HARRISBURG – The question for convicted murderer Arthur Johnson seemed simple: Could he explain what his days are like, from the moment he wakes to the time he drifts off to sleep, in the 7-by-12-foot prison cell where he has spent nearly 37 years in solitary confinement?
It may have been her pronounced underbite that kept Sparky from getting adopted. But now, the mixed-breed rescue is about to become a service dog. New Leash on Life, which pairs adoptable shelter dogs with prison inmates, just received a $10,000 grant earmarked for female prisoners from The Transition Network, a group of professional women, through its fund at The Philadelphia Foundation, the group announced.
The story’s end is usually upbeat: A lifer proves he was wrongly convicted and savors freedom. Edward E. Stewart, 36, knows that story. He lived it. He served 10 years of a life term before he was acquitted at a new trial of a 2006 murder in a speakeasy he ran out of the basement of his Fern Rock house.
A school bus driver turned away from a job as a SEPTA bus operator because of a drug conviction dating back nearly 20 years filed a federal lawsuit against the transit agency Wednesday. – Jane M. Von Bergen, Philadelphia Inquirer
Evelyn Houser, a North Philadelphia grandmother, didn’t live to see the end of what she started six years ago. Houser, who died in September, was a lead plaintiff in the landmark $15 million settlement of a class-action suit this week that may help hundreds of thousands of people with criminal records get jobs.