Wednesday, August 21, 2019

"Phony Baloney" Plea Deal May Come Back To Bite D.A.

By Ralph Cipriano

To District Attorney Larry Krasner, it was just a "phony baloney" plea bargain with a would-be cop killer.

When the D.A. got on the phone with Maurice Hill, after the career criminal with the AR-15 assault rifle had just shot six police officers, Krasner agreed to a lenient 20-year jail sentence just so Hill would come out and surrender.

But to Richard Sax, a retired homicide prosecutor, what the D.A. did was a blatant violation of the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Responsibility, Rule 8.4, which states: "It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to . . . engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation."

So that's why this week, Sax, an outspoken critic of Krasner's, filed a complaint against the D.A. with the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

As Krasner recounted his conversation with the cop shooter, Hill asked the D.A. what kind of sentence he might receive.

"Early on, I said 25 [years], then he said 20 and I said OK," Krasner told The Philadelphia Inquirer. When Hill asked for the deal in writing, Krasner told the newspaper he started a draft, but didn't finish it.

It was a "phony baloney" agreement that he had no intention of honoring, Krasner told the newspaper, adding that Hill's lawyer was in on the ruse.

To Sax, the D.A.'s confession to the Inky amounts to a slam dunk case of unethical behavior for the city's top law enforcement officer.

"There's no question as to the facts of this," Sax said. "By his [Krasner's] own admission it was a 'phony baloney' offer [as in] 'I lied to the defendant.' It's a prima facie case" of violating the rules of professional responsibility.

But that's not all Sax had to say.

"He had no business being there," Sax said about Krasner's presence at the crime scene where Hill had already shot six cops, and held two more as hostages. Even though he was surrounded by cops, Hill kept shooting his assault weapon, and refusing to come out.

Meanwhile, Krasner was mugging for the TV cameras.

As far as Sax was concerned, the D.A. should not have been at a crime scene where "some hellacious killer" was trying to shoot as many cops as possible, Sax said.

"He's not a law enforcement person," Sax said about Krasner, "he's anti-law enforcement. "

At a press conference earlier this week, Krasner would not answer questions about his "phony baloney" plea bargain with Hill. A spokesman for the D.A. today did not respond to a request for comment.

Another critic of Krasner's behavior is former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham.

"When a prosecutor offers a defendant a plea deal the prosecutor is stuck with it," she said. "He [Krasner] started to write a deal out on a piece of paper. It's just outrageous. Everything about that is wrong."

"They didn't need Larry Krasner to get him [Hill] to come out of the house," she said. Hill was surrounded by a couple hundred cops. The front and back of the house were covered. "The bad guy" had to go sleep at some point, she said, and he also had to run out of ammunition. The cops, led by former Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who, according to Abraham, was "the model of patience," did the right thing by waiting out the shooter.

"They have trained negotiators," Abraham said of the police department. "That's a cop's job, that's not a prosecutor's job."

When she was D.A., Abraham said, a crime scene was "the last place I would be. . . My job after the fact is to prosecute. I am not a cop, I am not a hostage negotiator."

She also wasn't a showboat like Krasner was, making sure he was in every live TV shot from the crime scene. While he was freelancing as a novice hostage negotiator with a career criminal and would-be mass cop killer.

"I think it was wrong of him to do that," Abraham said about Krasner's "phony baloney" hostage negotiations. "I think it was dangerous and it sets an absolutely bad precedent for the future."

Why did the D.A. get involved at the crime scene? Abraham has a theory.

"He only cared about the prisoner," she said. "He didn't care about the cops. He doesn't care about victims."

Ok, at this point, a lot of us know that the citizens' decision to elect Progressive Larry Krasner as D.A. was a very foolish one.

It's exactly as his political opponents said, it's a grand social experiment we're embarking on, with Krasner and his progressive partner in remaking society, Jim Kenney, leading us over a cliff.

And all the signs say that Krasner is in over his head.

At a press conference, the D.A. told reporters the investigation of the cop shootings "could take months."

Anthony Voci, the D.A.'s head of homicide, also seemed overwhelmed with how to investigate a crime scene where more than a hundred rounds had been fired at cops. And they fired a few back.

"The scale of this investigation literally is immeasurable," Voci breathlessly told reporters. "We are in the process of digging those [rounds] out of cars, and structures like houses, ceilings, walls. That process is extremely time-consuming."

But our D.A. still has time to stage a press conference, and then not take any questions.

To Richard Sax, a career homicide prosecutor, the D.A.'s lame act was not only pathetic, it was wildly off the mark.

Amateur hour down at the D.A.'s office. As U.S. Attorney William McSwain has said, Krasner may need some "adult supervision" on this one.

Is that because the case is so complicated, as the D.A. claims? Sax didn't think so.

"It's the most uncomplicated case in history," Sax said about the cop shootings. "Because the man's intent and identity and malice toward police in particular, and the community in particular, is evident to anyone who watched it, and heard it unfold."


  1. well said by 2 outstanding people and i hope that justice will perveil in this case and a new DA will take over. Our city is in the hands of 2 anti police members and don't give a shit about the victims

  2. I agree that it seems like professional misconduct but it seems doubtful that official complaints about it will get him out of office. Just look at Frank Fina. He still has not yet received any punishment from misconduct that occurred back in 2012. At that rate Krasner could serve out his current term and a second term before a decision was rendered.

  3. "It is Professional misconduct for a Lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation..A prima Facie case." Former DA Richard Sax. Isn't that exactly what HE did to Matthew Zimmerman in the double homicide of his parents Trial, by putting an innocent Family member in jail, 2 life sentences for something he didn't do? 3 stooges Sax, Judge Shelly Robbins New and the late Bernard L. Siegel. No doubt a 4th stooge enters the stage, Lynn Abraham who taught Seth Williams "all he knows". He's in jail but not Abraham who currently rides Septa buses threatening innocent Citizens. 1 down, 3 to go....Spin wheel spin!

  4. Thoughtful commentary welcome, but not the TRUTH!


Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.