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September 17, 2007

State judge adds banishment to long sentence

At a time when residency restrictions are legislatures' latest sentencing fad, perhaps it is not surprising that judges are inclined to get into the banishment sentencing game.  As this local article details, a county judge in Pennsylvania has banished a drug dealer from his hometown. Here are more details:

A Westmoreland County judge ordered a man to stay out of his hometown of Arnold and two nearby towns after serving a 10- to 20-year prison term.  State officials and law professors say the order may go too far....

Westmoreland County Judge Rita D. Hathaway ordered Chambers to stay out of Arnold, New Kensington and Lower Burrell when he gets out of prison, according to court records. Prosecutors had asked for the ban.  Defense attorney Duke George, who is handling the appeal for the more recent case, said the stay-out provision is unjust and unconstitutional....

Since January 2006, various county judges have issued at least seven similar orders to people who received sentences of fewer than two years.

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