RI Supreme Court

Raymond "Beaver" Tempest Jr., a 62-year-old Woonsocket man whose murder conviction has been vacated in Rhode Island Superior Court, has been released on home confinement while the Rhode Island Supreme Court considers the state’s appeal of the Superior Court judgment.

Tempest will be released on home confinement under terms set by Superior Court Judge Daniel Procaccini, who vacated Tempest’s murder conviction on August 4.

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The murder conviction of a 62-year-old Woonsocket man has been vacated by Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Daniel Procaccini.

The judge cited DNA evidence introduced by lawyers for Raymond 'Beaver' Tempest during post-conviction relief hearings earlier this year. Tempest was convicted in the 1982 killing of Doreen Picard of Woonsocket.


Two bills meant to discourage the misuse of campaign accounts have cleared an initial hurdle at the General Assembly.  Efforts to restore the state Ethics Commission’s oversight of the legislature continue to languish.

Legislative committees have passed a bill requiring candidates to have a separate bank account for their campaign money. Another bill would make public officeholders file an annual bank statement to back up the information in their campaign spending reports.


The Rhode Island Supreme Court is heading out of the courthouse Thursday, to hear cases at Rhode Island College. 

Court spokesman Craig Berke said the event will feature cases that may spark the interest of college students. That includes an appeal of a criminal conviction for sexual assault. Burke said it will be an educational opportunity, especially for Pre-Law and political science students.

Keven A. McKenna, the former state representative, Providence Municipal Court judge and unsuccessful mayoral candidate in the capital city, is in trouble again with the Rhode Island court system.

McKenna, whose law license was recently suspended for one year by the Rhode Island Supreme Court in a long-running professional conduct dispute, was slapped by Superior Court Judge Patricia Hurst in as unusual decision that found McKenna responsible for unprofessional conduct as a lawyer.

In the never ending casino legal joust between the state and the Narragansett Indian Tribe, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to the constitutionality of the state Casino Act.

Rhode Island  Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein has upheld an initial legal settlement in Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s 38 Studios lawsuit over the $75 million state loan guarantee granted to the failed video game company started by Curt Schilling, the former  Boston Red Sox pitcher.

In an opinion released this afternoon, Silverstein approved a $4.4 million settlement reached with the Providence law firm of Moses, Alfonso and Ryan, a firm that advised the state on bonds of the ill-fated loan program.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has suspended the law license of Joseph Caramadre, the Cranston estate planner and lawyer convicted of being the architect in a scheme that exploited terminally ill people.

Caramadre has appealed his federal conviction. The state’s highest court suspended Caramdre’s right to practice law in the  state until his appeal is resolved.  ``Joseph Caramadre is hereby suspended from the practice of law in this state pending the outcome of his appeal and until further order of the court.’’

So you think you have a dysfunctional family and are dreading the holidays. Well, the odds are very good that your kin are not as divided as that of Rep. Charlene Lima, a Democrat who represents parts of Cranston and Providence.

Lima is married to a former Democratic state representative, Frank Fiorenzano, a notorious  Providence pol who was convicted in the 1990s of obtaining money under false pretenses after he bilked Statehouse employees and other politicians out of thousands of dollars in a doomed Ponzi-type scheme.

After the Rhode Island court scandals of the 1990s, the state changed the way judges are chosen. RIPR political analyst explains why lawyers with Statehouse connections keep getting appointed to the bench despite the reforms.

Common Cause of Rhode Island, the good government group, the Rhode Island Bar Association and a past president of the NAACP skewered Gov. Lincoln Chafee recently when he elevated former Senate President Joe Montalbano to a coveted judgeship on the state superior court bench.

Len Levin, a retired Providence Journal editor known for his meticulous work with reporters’ copy and a deep knowledge of all things Rhode Island, has been chosen as the Rhode Island Supreme Court’s new grammarian.

Levin, an extraordinarily literate and well-read person, replaces the late Joel Sekeres, also a retired ProJo editor and reporter who died recently. Levin will assume responsibility for parsing high court decisions for grammar errors.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Cranston Mayor Allan Fung called on the governor to appoint a person of color to the Rhode Island Supreme Court.  Fung made the call at the annual Martin Luther King Jr Day breakfast during remarks that also gave credit to voters for electing Latino mayors in Providence and in Central Falls.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee was at the breakfast, he says he heard Fung’s call.