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Wednesday Rundown: New Rulings on Expert Witnesses in PA Courts


  These topics air Wednesday June 18, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Expert Witnesses in PA

Recently, the PA Supreme Court decided two cases on the same day, both concerning expert testimony in criminal cases. In one case, on eyewitness testimony, a majority changed the longstanding rule that no experts on the problems with eyewitness testimony were allowed; from this point forward, the Supreme Court said, trial courts in PA may permit experts. But in the other case, the court said exactly the opposite re: expert testimony on what can create a false confession. Pitt Law Professor David Harris joins us to explain how this will impact future trials in the commonwealth.

Be Book Smart Campaign

One of the problems educators face is the summer slide. This is the loss of learning skills students experience during the summer. It can sometimes result in teachers needing to re-teach certain skills or topics. A new survey being released today finds only 17 percent of parents believe reading is a top summer priority. In an effort to support children’s literacy Reading is Fundamental (RIF) is launching a Be Book Smart Campaign. Joining us to explain the program is Katherine Heffernen, Assistant Director of Communications and Development for the Pittsburgh office of RIF.

Pittsburgh Lists

From livability to walkability Pittsburgh keeps showing up on an endless series of lists. These honors were the focus of a recent column by Tribune Review columnist Nafari Vanaski who shares her thoughts in an essay.

PA Turnpike Toll Increases

The PA Turnpike Commission has approved a toll increase set to begin in 2015. This is the seventh rate increase since Act 44 of 2007. It’s also the first time, since 2011 EZ Pass rates have gone up. What do these toll rate changes mean for the future of the turnpike? We’ll pose that question to the Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Carl DeFebo. 

To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here

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