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Public humiliation added to justice's sentence

May 9, 2013 at 3:20 PM   |   Comments

PITTSBURGH, May 9 (UPI) -- The judge who sentenced a former Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice to three years house arrest added some touches designed to humiliate her.

Joan Orie Melvin was spared prison Tuesday for campaign violations, including using her judicial staff to work on her election, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. But Common Pleas Judge Lester Nauhaus had her pose in his chambers for a court photographer while wearing handcuffs and released the photo to the media Wednesday.

Nauhaus also ordered Melvin to apologize to her former staff and to send copies of the photo to 600 judges across Pennsylvania.

Jules Epstein, who teaches criminal law at Widener University, said he does not believe Melvin can be forced to apologize.

"Even when you are convicted of a crime, you retain your Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination," he said. "You can't be punished for refusing to exercise it."

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