July 16th Hearing Demonstrates Justice System’s Flaws

Lorenzo Johnson and co-defendant Corey Walker’s families joined them in support as a Dauphin County judge held a hearing on Thursday, July 16 in Harrisburg.

Tyrone, Lorenzo's wife Tazza, supporter La Tasha Williams, and La Tasha's classmate

Lorenzo’s brother Tyrone, Lorenzo’s wife Tazza, supporter La Tasha Williams, and La Tasha’s classmate Stacie Lindsay

The hearing concerned Corey Walker’s attorney, Rachel Wolkenstein. The Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General (OAG) motioned the court to vacate its previous order which permitted Rachel Wolkenstein, Esq. – an attorney admitted to practice law in the state of New York – to temporarily practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as counsel for Corey Walker. The OAG asserts that Ms. Wolkenstein violated rules of professional conduct by communicating with Lorenzo Johnson, who has been represented by Michael Wiseman, Esq. since 2006. The rules of professional conduct prohibit an attorney from communicating with another attorney’s client, except in certain, extremely limited circumstances. Ms. Wolkenstein argues that she did not violate any ethics rules and that the focus of litigation should be on convening an evidentiary hearing to flush out Lorenzo and Corey’s actual innocence claims.

The hearing was stopped at 3 PM, and a date for its continuance hasn’t been set. Nor, unfortunately, has a date been set for an evidentiary hearing where Lorenzo’s attorneys can present newly uncovered evidence of his innocence.

In an interview after the hearing, Lorenzo Johnson’s wife Tazza told FOX 43 reporters that she is “extremely frustrated. This is absolutely ridiculous. (Lorenzo) has been in prison for almost 20 years for a crime that he did not commit. And, we still cannot get a date for an evidentiary hearing that they agreed to have.”

Lorenzo Johnson deserves and needs a hearing that examines new evidence rather than merely muddles with attorney assignments. When will the justice system deliver justice?

Read the press release from FOX 43 for further coverage of the hearing.