John Burkoff on Unlikely Reversal of Conviction of Former Chief UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter
Professor John Burkoff commented on the effect of a new court decision on the conviction of former UN chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter. Ritter, 50, was convicted in a Pennsylvania court of attempted online sexual contact with a minor; the person was an undercover police officer posing as a minor in an adult chat room. At his trial, prosecutors used records of two prior investigations of Ritter in New York state for similar behavior; Ritter was never charged or tried in those incidents. A New York court had sealed the records, but the Pennsylvania prosecutors convinced another judge to unseal the records and release them. A New York court has now said that unsealing those records was an error. But, according to Professor Burkoff, that may not help Ritter. Professor Burkoff told the Pocono Record that "Pennsylvania trials are governed by Pennsylvania law. Even if New York authorities screwed up under New York law, that is neither dispositive nor precedential in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania law controls, not New York law."
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