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December 18, 2013

Statement of Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Kathleen D. Wilkinson on the Passing of A. Charles Peruto Sr.

The Philadelphia Bar Association expresses its sympathy to the family and friends of A. Charles Peruto Sr.

"A. Charles Peruto Sr. was a one-of-a-kind lawyer," said Kathleen D. Wilkinson, Chancellor of the 13,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association. "He was nationally known for his representation of high-profile clients in criminal cases, but he also helped ordinary Philadelphians have their day in court."

Peruto was the 2004 recipient of the Cesare Beccaria Award, presented jointly by the Philadelphia Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section and the Justinian Society of Philadelphia. Beccaria, an 18th century Italian scholar, was an early proponent of many of the tenets of modern criminal law. His visionary work is credited with aiding the subsequent European penal code reform and the eventual development of the American criminal justice system.

In introducing Peruto at the Nov. 22, 2004 Beccaria Award Ceremony, U.S. District Court Judge John R. Padova said "The mind and faith of A. Charles Peruto aptly finds its description in the following words of Beccaria: 'In the eye of the law, every man is innocent whose crime has not been proved...If I can but be the instrument of preserving one life, his blessings and tears of transport shall be a sufficient consolation to me for the contempt of all mankind.'"

"Mr. Peruto was instrumental in helping Widener University School of Law get accredited by the American Bar Association," said Chancellor Wilkinson. "He is responsible for helping hundreds of law students receive their degrees and get started on their legal careers."

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