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58 more drug convictions reversed after ex-squad members acquitted; 1,300 cases under review

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PHILADELPHIA — A judge has reversed another 58 convictions linked to the lead defendant in a recent Philadelphia police corruption trial.

Former drug squad leader Thomas Liciardello and five others were acquitted of charges they robbed drug dealers, planted evidence and lied in court.

But defense lawyers and prosecutors say there's enough doubt about his work to overturn another batch of cases.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://goo.gl/sRvheD) reports nearly 240 convictions have now been set aside of more than 1,300 under review.

The suspects cleared Friday by Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper are the first to be cleared since the six drug squad members were acquitted last month.

Ex-Officer Jeffrey Walker pleaded guilty to federal charges and testified against his former colleagues. He faces sentencing in July.


Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com

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