Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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

By Ralph Cipriano

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.

Call him the Great Emancipator.

As a defense attorney, Krasner talked former D.A. Rufus Seth Williams, now in a federal prison for political corruption, into setting free more than 850 convicted drug dealers arrested by former members of the city police department's Narcotics Field Unit South.

The drug dealers were set free even though the D.A.'s office subsequently had to admit twice in court that it possessed not one shred of evidence indicating any misconduct on the part of any of those narcotics officers.

On behalf of Newsweek, I tracked the records last year of 400 of those newly emancipated drug dealers. More than 200 were subsequently arrested on charges that included rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a gun, attempted murder, and murder.

Three hundred of those newly emancipated drug dealers promptly filed civil rights cases against the city. In a "global settlement" negotiated by Krasner's former law firm, those 300 drug dealers are waiting to get paid a total of millions of dollars.

Even though six narcotics officers went to trial in a 2015 federal corruption case, and were acquitted on all 47 charges on all 26 counts.

So let's recap; as a defense lawyer lobbying a corrupt D.A., Krasner, without a shred of evidence, was able to empty the jail cells of more than 850 drug dealers, unleash a crime wave on the citizens, and pave the way for 300 of those drug dealers to hit the lottery, at taxpayers' expense.

Now on the inside of the criminal justice system, Krasner, as our new "reform" D.A., has already given rapper Meek Mill his get-out-of-jail-free card. The revolution continued today in court, as Common Pleas Court Judge Kathryn Streeter Lewis granted a motion filed by the D.A. to overturn the murder conviction of Dontia Patterson, serving a life sentence, because of what the D.A. claimed was "an egregious example of police and prosecutorial misconduct."

Patterson was convicted in 2009 of the broad daylight murder two years earlier of Antwine Jackson, 18, outside a corner store on Granite Street, after two eyewitnesses testified against the defendant. In a motion to dismiss the charges, the D.A.'s office argued that the prosecutors were "completely lacking in integrity" because they supposedly did not disclose evidence about another possible suspect in the murder of Jackson, a man who himself wound up being murdered a few months after Johnson's murder.

But the D.A. was improvising here. No formal allegation of prosecutorial misconduct had been made during the appeal of Patterson's conviction. Instead, the alleged grounds for throwing out the murder conviction rested on the claimed ineffectiveness of Patterson's defense lawyer. It was the D.A.'s office under Krasner that introduced the new allegation that prosecutors had allegedly hid evidence that might have exonerated Patterson.

Former prosecutor Sax dismissed those new allegations from the new D.A. as "nonsense."

"Every single piece of possible exculpatory evidence was turned over," Sax insisted. "I've done that for 37 years." Of the hundreds of murder cases he successfully prosecuted during his career in the D.A.'s office, Sax said, not one conviction was ever reversed because of prosecutorial misconduct.

It's a record that's still intact today.

There's one other problem with the overturning of the Patterson case; for more than a year, Krasner has been engaged in a noisy public feud with Sax. That feud culminated in a confrontation last week, when Krasner, accompanied by four to six armed members of his security detail, pounded on a door on the 18th floor of the D.A.'s office and verbally attacked Sax, who was inside, for allegedly trespassing.

At the time, however, Sax was in the D.A.'s office at the request of Patrick Blessington, an assistant district attorney under Krasner, who was prepping Sax to testify at another appeals hearing in another murder case that Sax had originally prosecuted. Days later after that confrontation, Krasner's minions went to court to smear Sax for alleged misconduct.

"There was not even a claim of prosecutorial misconduct for the D.A.'s office to address," Sax said. "It [the appeal] was sent back for ineffective counsel."

The only way for the D.A. to lodge a claim of prosecutorial misconduct against him, Sax said, was for Krasner to personally order his subordinates to make one up.

Ben Waxman, a spokesman for Krasner, did not respond to a request for comment.

As far as Sax is concerned, the D.A. has a vendetta against him.

"It feels that way to me," Sax said. The investigation into Patterson's appeal was done "so quickly," Sax said. Patterson was released on bail and held on house arrest since March, after Krasner had only been in office for three months.

"The case was in litigation for 12 years," Sax said. Patterson was convicted by a jury, and the case was upheld on appeal by the state Superior Court. On appeal, there were no allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.

But, Sax said, Krasner responded by making Sax the target of an "unfair and unjust attack in a case where a man convicted of murder is now being set free."

Richard Glazer of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project had advocated for years that Patterson was an innocent man. Then, Glazer became one of Krasner's "inner circle," Sax said. From then on,  Sax claims, the new D.A. was determined to release Patterson.

"Larry Krasner didn't need an investigation," Sax contended. The hasty and "lighting quick" investigation by the new D.A. was so inept, Sax said, that detectives weren't able to contact any member of the murder victim's family, to inform them that the D.A. was about to let Patterson go free. As a result, no member of the victim's family attended today's court hearing, to make any complaints to reporters about justice for the murder victim.

At the hearing, Anthony Voci, chief of the new D.A.'s homicide unit, sanctimoniously quoted the Declaration of Independence, asserting that prosecutors had a duty to ensure that no person in the Commonwealth is improperly denied their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

If the D.A.'s office is sincerely interested in overturning cases where prosecutorial misconduct has been committed, they ought to consider aborting the planned retrial of Msgr. William J. Lynn.

He's the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's former secretary for clergy who was convicted in 2012 of one count of endangering the welfare of a child. Lynn allegedly placed a former altar boy known as "Billy Doe" in harm's way of a known abuser priest. But the altar boy, whose real name is Danny Gallagher, has subsequently been revealed to be a serial liar in a case overflowing with prosecutorial misconduct and political scapegoating.

From the get-go, Lynn, as the first Catholic priest in the country to go to jail for allegedly covering up the sex abuse scandal, was the sacrificial lamb for the collective sins of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia against children. After a grand jury found that two former archbishops, John Krol and Anthony Bevilacqua, successfully led a cover up for four decades that kept the priests out of jail, and their exploits out of the courts, and out of the headlines.

Joe Walsh, the D.A.'s former lead detective on the case, has come forward to state in an affidavit that Danny Gallagher actually admitted to the detective that he had made up his stories of abuse after Walsh caught Gallagher telling one lie after another.

After a hearing in Common Pleas Court, Judge Gwendolyn Bright found the D.A.'s office had committed prosecutorial misconduct serious enough to warrant a new trial for Msgr. Lynn. So if the D.A. is truly seeking justice, this time around with the Lynn case, Krasner wouldn't have to make up any new allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. It's already there on the record.

In his affidavit, Detective Walsh disclosed that he repeatedly questioned Gallagher about many discrepancies in his cockamamie tales of abuse, and that Gallagher's evasive answers, gestures and new stories of abuse were never divulged to defense lawyers.

Now that's prosecutorial misconduct.

In his affidavit, Walsh also stated that he repeatedly warned Mariana Sorensen, the lead prosecutor in the case, that his investigation had determined that Gallagher wasn't telling the truth, and that Gallagher, a transparent, third-rate con man, wasn't a credible witness. And, according to Walsh's affidavit, Sorensen's reply was, "You're killing my case."

Here's the capper. For the past eight years, ADA Sorensen, as well as two other assistant D.A.s, have testified in three different courtrooms, in front of three different judges, that Sorensen took no notes when she initially interviewed Gallagher back in 2010, shortly after a detective bailed Gallagher out of jail.

And then, eight years, later, seven pages of Sorensen's notes have miraculously reappeared. Talk about an egregious example of prosecutorial misconduct, complete with all the evidence to back that up. As in Walsh's affidavit about Gallagher's lies, Sorensen's repeated failure to do the right thing, and Sorensen's long-lost notes.

But the D.A.'s office under Progressive Larry Krasner is proceeding full speed ahead with a planned retrial of Msgr. Lynn, who has already served 33 months of his 36-month sentence, plus 18 months of house arrest.

Because Larry Krasner's sense of outrage over prosecutorial misconduct extends to rappers and convicted murderers, but it does not extend to falsely accused Roman Catholic priests.

Ben Waxman, the D.A.'s spokesman, did not respond to a request for comment from Big Trial about prosecutorial misconduct in the Lynn case.


  1. Judge Steven Geroff vacated the conviction in Feb. because of ineffective counsel so the DA seemed out of line with his prosecutor misconduct charge.

    The case did seem weak if it was based solely on eyewitness identification. Did the prosecution have a motive and murder weapon tied to Patterson?

    If the case was such a slam dunk, then why was it a mistrial the first time around?

  2. It was 11-1 for guilty the first time. 10 years of review by the appeals court did not find a single thing wrong with this conviction until progressive Larry decided to free a murderer.

  3. What Krasner is doing to this city is a travesty. A D.A. that is for the criminals first is absolutely mind boggling.

  4. Is anyone else tired of Krasner's and Shapiro's grandstanding press conferences. Where are they on the severe prosecutorial misconduct in the Fr Englehardt and Mr Shero cases? Hypocrite is too soft a description to them. Where is the Pennyslvania Innocence Project on their cases? What conduct board does one write to - the US Attorney?

  5. Kramer released a black man who defaced the flag of Israel. Will the Mossad do something about the flag defacer quietly?

  6. It is about time for a tome that revisits Phila. D.A.'s Office over the last 40 years and recounts Mob influence during the Fitzpatrick and Rendell Years through the despicable reign of Rufus the Slimeball and Lawrence the Quaker.

    Finally the cheap suit thugs are getting the treatment that criminals of wealth and stature were afforded for decades.

    If the DOJ ever fairly examines the justice system in this town like they intend to prosecute and convict Oakland's Mayor and D.A., it will be a new and refreshing turn of events.

  7. Ralph, I too am one of your biggest fans, as for George Soro's backing of Krasner, I would say Mr. Soro's can spend his money any way he likes, if he followed campaign finance laws, this should be a non-issue.I can't get excited about his support of Krasner, Philadelphians voted him in office.

    I agree that all 850 drug dealers should not have been released, Seth was responsible for this maneuver not Krasner, no matter what Krasners influence. Seth wanted the police to look bad and he was responsible ultimately for that decision. To hell with the citizens of the city,Seth was going to do what he wanted to do. When did he care about prosecuting crimes, such as domestic abuse.

    I would suspect that when asked, most defendants would say that the prosecution lied and could say it was an egregious example of a lie, but who listens to defendants. No one was calling prosecutors out on their behavior until now. Hopefully it will continue and it will be common place to call a prosecutor a bold faced liar.

    Who was listening to defendants? The Inky, the judges,the courts, the jails ? Prosecutors walked on water and could do nothing wrong. So I can't buy Sax's description of himself or his career.

    I doubt that in 37 years as a prosecutor, or any prosecutor for that matter, that Sax turned over all exculpatory evidence.When I read that line I had to laugh out loud . Why would they share evidence that was beneficial to a defendant, they do want to win at all costs. Never will I believe that they turned over exculpatory evidence, never. Even if we become an open file state or country. I have to agree with Krasner, prosecutors want to win at all costs, no matter who stands in the way or who they have to destroy to win.

    Possibly Krasner has had a belly full of prosecutors like Sax, but why he has not dropped the Lynn case and accused Sorensen and Blessington of egregious behavior and prosecutorial misconduct, I don't have this worked out yet. It does not make sense, unless, now that the Inky is on Krasners side they will start to publish the facts they did not have access to prior. Oh wait that would never work, the Inky has a relationship with the prosecution to spread their "facts" not the truth.


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