About PMC

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (PMC) is a statewide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to ensure that all Pennsylvanians can come to our courts for justice with confidence that the most qualified, fair, and impartial judges will preside over their cases. Read More>>

Press

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What's New

  • September 12, 2014

    On September 11, 2014, Judge Dwight K. Shaner, a magisterial district judge in Fayette County, PA from 1986 to 2013, was charged with perjury, a third degree felony, and obstruction of law or other governmental function, a second degree misdemeanor. Judge Shaner retired at the end of 2013 in compliance with the mandatory judicial retirement provisions of the Pennsylvania constitution.

  • September 10, 2014

    A Community Accountability Program, which helps low-level, nonviolent offenders avoid a criminal record has successfully launched in Bucks County. It utilizes alternative forms of prosecution as means for these first time, low-level offenders to atone for their offenses. The program consists a panels of local volunteers to hear cases and recommend sanctions.

  • September 5, 2014

    Fayette County is now offering a Diversionary Program for veterans accused of minor criminal offenses. Through the voluntary program, eligible veterans are placed into six-month programs such as substance abuse treatment or behavioral health counseling. Upon completion of the program, the criminal charges will be dismissed.

  • August 25, 2014

    On Thursday, The Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld Orie Melvin’s conviction on six criminal counts and amended the sentenced imposed by Common Pleas Judge Lester G. Nauhaus. Orie Melvin will be required to serve three years of house arrest, volunteer in a soup kitchen, pay a $55,000 fine, and write apology notes to every Pennsylvania judge.

 

Using the Courts

Being in court can be confusing and overwhelming. PMC provides information and resources to help you better understand and navigate the court system.
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Choosing Judges

Only the most qualified individuals – based on legal skill, experience, temperament and reputation for fairness, impartiality and independence – should become judges. The process of selecting judges is extremely important in ensuring that such people reach the bench. PMC works to bring Pennsylvania a judicial selection system that can achieve this goal.
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The Jury System

The jury is the cornerstone of the American Justice System. PMC works to keep the jury system strong, by increasing the numbers of citizens who serve, expanding the diversity of our jury pools and working with the courts to make jury duty a satisfying experience.
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Eliminating Bias

Bias in the justice system remains a persistent problem. PMC works with local, state and national partners to eliminate all forms of bias from our courts.
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