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Politics & Government

Orie Melvin Jury Asks Judge Question

The jury hearing the case against suspended Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin and her sister, Janine Orie, asked the judge Wednesday to explain why the justice was singled out in one count in the campaign corruption trial.

The question came on the third day of deliberations.

The sisters are charged with misusing Melvin's former Superior Court staff to help her campaign for the state's highest court in 2003 and 2009. Janine Orie was an aide to the judge then and also allegedly helped Melvin similarly misuse the state-funded staff of a third sister, then-state Sen. Jane Orie, too.

The count the jury questioned charges Melvin with stealing the state-funded services of Janine Orie, specifically.

The judge explained that prosecutors determine who gets charged with crimes, but otherwise said he could not tell the jury more about that charge.