Jane Orie's double jeopardy claims are frivolous, Judge Jeffrey Manning wrote in an 8-page opinion today, since the forged documents filed in her case had to be from her own defense team.
The judge overseeing the case against state Sen. Jane Orie today ruled that forged documents submitted during the first trial in the case had to have come from the defense.
Therefore, wrote Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning, the defense was responsible for the mistrial, and its arguing that a retrial is grounds for double jeopardy is frivolous.
"Allowing a criminal defendant to benefit from engaging in conduct during a trial that results in a mistrial would be a gross miscarriage of justice and her attempt to argue that she is entitled to that outcome renders her appeal frivolous," he wrote.
The judge was addressing an order by the state Superior Court last month requesting that he file a supplemental opinion on the issue. That request came after an order by the state Supreme Court, asking the Superior Court to explain why it believed Ms. Orie's appeal was frivolous. When Ms. Orie filed her appeal with the Superior Court, its review was denied.
As part of his opinion issued today, Judge Manning also denied a request by the prosecution to have an evidentiary hearing on the forged documents. The district attorney's office requested a hearing to prove that it was not responsible for two forged documents that were introduced as evidence during the trial.
Judge Manning said a hearing was not necessary.
"This court has already found as a fact that the documents were offered in their altered state by the defendant," he wrote.