Monday, June 27, 2022

Philly Inquirer Censors The News To Prop Up D.A. Krasner

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

At the Philadelphia Inquirer last week, the newspaper marshaled all of its resources to support one of its progressive heroes, District Attorney Larry Krasner.

After a trio of suburban Republicans in the state House of Representatives launched a drive to impeach Krasner, the Inquirer responded last week with a barrage of censorship and propaganda aimed at propping up Krasner, while the shootings and murders in this town continued unabated. 

The Inquirer's multi-pronged attack began on Tuesday when the three house members, joined by state Rep. Martina White, another Republican from Northeast Philadelphia, held a press conference on the steps of the State Capitol in Harrisburg that featured a rainbow coalition of two dozen crime victims protesting against Krasner.

It made for compelling drama. Julio Moran talked about his mother, Gladys Coriano, a religious woman barely five feet tall, and how she was shot to death by an abusive ex-husband who had repeatedly violated a protection order by stalking, harassing and attacking her. 

Despite a half-dozen police reports, Moran said, the D.A.'s office under Krasner repeatedly declined to protect his mother and then sat on an arrest warrant for six days, which gave the abusive ex-husband another chance to shoot and kill her.

"The D.A.'s office would not do their jobs and they would not hold the offender accountable for his actions," Moran said. "This was a violent predator."

“My mother didn’t fall through the cracks of the criminal justice system," Moran said. "She fell through a trapdoor created by Krasner and his group of false public servants.” 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Judge Grills 3 Supervisors in D.A.'s Office About 'Lack of Candor'

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

For two hours today, U.S. District Court Judge Mitchell Goldberg grilled three top supervisors in the district attorney's office about why they had, in the opinion of the judge, breached their "obligation to be candid with the court."

At issue was the case of Robert Wharton, who, with a co-defendant, was convicted in 1984 of strangling and drowning to death a minister's son and his wife. 

If that wasn't bad enough, after Wharton and his codefendant got through brutally murdering the couple and ransacking their home, they turned off the heat in the dead of winter and left the couple's infant daughter, then 7-months old, alone to freeze to death. Before they left, the heartless killers even stole the infant's crib.

If you're asking yourself why the D.A.'s office under Larry Krasner got involved in the case, it wasn't to protect the public from such a depraved killer. And it certainly wasn't to advocate on behalf of the daughter of the murdered couple, who had somehow miraculously survived because the minister showed up two days after the murders of his son and daughter-in-law, to rescue the crying, dehydrated infant, who was rushed to the hospital.  

No, in the case of the Commonwealth v. Wharton, the D.A.'s office under Larry Krasner took the side of the convicted killer, by trying to get Judge Goldberg to agree to let Wharton off death row. In doing so, the D.A.'s office claimed that Wharton had rehabilitated himself while in prison. 

In making that argument, however, the three supervisors in the D.A.'s office did not tell the judge that in 1986, the supposedly rehabilitated Wharton had tried to escape a courtroom in City Hall, and was only stopped after he was shot twice by a sheriff's deputy.

The D.A.'s office also neglected to inform Judge Goldberg about the six times that Wharton had been disciplined in prison, twice after he was caught with pieces of a metal antenna that Wharton had fashioned into a key to unlock his handcuffs.

The D.A.'s office also neglected to inform Judge Goldberg that they hadn't bothered to contact the only surviving child of the murdered couple, as they were required to do by law, to let her know that they were trying to get the convicted killer of her parents off death row.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Jerry Sandusky The Jailhouse Lawyer Targets Andrew Shubin

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net


In a motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, Jerry Sandusky, acting as his own jailhouse lawyer, accuses attorney Andrew Shubin of using the quack science of recovered memory therapy to manufacture tainted testimony against him by alleging sex abuse that never really happened.

When the Penn State sex abuse scandal hit, "Shubin went into action advertising for and identifying accusers," Sandusky writes in an affidavit accompanying his motion for a new trial. "He [Shubin] collaborated with therapist Cynthia McNabb to create a group contagion."

"In the words of some of their clients, buried memories were retrieved," Sandusky wrote. "Seeds of incrimination were planted in the minds of susceptible individuals, as revealed in the newly discovered evidence, and tainted, unreliable testimony was created."

On his website, Shubin, of State College, who did not respond to a request for comment, brags that he led "the charge to hold Penn State accountable for its role in the devastating sexual abuse of young boys."

In the process, Shubin hit the lottery for both his clients and himself, racking up more than $32 million in civil settlements for six alleged victims of abuse. Four of the six alleged victims represented by Shubin initially claimed that Sandusky had never abused them. And then, the four alleged victims underwent recovered memory therapy. Through the use of highly suggestive and leading questions, Sandusky charges, the alleged victims supposedly recovered hidden memories of abuse that in the criminal courts, helped convict Sandusky; and in the civil courts enabled the alleged victims to cash in.

After they changed their stories, Jason Simcisko collected $7.25 million; Dustin Struble, $3.25 million; Frankie Probst, $9 million; and Matt Sandusky, Sandusky's adopted son, $325,000. A fifth alleged victim, Alan Myers, allegedly the infamous "boy in the showers," initially insisted to a private investigator that Sandusky had never abused him and even wrote a letter to a local newspaper, defending Sandusky. But after he retained Shubin and flipped on Sandusky, Myers collected $6.9 million.

The sixth alleged victim represented by Shubin was Ryan Rittmeyer, a convicted criminal with 17 arrests who served nearly three years in jail for offenses that included reckless endangerment, theft by deception and false impression, robbery, assault, and illegal possession of a firearm. Rittmeyer got his case rolling by calling in on a special sex abuse hot line set up by the state Attorney General's office, and, with Shubin as his lawyer, he cashed in to the tune of $5.5 million.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Man Bites 2 Cops, But D.A. Wonders If He Had Criminal Intent

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

It seemed like a fairly routine case.

At approximately 6:27 a.m. yesterday, Police Officers Byrd and Hasley drove to 445 Fitzgerald Street in South Philly to assist medics in dealing with a combative patient. Upon arrival, the cops were advised that a white male on the 2nd floor was acting hostile. 

Officer Byrd entered the room and tapped the male on the shoulder to wake him up. According to the cops, that's when Richard McNissins, 33, stood up and started to swing his arms, and then he tried to kick the officer, as well as the medics.

Next, McNissins tried to bite Officer Byrd on the arm and continued to wrestle with him and the medics. That's when Officer Hasley fired her taser twice at McNissins, to no effect. Officer Byrd was able to get one cuff on McNissins, but according to a police report, McNissins bit Officr Byrd on the right thigh, breaking the skin. McNissins then punched Officer Byrd in the jaw, causing his lip to bleed.

McNissins also bit Officer Hasley on the left arm and was punching and kicking her while the cops were trying to cuff him. Officer Hasley raised her metal baton and struck McNissis on the legs. As other officers were called to the scene for assistance, McNissins continued to fight.

McNissins, whom the cops said was probably high on narcotics, was finally placed in cuffs and shackles and taken to the hospital. Officer Byrd was left with a bloody mouth and a bite mark on his right thigh and pain in his left hand. Officer Hasley had a bite mark on her left forearm and pain in her right thumb, wrist and forearm.

Yep, it was a simple case until it went to the D.A.'s office for prosecution. First, the D.A.'s office under Larry Krasner denied the cops a warrant to search the premises. And then Assistant District Attorney Neil Pladus, a rookie in the D.A.'s charging unit, decided not to prosecute McNissins.

Why? Because ADA Pladus, a 2021 Georgetown Law grad who was hired by Larry Krasner last September, conducted his own investigation. And after reviewing the body camera footage and all of the discovery in the case, rookie ADA Pladus concluded "in the interests of justice. . . It is impossible to say that the defendant bit and flailed at the officers with any level of criminal intent."

 Why? Because, ADA Pladus wrote, the suspect "was incoherent during the entire encounter."

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Is Philly's Big Gun Permit Giveaway A Liability Problem?

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Over the past 17 months, the Philadelphia Police Department under the "leadership" of Mayor Kenney and Police Commissioner Outlaw has issued a total of 76,433 new licenses to carry concealed firearms.

Last year, this amounted to a more than 700% increase in new licenses to carry. 

How did they do it? How did the Philly Police Department whack the time it takes to get a license to carry from the old standard of 40 days all the way down to just one week? 

They did it by basically blowing out all of the local safeguards that had been in place for decades, such as requiring an applicant seeking a gun permit to answer all the questions in a three-page questionnaire during a face-to-face interview with a cop. Prior to last year, if you wanted a gun permit, the Philly P.D. also used to take your fingerprints, conduct a background check, and ask for proof of residency.

But now that the city has done away with all of those traditional safeguards, does that create a liability problem?

While city lawyers were hiding under their desks last week, and refusing to answer any questions about the Big Gun Permit Giveaway, I asked Mark Zecca for his opinion. And Zecca, a former senior attorney in the city's Law Department who used to handle gun legislation, thinks the city has a problem. 

"Whenever the city fails to do it’s job and somebody gets hurt by that failure, there is potential liability," Zecca wrote in an email. "The city should realize that it might face liability by those injured by improperly issued permits from a very bad city policy and practice."

Monday, June 13, 2022

Impeach Larry Krasner!

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

A trio of Republicans in the Pennsylvania state House of Representatives today announced their intention to launch a bipartisan drive to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

In targeting Krasner, who just won reelection to a second four-year term last November, the Republican trio cited "the absolute and willful dereliction of duty that we have seen" from the Philly D.A.

That's how state Rep. Josh Kail, a Republican from Beaver and Washington counties described it. "Lives have lost, property has been destroyed and families have been crushed," Kail said. "Enough is enough."

Torren Ecker, a Republican from Adams and Cumberland counties, said today's announcement was arrived after "careful thought and deliberation."

At the podium, Ecker cited a written statement issued by Krasner's office from six months ago: "We do not believe that arresting people and convicting them for illegal gun possession is a viable strategy to reduce shootings." 

"Since that time," Ecker said, "nearly 950 Pennsylvanians have been injured or killed as a result of gun violence in Philadelphia," including 220 murders.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Philly Cops Handing Out Gun Permits Like Candy

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

In the wake of the mass shootings on South Street, a self-described "heartbroken but angry" Mayor Kenney blamed Republicans in the state legislature, as well as the national government, for the gun violence that's plaguing his city.

"The unfettered access to guns is a problem," the buckpassing Kenney told 6ABC. "And in this state, when it's easier to get a gun than a driver's license, either the state legislature or the national government needs to do something similar to what Canada has done in banning guns."

"This is a national problem," Kenney insisted. "If we had some kind of regulations that would slow down the access to guns, we would certainly do it."

That's not true, Mr. Mayor. Because just six miles northeast of City Hall, over at the Police Department's Gun Permit Unit at 660 East Erie Avenue, they're handing out gun permits like candy.

Before the pandemic, it used to take up to 40 days to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm. That's because the Gun Permit Unit used to require applicants to come into the office and fill out a three-page questionnaire during a face-to-face interview. An applicant was also required to provide proof of residency, have their fingerprints taken, and then submit to a background check conducted by detectives in the unit. All of this had be done before the city would issue anyone a license to carry a concealed firearm.

But in January 2021, facing a daily backlog of some 800 to 1,000 applicants, the Police Department under Danielle Outlaw, Kenney's handpicked police commissioner, dropped every one of those local safeguards mentioned above.

Instead, the Kenney administration, which had previously been challenged in court by two gun owner groups, rolled over and implemented a shorter questionnaire that could be filled out online. The city also decided to pass the buck on background checks to the state for a far less thorough review. As a result, where it used to take up to 40 days to get a license to carry, now it takes just a week.

Since the city made the process faster and easier -- but not safer -- the number of gun permit applications has skyrocketed. And so has the number of new gun permits issued.

In 2020, the Gun Permit Unit received 11,073 applications, and approved 7,555 new licenses to carry concealed firearms.

Last year, the police received a total of 70,789 applications for a license to carry, an increase of 639%! And last year, the Gun Permit Unit approved 52,905 new licenses to carry, an increase of more than 700%!

So the Kenney administration decided to accommodate gun owners at the expense of public safety. And, in the opinion of a former senior attorney in the city Law Department who used to handle gun legislation, the Philly P.D. is not only shirking its responsibilities, it's also breaking the law. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

2 Judges Call Out D.A. For Lack Of Candor; Inky Covers For Krasner

Judge Goldberg
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

After he held an evidentiary hearing and heard testimony from several witnesses, a federal judge concluded that D.A. Larry Krasner's prosecutors had been "less than candid with this court."

The prosecutors were seeking to get Robert Wharton, convicted in 1984 of brutally murdering a husband and wife, off death row.

In court, the prosecutors argued that Wharton had rehabilitated himself in prison. The prosecutors also implied that they had contacted the murdered couple's next-of-kin, and that they had no objection to sparing Wharton the death penalty.

After he conducted an evidentiary hearing, however, the judge discovered that both claims by the D.A.'s office simply weren't true.

In a 40-page memorandum opinion issued May 11th, U.S. District Court Judge Mitchell Goldberg found that the prosecutors didn't tell His Honor about a 1986 escape attempt by the supposedly reformed Wharton. The convicted killer slipped out of his handcuffs, shoved a sheriff's deputy aside and bolted from a courtroom, but he wound up getting shot twice by a sheriff's deputy as he attempted to flee City Hall.

The judge also found that the prosecutors didn't tell him about the six times that Wharton had been disciplined in prison, including that time when the inmate was caught with two pieces of a metal antenna that had been fashioned into a key to unlock handcuffs.

The judge also found that the prosecutors didn't disclose to the judge that they failed to contact the murder victims' only child, a daughter who, as an infant was left for dead by the same convicted killer who murdered her parents.

If you read the record in this case, as laid out by the judge in his 40-page memorandum opinion, on both counts, the D.A.'s office is guilty as charged. But when the city's paper of record wrote the story, rather than objectively report the facts, which would have cast Krasner's office in a negative light, the partisan Inquirer took Krasner's side and attacked the judge!