PA House Judiciary Committee Moved To Impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner
Authored by Beth Brelje via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
In the final days of a Republican controlled Pennsylvania House, the Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Tuesday to move two impeachment articles against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner to the full House, which is expected to vote on it Wednesday.
The articles blame Krasner’s leadership in the district attorney’s office (DAO) as being a direct cause of increasing Philadelphia crime and accuse him of obstructing the impeachment investigation by not sufficiently complying with a subpoena from the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order.
That select committee released a report of its investigation on Oct. 24 and, although it did not recommend impeachment, it offered a grim look at Philadelphia’s crime.
The report (pdf) looked at rising crime rates, the use of public funds intended for enforcing the law and prosecuting crime, the enforcement of crime victims’ rights, and the use of public funds intended to benefit crime victims in the City of Philadelphia.
‘Shocking Increases’ In Crime Under Krasner
Between Jan. 1, 2021, and Oct. 16, 2022, the report says, 992 people have died as a result of a homicide in Philadelphia. The report compares that to the 557 homicide deaths in 2015 and 2016, combined. Nonfatal shootings have increased, too. In 2022, there have been eight victims of nonfatal shootings who have not yet celebrated their sixth birthdays.
“It is no secret that the DAO and DA Krasner’s progressive policies are the focus of criticism with respect to the increasing crime rate, the handling of criminal cases, and the abject failure to respond, in any meaningful way, to the current crisis,” the report says. “Most troubling to the Select Committee, is what happens after arrests are made—the DAO’s prosecution, or lack thereof,” the report says.
The office categorizes violent offenses as homicides, nonfatal shootings, rape, robberies, aggravated assault, and other forms of assault. To the date of the report, 65 percent of all violent offenses have been withdrawn by the DA’s office or dismissed by the courts, resulting in no prosecution for those crimes. Compared to district attorney’s offices in other Pennsylvania counties, the Philadelphia office withdraws cases much more often.
“No doubt, Philadelphia criminals are emboldened by the knowledge that the likelihood that they will be arrested is slim, and once caught, the likelihood that they will be prosecuted and incarcerated is minimal,” the report says.
Crime at ‘Unacceptable’ Levels
Krasner is in his second term. If the House voted to impeach, the state Senate would conduct a trial, after which, a two-thirds vote from the Senate would be needed to impeach and remove Krasner. The Senate is still a Republican majority, but with 28 Republicans and 22 Democrats in the next session, it is not a two-thirds majority.
“I suspect that we will have bipartisan support for this effort as we have thus far,” Rep. Martina White, a Philadelphia Republican and prime sponsor of the articles of impeachment, said in a press conference after the measure passed from committee. “The investigation and holding Larry Krasner in contempt was bipartisan. Tomorrow, I believe this will also be bipartisan because the people of Philadelphia deserve better than what they receive out of the district attorney’s office. He has not been doing his job well enough for us, endangering the lives of citizens that he’s supposed to serve and protect by prosecuting criminals and making sure that they’re convicted guilty, should the evidence be there. But that’s not what’s happening right now. The district attorney is basically withdrawing cases at an unprecedented level.”
White said she wants to assure the citizens of Philadelphia that they can live the way they deserve, not having to worry about walking out their front door and being carjacked or worrying about sending kids to school only for them to be shot dead on the walk home from the gunfire of gang members who should be locked up in jail and convicted of previous crimes.
“It’s unacceptable,” White said. “And now is the time to act. There’s no reason to wait any longer.”
In a letter sent to the select committee Oct. 21, Krasner—a Democrat whose campaign was funded in part by billionaire George Soros—defended his work.
“Criminologists know what works to prevent crime. It is not love for the NRA, opposition to reasonable gun regulations, or draconian sentences,” Krasner said. “It is investment in communities, fully funded public schools, mental health and addiction treatment resources, economic opportunity, trade school and higher education opportunity, keeping parents in the community (not in jail) when they have committed non-violent, non-serious offenses, and modern police reform, among other things. All leading criminological reports show zero correlation between crime and progressive/reform prosecution.”
Krasner said every decision he makes as district attorney is with the goal of seeking justice and improving public safety.
Read more here…
Thu, 11/17/2022 – 19:00