Wetzel Tweet

A Tweet from Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel about The Sentinel’s recent series “Minor Judiciary.”

The Sentinel recently released a series of stories titled “Minor Judiciary” which examined bail decisions in Cumberland County and the role of magisterial district judges in the criminal justice system.

It has received praise and attention from criminal justice leaders in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States.

Sentinel reporter Joshua Vaughn’s investigation found median bail imposed at the time of preliminary arraignment in 2016 varied from judge to judge, ranging from as a low as $7,500 for Magisterial District Judge Anthony Adams to more than $40,000 for Magisterial District Judge Jonathan Birbeck.

The series drew praise from numerous people including Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel, who called the stories an “absolute must read.”

Organizations like Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Programs, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Marshall Project, John Jay College’s Center for Media Crime and Justice and the Pretrial Justice Institute also helped promote the series.

Here is a sampling of the public comments and praise on The Sentinel’s work:

John Wetzel – Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections

@Sentinel_Vaughn’s series on bail is an absolute #mustread- great job! https://t.co/RlyD4ZhHuu

— John E. Wetzel (@DOCSecretary) August 28, 2017

Bret Bucklen – Director of Research and Statistics at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

“Minor Judiciary: Bail decisions vary from judge to judge.” Important new piece by @Sentinel_Vaughn. @johnewetzel https://t.co/HROuC28ryE

— Bret Bucklen (@kbucklen) August 25, 2017

Steven Chanenson – Professor of Law at Vilanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Strong work on important #bail issue by @Sentinel_Vaughn. Read it: https://t.co/6x8hVKfLJR.

— chanenson (@chanenson) August 29, 2017

Benjamin Levin – Professor at University of Colorado School of Law

More important research & reporting from @Sentinel_Vaughn #CJReform #bailreform https://t.co/tv299pjOX9

— Benjamin Levin (@hashtagblevin) August 31, 2017

David Menshchel – criminal defense lawyer and documentary film maker

Great article, thread, looking at bail decisions in Cumberland Co., a rural county in central PA. https://t.co/VTd7Uu5raf

— David Menschel (@davidminpdx) August 26, 2017

Justice Codes

Great reporting from @Sentinel_Vaughn on the #bail situation in parts of Pennsylvania. https://t.co/ysaGqDtHqL cc: @ColinStarger @zinamakar

— Justice Codes (@JusticeCodes) August 28, 2017

The Pretrial Justice Institute

In-depth reporting by @Sentinel_Vaughn investigating the variances in bail amounts across Pennsylvania #EndCashBail https://t.co/dM2rj6QsvV

— Pretrial Justice (@Pretrial) August 29, 2017

Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Policy Program

In Pennsylvania, Bail decisions vary from judge to judge https://t.co/80PwdpsoYd #BailReform

— HLS Criminal Justice (@HLS_CJPP) August 30, 2017

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