BUFFALO, August 22, 2002 ( – U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara, startled both defense and prosecution attorneys Wednesday, refusing to accept a plea bargain for a couple accused of assisting James Kopp who was charged in the shooting death of abortionist Barnett Slepian.  Loretta C. Marra and Dennis J. Malvasi had agreed to plead guilty in order to obtain a reduced sentence of 27 to 33 months and avoid testifying in Kopp’s trial.  However, UPI reports that Judge Arcara said he wondered why he shouldn’t consider the couple as accessories after the fact, in the murder of Slepian after hearing e-mails from Kopp to the couple that said he was tired of “living in limbo” and wondering whether he should return “to the field.”  According to the judge, the statements made by Kopp were “conversations about returning to the field of shooting abortion providers.”  The baseless statement from Arcara, which assumes Kopp is guilty of the shooting before his trial, comes as a shock to those with legal training.  Gwen Landolt, a lawyer with REAL Women Canada told LifeSite, Arcara’s statement is based “on a lack of evidence which would indicate a troubling lack of impartiality.  He seems to be letting his political interests interfere with his judicial responsibility.”  U.S. pro-lifers have often critiqued Arcara saying that his judgments showed a pro-abortion bias.  Last year, Arcara sentenced a Catholic priest to 5 months in federal prison for “criminal” contempt.  The priest was guilty of kneeling in silent prayer in full priestly vestments inside a “60’ Banned Free Speech and Religious Expression Zone” set up by Judge Acara outside an abortuary.  See the UPI coverage at:


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