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Silver Featured in Article on Rolan Case

On January 18, 2007 by Schnader in News

On January 18, 2007, Samuel Silver was featured in an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Murder Retrial Begins for Former Death-Row Inmate.” The article discusses the retrial of the Commonwealth v. Florencio Rolan case, which promises that jurors will hear the previous testimonies of deceased witnesses, as well as testimonies from current “aging” witnesses.

The new trial was ordered in 2006 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit because of inadequate legal services provided by Mr. Rolan’s previous defense attorney during his 1984 trial regarding the May 1983 murder of Paulino Santiago. Mr. Rolan was convicted in 1984 and sentenced to death for the Santiago shooting, but he won a new sentencing hearing and in 2003 was resentenced to life in prison. The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson, alleges that after an argument between the parties, Mr. Rolan obtained a rifle, proceeded to follow Mr. Santiago into an abandoned house a block away, and shot him.

In Mr. Rolan’s defense, Sam stated that Mr. Santiago, who had been drinking heavily, entered the abandoned house “brandishing a knife and threatening to kill Florencio Rolan.” Sam also mentioned that deceased witness Daniel Varagas’ testimony would validate his argument.