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Judge dismisses charges in Penn State hazing case

This seems wrong, and the judge should have let the manslaug trijocker03/29/18
It's true no JD required, but you do need to be "learned in jackofspeed03/29/18
No JD required to be a magistrate judge in PA. Many of them pauperesq03/29/18
They don’t even need to have a college degree! Magistrate ibrslave03/29/18
Magistrates are supposed to be a check on the system. Legal qdllc03/29/18
trijocker (Mar 29, 2018 - 9:08 am)

This seems wrong, and the judge should have let the manslaughter case go to trial.
The news mentioned that the Magistrate/Judge did not have a law degree.
Can you be elected a Magistrate in Pennsylvania without going to law school?

http://wnep.com/2018/03/28/most-charges-against-psu-fraternity-brothers-dismissed-in-centre-county/

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jackofspeed (Mar 29, 2018 - 9:48 am)

It's true no JD required, but you do need to be "learned in the law".

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pauperesq (Mar 29, 2018 - 1:39 pm)

No JD required to be a magistrate judge in PA. Many of them are ex cops.

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ibrslave (Mar 29, 2018 - 2:57 pm)

They don’t even need to have a college degree! Magistrate judges in PA can sign off on search/arrest warrants, make critical decisions about what charges proceed to trial, set bail amount, etc. It is very unusual.

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qdllc (Mar 29, 2018 - 4:49 pm)

Magistrates are supposed to be a check on the system. Legal education is counter-intuitive because they want matters (at that level) to convince a person of common sensibilities that the burden of proof is met. Our state went to bar admitted only for new magistrates, and I think it has more to do with the pay and benefits than anything else. They want to push something similar for clerks of court.

I don’t know enough of the case to make a call, but involuntary manslaughter for a hazing gone wrong strikes me as overkill (no pun intended). Frats have had alcohol abuse issues since they started, and those wanting to pledge need to take responsibility for choosing to participate. Maybe a punishment is in order, but unless they force fed alcohol into the victim or laced it with other drugs, it sounds like the prosecution was trying to make an example rather than pursue justice.

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