From the Providence Journal Wednesday February 17, 1999: In hearings regarding sentencing convicted murderer Walter E. Truesdale, Judge Sheehan would not allow prosecutors to present evidence regarding sentencing. Judge Sheehan also refused to allow family members of the murder victim, Irene Picard of Pawtucket, to address the court before sentencing. Asst. Att. General Susan A. Bello argued the sentencing was in violation of state law. After some media attention, Judge Sheehan agreed with Bello and vacated the sentence. The sentencing was rescheduled and finally conducted according to Rhode Island law.
Can you imagine a trial where the Judge tells one witness what to say and stops another witness from admitting perjury on the stand? Well, it happened. Was Judge Sheehan being objective in the trial of Danny Brown? According to the Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline, this conduct was fine![see below]
On 6-19-2000, the RI Supreme Court ruled that Justice John F. Sheehan was vindictive when he increased Mr. Danny Brown's sentence by 5 years. They took the 5 year increase off of the sentence and ruled that Justice Sheehan can no longer sit on Mr. Brown's case.