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March 2015 Archives

Pennsylvania Death Penalty Moratorium

"If the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is going to take the irrevocable step of executing a human being, its capital sentencing system must be infallible. Pennsylvania's system is riddled with flaws, making it error prone, expensive, and anything but infallible... If we are to continue to administer the death penalty, we must take further steps to ensure that defendants have appropriate counsel at every stage of their prosecution, that the sentence is applied fairly and proportionally, and that we eliminate the risk of executing an innocent. Anything less fails to live up to the requirements of our Constitution, and the goal of equal justice for all towards which we must continually strive." - Governor Tom Wolf, February 13, 2015

Jodi Arias Dodged the Needle

On March 5, 2015, a jury could not unanimously agree on whether Jodi Arias deserved the death penalty. In May 2013, after a lengthy trial, which included testimony of psychological experts and an unbelievable eighteen days of Defendant testimony, Arias was convicted of the June 2008 murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. The sentencing phase of the trial concluded on March 5 when a second jury, for a second time, could not agree as to whether Arias should suffer the death penalty for her actions. She has dodged the needles of lethal injection, but Arias will still spend a very long time in prison. On April 13, an Arizona judge will determine whether she is going to spend the rest of her life in prison or, if someday she could be eligible for parole.

WILL BRUCE JENNER CHANGE HIS NAME? WHAT'S IN A NAME?

How will Bruce Jenner's name change go? Jenner brought a sense of (semi) normalcy and calm to his large, mixed brood of sons, daughters and step-children on E!'s "Keeping up with the Kardashians". Bruce, a former Olympian, married Kris Kardashian in April 1991. After more than twenty years together, Bruce and Kris Jenner separated in October 2013. Kris filed for divorce in September 2014 citing "irreconcilable differences."

Estate Planning: How to be Prepared for an Unexpected Death

Why is estate planning so important? We can all probably agree that talking about or even thinking about death is something most would like to avoid at any cost. Death is never an easy subject. However, being prepared by having an estate plan can help make one of the most difficult times in your life a little less painful.

Special Needs & Mental Health Resource Fair

Please join McMorrow Law at Representative Dan Miller's 2nd Annual Children and Youth Disability and Mental Health Summit on Wednesday March 11th and Thursday March 12th at the Beth El Congregation, 1900 Cochran Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. Events are scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on both days. McMorrow Law will be attending the event this year as an Exhibitor and will be providing information on special needs guardianships as well as special needs trusts.

Ludacris Wins Full Custody of his Daughter

In January, Ludacris was awarded full custody of his 13-month-old daughter, Cai. The award was the result of a long and contentious court battle, during which Cai's mother, Tamika Fuller, even went so far as trying to use the rapper's song lyrics against him. However, in the end, Ludacris, whose real name is Chris Bridges, prevailed.

March: The "Divorce Month"

It is hard to believe that winter is finally nearing its end and the cold temperatures could soon be a thing of the past. But unfortunately, with the end of the cold winter months comes a surge of something most would consider equally as depressing - divorces. A prior analysis conducted by Findlaw.com coined March the "Divorce Month." The article clarified that although January is still the month where divorce numbers really start to increase, March is actually the month where the number of divorces peak. Why is the start of a new year such a trendy time for married couples to seek a divorce? According to Findlaw.com, one possible reason could be that couples prefer to stay together for the sake of the family during the holiday season. Or perhaps the reasoning is as simple as avoiding the tax consequences associated with changing your marital status prior to the end of the year.

It's Poop Not Pot in Wiz Khalifa's Latest Custody Battle

A local Pittsburgh native, Wiz Khalifa, seems to have his hands full with what can best be described as the onset of a "messy" custody dispute with ex-wife, Amber Rose. Recent news reports detail photos of a backyard patio covered in animal feces where Amber Rose lives with their almost two year old son, Sebastian. The reports indicate Khalifa is concerned that the family's dog is eating the feces and then licking Sebastian's face. This horrific thought, coupled with additional photos showing a knife left on the kitchen counter-top and overflowing garbage cans, has caused Khalifa to consider pursuing legal action to obtain more custody of his son. According to the most up to date news articles, Khalifa is generating a lengthy list of issues related to Amber Rose's care of their son that could lend support in a future custody dispute.