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Date: 03-01-2024

Case Style:

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Daniel Gwynn

Case Number: C-51-CR-1129191-1994

Judge: James M. DeLeon

Court: Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

Plaintiff's Attorney: Philadelphia County Pennsylvania District Attorney's Office

Defendant's Attorney: Lee Mandell

Description: When Justice Went to Hell: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers represented the Defendant charged with first-degree capital murder, arson and five counts of aggravated assault.

Following a jury trial in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, appellant, Daniel Gwynn, Sr., was found guilty of murder of the first degree, arson, and five counts of aggravated assault. A sentencing hearing took place after which the jury recommended that appellant be sentenced to death, finding that the aggravating circumstances outweighed any mitigating circumstances. The court then imposed the death sentence and, in addition, sentenced appellant to a term of thirty to sixty years imprisonment for arson and five counts of aggravated assault. In 1994.

On November 20, 1994, an unhoused woman named Marsha Smith was killed after a fire broke out in a vacant building on the 4500 block of Chestnut Street in West Philadelphia.

Smith and three other individuals were squatting in the vacant building at the time of the fire.

Evidence that would have shown that Gwynn was not guilty was withheld by prosecutors.

Outcome: Defendant's conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal.

Defendant was not guilty.

Daniel Gwynn, 54, was exonerated and released from state prison in Pennsylvania after the DA's office said they found flaws in the 1994 first-degree murder investigation.

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