison on May 21, 1992 for shooting Slafman, 50, to death in his shop. A few weeks later he was sentenced to death in the Figueroa murder. Maisonet’s conviction for killing pizza shop owner Ignacio Slafman was later overturned and, at a retrial in 2005, Maisonet was acquitted. And, last week, Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge J. Scott O’Keefe also vacated Maisonet’s conviction in the second murder, that of witness Jorge Figueroa, citing prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective defense counsel. That means, after 28 years on death row, Maisonet will have to be retried or released.


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