On Court Radio at 7 am Sunday: A Criminal Law Guide with Special Guest, Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams
By Dean I Weitzman, Esq. on February 25th, 2012
R. Seth Williams, Philadelphia’s district attorney, will appear live on the weekly “Court Radio” show at 7 a.m. Sunday to discuss the city’s recent efforts and initiatives to fight violent crime involving firearms.
The program will discuss criminal law and some of the basic things that citizens need to know about the system of criminal justice in the Delaware Valley.
One of the topics Williams will discuss is the city’s new reward program that aims to pay citizens substantial cash rewards of $20,000 to provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction of criminals who commit murder with a firearm in the commission of a crime in the City of Philadelphia. The reward program was announced in January by city Mayor Michael Nutter, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and Williams in a joint effort to stem the rising homicide rate here, according to a story in The Philadelphia Inquirer. There were 30 homicides in Philadelphia as of Jan. 25, which was “significantly higher than the 15 or 16 that had been considered typical for that month in previous years,” the story reported.
In addition, anyone who reports another person who is illegally carrying a firearm in the city can earn a $500 reward upon the arrest and conviction of the suspect for a firearms violation, Williams said.
The live Court Radio broadcast will be hosted by MyPhillyLawyer managing partner, Dean Weitzman, and his co-host and fellow attorney, David Rapoport.
Court Radio is broadcast live every Sunday morning on Philadelphia’s WRNB 100.3 FM, with a simulcast on Magic 95.9 FM in Baltimore. You can also listen live on the Internet at WRNB 100.3 or on Magic 95.9 via streaming audio.
In an interview, Williams said he will talk about how the reward program is going so far, though it will be six to 12 months before any real results can be measured. “I know that people have called in and that information on guns used in violent crime has already come in,” he said. But because cases take some time to go through the court system, no convictions have yet occurred where rewards have been paid out.
Williams said he will also detail another upcoming initiative – a plan to ask the courts to forbid a suspect in a case involving firearms to be released from jail after simply signing a note promising to return for trial. That practice, where suspects are released on their own recognizance (ROR), is outmoded today when gun violence is so prevalent and it must be changed, Williams said.
“I will be asking for only cash bail for all defendants who are arrested for possession of a firearm,” he said.
Also joining the criminal law program will be Larry Greenberg, a Baltimore attorney who will discuss the criminal justice system and its operation, including the recent case of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player, George Huguely V, 24, who was convicted last week of second-degree murder in the 2010 death of his former girlfriend.
The jury in the widely-publicized Virginia case “decided [that] Huguely did not plan to kill his onetime girlfriend Yeardley Love on May 2, 2010, when he kicked through her bedroom door, shook her violently, wrestled with her and left her bloodied in her bed,” according to a story in The Washington Post. “The 22-year-old was found dead by a roommate hours later.”
Greenberg will discuss the differences between first-degree and second-degree murder charges, as well as detail manslaughter charges. “Prosecutors had sought a first-degree murder conviction, while Huguely’s attorneys were hoping for the lesser charge of manslaughter,” according to the Washington Post story.
Williams is serving his first term as the city’s District Attorney, having been elected in 2009 as the city’s and Commonwealth’s first African-American district attorney. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University and his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University. He joined the DA’s office after law school as an assistant DA, where he created and led the Repeat Offenders Unit with the goal of reducing the high percentage of crimes committed by repeat offenders, according to his city biography. His extensive trial experience includes 37 jury trials, more than 1,500 bench trials and more than 2,500 felony preliminary hearings.
In 2005 Seth was appointed Inspector General of the City of Philadelphia and worked to investigate all allegations of corruption, fraud, waste, abuse and employee misconduct among municipal workers and companies doing business with the city. He left that post in 2008 to work for a Center City law firm before running for District Attorney. Williams and his wife live in West Philadelphia and have three daughters.
Greenberg earned his law degree from the University of Baltimore and his bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Political Science from Boston University. He is the vice president of the Maryland Association for Justice, where he is an active member of the Board of Governors. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, Maryland State Bar Association, Bar Association of Baltimore City and the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys’ Association. Greenberg is a Captain and Legal Officer JAG of the Maryland Defense Force where he provides legal support for the Maryland Army National Guard and the Maryland Air National Guard. He is married and has two children.
Don’t Forget the Special Two-Hour Legal Call-In Show Tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. on Praise 103.9 FM, hosted by MyPhillyLawyer’s Dean Weitzman
Tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. MyPhillyLawyer’s Dean Weitzman will also host a special two-hour legal advice call-in radio program on Praise 103.9 FM radio in Philadelphia.
Callers can dial in to ask a skilled personal injury attorney for advice on just about any legal question for free during the show.
Weitzman will be joining Praise 103.9 FM for the special two-hour Sunday night radio program to highlight the upcoming “Praise 103.9 Inspiration & Music Conference” that will be held March 10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City Philadelphia.
Weitzman will answer your legal questions on the special Sunday night radio show about a wide array of topics, including personal injury accidents, slip and fall injuries, estate law issues and what to do when a death occurs in your family.
Callers can dial (215) 263-1039 during the radio program to ask a legal question. Co-hosting the special program will be Praise 103.9 radio personality Cece McGhee.
During the Sunday night radio show, Weitzman and McGhee will be giving away tickets for the upcoming Praise 103.9 Inspiration & Music Conference, where Weitzman will be hosting a question and answer session to provide legal advice. The March 10 conference runs from 1 to 10 p.m. on March 10 and features workshops on music, relationships, faith, law and more
Weitzman will be also giving tickets away for the Praise 103.9 Inspiration & Music Conference during his Sunday morning Court Radio program.
Tickets for the Praise Conference are $50 for attendees to attend just one workshop, or $119 to be able to attend multiple workshops.
To purchase tickets for Weitzman’s legal workshop, see this Web page. A workshop ticket also lets the ticket holder attend the finale concert at the event. The 8 p.m. finale concert will feature performances from musicians including Marvin Sapp, Israel Houghton, Earnest Pugh, William McDowell, James Fortune, Jessica Ready, JJ Hairston, and Smokie Norful.
About Court Radio
Listeners can call in with their legal questions to 800-539-1479 or they can email their questions to [email protected]. Participants are asked to only ask or submit ONE question each time so that all callers have a chance to discuss the legal topics that are on their minds.
Court Radio is the place to ask your legal questions and get real answers from lawyers with a deep background in the law, from personal injury to contracts and estates, insurance and much more.
Most weeks, Dean brings in a special guest to answer your legal questions and provide information on a dizzying array of legal topics, all with humor, good advice and at no charge to callers. You can even listen to past shows and their featured guests by downloading or listening to stored podcasts.
A production of WRNB-FM radio in Philadelphia, Court Radio is brought to you each week by the law offices of Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., which is known throughout the Philadelphia area as MyPhillyLawyer.