United States v. Pedro Ramon Payano

Amicus brief arguing that the federal district court should not reissue its own ruling in a criminal case omitting references to racial bias and the credibility of a Pennsylvania State Police trooper, as requested by the Department of Justice.

Court/Assoc.: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Attorneys/Firms: Mary Catherine Roper (ACLU-PA), Lisa Mathewson (The Law Offices of Lisa A. Mathewson, LLC)

On December 21, 2017, the ACLU of Pennsylvania and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging a federal district court in Philadelphia to reject a request from the Department of Justice to reissue the court’s previous ruling in a criminal case omitting the references to racial bias and the credibility of the trooper in the opinion.

The Department of Justice has asked the court to reissue its opinion in a case involving a 2017 traffic stop of two Hispanic men on the Pennsylvania Turnpike by Trooper Thomas Fleisher of the Pennsylvania State Police. In its ruling, the federal district court found that Fleisher’s investigation of the men was “very likely” based on the ethnicity of the driver and his passenger rather than the reasons given by the trooper, which included the fact that they were not wearing “business attire” and were driving an older car.

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