Pennsylvania man awaiting new trial in 1977 double killing can be released on bail, judge rules
PITTSBURGH — A federal magistrate says a western Pennsylvania man can be released on bail while he awaits a new trial in a 1977 double killing for which he was previously sentenced to life in prison.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Lenihan on Friday granted 59-year-old David Munchinski approval to live with his daughter near Tampa, Fla. Munchinski’s attorney says he will be taken to a state prison in Pittsburgh and processed for release.
Last month, Lenihan ruled that Munchinski deserves a new trial because she found prosecutors — both now Fayette County judges — withheld evidence that resulted in Munchinski’s 1986 conviction, which the judge called “unworthy of confidence.”
A deputy state attorney general says he has no immediate plans to appeal Munchinski’s release to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Once again you have a person losing decades of their life because of what a federal judge found to be corrupt prosecutors. As a Pennsylvania criminal defense and DUI attorney, I have dealt with a number of prosecutors and for many of them their mindset is to get a quick conviction- regardless of whether it’s the right conviction. There are some very good and noble ones that are sprinkled among them. Not all prosecutors are bad. But there are enough. One of the greatest injustices that can be done to a human- falsely imprisoning them.
There has to be real penalties for prosecutors who withhold evidence. As of today, there is seldom any penalty except for a short-lived headline such as this. If the federal judge’s findings are true, certainly there should be consequences to these prosecutors. My prediction… nothing will happen. So where is the disincentive against future transgression?
Who is the next victim? How many more are rotting away in prisons for crimes they didn’t commit? Will this ever end?
At The McShane Firm, we are fighting hard to make sure these injustices don’t happen again. The justice system is flawed. Our expert PA DUI attorneys serve as an important check and balance system to ensure our clients’ rights are protected.
If you or a loved one is falsely accused of a Pennsylvania DUI or criminal offense, please call 1-866-MCSHANE.