Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Inky Reporter Scoops D.A.'s Detectives

The D.A.'s Detectives

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Months ago, our new D.A., Progressive Larry Krasner, dispatched his crack detectives to find the family of murder victim Antwine Jackson, an 18 year-old man shot to death back in 2007.

Progressive Larry allegedly wanted to tell the Jackson family that as part of his historic reform of the criminal justice system, he was planning to let their loved one's convicted killer out of jail, despite a life sentence, and without having to go through the bother of a new trial.

According to Ben Waxman, the D.A.'s spokesman, in the search for Jackson's family, the D.A.'s gumshoes spared no effort. They knocked on the doors of at least four different addresses, they sent out emails, they even mailed letters to the Jackson family through the usually reliable U.S. Post Office. But for months, despite all those efforts, the Jackson family somehow managed to elude the D.A.'s dragnet.

How Much Will Legalized Sports Gambling Hurt The Mob?

New Jersey's going to have legalized sports betting in a matter of weeks; Pennsylvania, in a matter of months.

With the U.S. Supreme Court clearing the way for sports gambling everywhere, reporters George Anastasia and Dave Schratwieser examine the impact the loss of gambling revenues will have on the mob. First, the government stole the numbers racket, and now this.

Just remember, when you place bets with your bookie, you don't have to pay taxes.

It's the latest edition of Mob Talk SitDown.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Detective Files Civil Rights Suit Against D.A.


By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

On May 14, 2015, FBI Agent Vicki Humpheys, accompanied by an IRS agent, approached Pierre Gomez, a detective formerly assigned to the security detail of then-D.A. Rufus Seth Williams, and asked if Gomez was willing to cooperate in a federal corruption investigation of his boss.

Gomez's answer was yes. His reward, he claimed in a civil rights lawsuit filed today against the city, was to be repeatedly retaliated against by his superiors in the D.A.'s office.

The day after the FBI buttonholed him, Gomez's lawsuit charged, he was questioned by his bosses at the D.A.'s office about what he told the feds. Weeks later, an investigator who claimed he'd been hired by D.A. Williams's lawyers called and advised Gomez that the city "could make it good" if he stayed loyal to Williams.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court seeks "in excess of $200,000" in damages, and names as defendants the city of Philadelphia, new D.A. Larry Krasner, former Chief of County Detectives Claude Thomas, and Detective Kenyatta Lee.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

'Reform' D.A. Trashes Prosecutor; Lets Convicted Killer Go Free

Our New D.A. Loves To Cuddle Up To Criminals
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Today, at the request of the D.A.'s office, a judge let a convicted murderer go free. Along the way, the D.A. gratuitously smeared the reputation of a former prosecutor who hadn't even been formally accused of misconduct.

It was all in a day's work for Progressive Larry Krasner, the new D.A. financed by $1.6 million of George Soros's money.

Richard Sax, the former prosecutor targeted in court, said afterwards that he applauded Krasner for being that "rare breed of politician" who keeps his campaign promises. Sadly, Sax said, the campaign promise that Krasner was keeping involved "emptying the jails."

"I just didn't think he [Krasner] would include murderers," Sax said.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Progressive D.A. Larry K. Loses It With Former Prosecutor

Philadelphia Inquirer/Jessica Griffin
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

On the 18th floor of the D.A.'s office, Richard Sax, a retired homicide prosecutor, was talking behind closed doors with Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington.

On Wednesday afternoon, Blessington had summoned Sax to his office to seek his help in fighting the appeal of a third-degree murder conviction. A jury in 2013 found Steven Miller, 22, guilty of shooting to death Maurice Kimble, an unarmed 24-year-old man, outside a restaurant at the Piazza in Northern Liberties, in front of numerous witnesses. Sax, the original prosecutor in the case, had volunteered to testify on behalf of the Commonwealth's efforts to keep Miller in jail. But not everybody was on board with Sax's attempts to help out.

Just minutes into their discussion, Blessington and Sax were startled by a loud banging on the door. Before ADA Blessingon could even say "Come in," a red-faced District Attorney Larry Krasner barged inside, accompanied by at least four armed members of the D.A.'s security detail, with more on the way.

"He lost it," Sax said about the D.A. "He was spitting fire. He was shaking . . . He was pounding on the door like a storm trooper. He brought his entire posse."

"I was only trying to help," Sax said. But instead, he said, he found himself locked in a face-to-face confrontation with a "mean-spirited" Larry Krasner.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Harvey Silverglate's Foreword To Target: The Senator

Editor's Note: Harvey A. Silverglate is a criminal defense and civil liberties lawyer, and the author of the 2009 classic, Three Felonies A Day; How the Feds Target the Innocent.

By Harvey A. Silverglate

My criminal defense and civil liberties law practice, spanning half a century, has exposed me to several shockingly broad gaps in American life between appearance and reality. 

No gap, in my experience, has been broader than that between the commonly accepted reputation of federal criminal justice and the sordid realities of how the United States Department of Justice, often with the connivance of the federal judiciary, dispenses justice.

A disproportionate number of federal trial and appellate court judges are former prosecutors, and so there is an uncomfortable amount of symbiosis between the Justice Department and the bench. The number and variety of innocent people railroaded by the system would be sufficient to undermine any semblance of public confidence in federal criminal justice if the public understood the details of these cases.

Ralph Cipriano has now taken a giant step in this educational (and muckraking) endeavor. He has written a book describing in often dramatic detail the trials and tribulations of longtime Pennsylvania state Senator (and one-time unchallenged legislative powerhouse) Vincent J. Fumo. Cipriano’s contribution to our understanding is how the system worksand how it enhances the career prospects and power of federal prosecutors while mercilessly, and too often falsely, destroying the lives and careers of the targets. Target: The Senator; A Story About Power and Abuse of Power, is a worthy successor to my own effort to pull open the proverbial wizard’s curtain in the Land of Oz and expose the not-so-obvious manipulations being performed.


On Tour With The Original Gangster

Courtroom sketch by Susan Schary
From Target: The Senator, Chapter One

By Ralph Cipriano

In the back of a prison bus, a U.S. marshal was sitting in a steel cage, armed with a shotgun. He was watching over forty men dressed in blue paper jumpsuits and shackled in handcuffs, belly chains, and leg irons.

Most of the inmates were tattooed young drug dealers with buzz cuts and shaved heads. The oldest guy on the bus, however, looked like somebody’s hippie uncle with his scruffy mop of silver hair and the full white beard he had sprouted in prison. Fellow prisoners called him “Pops,” “Daddy-O,” and “OG,” as in the “Original Gangster.”

As the bus rumbled over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia, many young drug dealers were catnapping in their seats. The OG, however, was peering through security bars and tinted windows at a skyline that reflected the glory of a past life.

They used to call him “The Senator.” In the city of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania, mayors and governors came and went. But from his stronghold in the Pennsylvania Senate, where he held the purse strings to the state budget, Vincent J. Fumo reigned for nearly a generation as a power broker.

 

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