Part I: For years, York countians part of major court cases

Plaintiffs’ attorney Eric Rothschild addresses the media following closing statements in the Dover intelligent design trial in November 2005. The civil trial was one of the nationally prominent cases involving York County in decades. Background posts: County First Amendment list grows and Dover intelligent design trial not over yet.
Last post, Witman murder among York County’s most notorious crimes cited a sampling of major criminal cases that hit York County Court in recent years.
The following is a short list of other civil and criminal actions of note involving York County or York County people: …


– In 1837, a county court case involving a runaway slave ended in the U.S. Supreme Court. Margaret Morgan, the runaway, lives with her children in York. Edward Prigg, an agent for her slave master, seizes her without securing his rights by the proper authorities. The Supreme Court ruled that states are exempt from enforcing the Fugitive Slave law then in place. The Compromise of 1850 overturned Prigg.
– The notorious Hex trials involving the slaying of a suspected witch in 1929 climbed back into the headlines after a descendant of the deceased unsuccessfully sought to re-open the house where the murder occurred.
– In a prominent civil case, a medical negligence lawsuit in 1991 resulted in a $6.5 million- jury verdict against York Hospital after a 16-day trial. At that time, the trial was reportedly the longest ever in county court, and the jury award was reportedly the largest on record. The lawsuit resulted from an incident in which a patient’s oxygen tube became dislodged and went unnoticed for about 16 minutes. The patient was receiving medical treatment after an automobile accident, and the negligence incident left him in a vegetative state.
– Since 2000, York countians have experienced at least three court proceedings that have gained the national stage: race riot trials involving York’s mayor, the Witman trial in which one teenage brother was convicted of killing another, and the Dover intelligent design trial in federal court.
Ray Krone has become the 100th death row inmate to be freed by use of DNA evidence.
— Former York County state legislator and state revenue secretary Steve Stetler has been charged in connection with ongoing “Bonusgate” proceedings in Harrisburg.
Sources: “Never to be Forgotten,” York Daily Record/Sunday News files.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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