Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Guns Of July: Out Of 236 Gun Cases D.A. Had 37 Convictions

By Ralph Cipriano

When it comes to prosecuting gun crimes in Philadelphia, District Attorney Larry Krasner presides over a revolving door for criminals that puts them right back out on the street again, so they can wreak more havoc.

In July of 2019, court records show, the D.A.'s office prosecuted 236 gun cases. And as of March 16th, the last day the courts in Philadelphia were open, records show, 66 cases, or nearly 28 percent, had either been dropped, dismissed or lost by the D.A.'s office.

If you get arrested for illegally carrying guns in the city, your chances of walking are almost twice as good as getting convicted. Of those 236 cases stemming from July 2019, as of March 16th, only 37 defendants, or 15.6%, were found guilty. And all 37 of those cases were the result of plea bargains that for the criminals, turned out to be deals just too good to pass up.

Why? Because defendants who pleaded guilty to gun crimes typically were either put on probation and walked immediately. Or they pleaded guilty in order to get sentences well below state sentencing guidelines for gun crimes.

And if you're one of those rare defendants in a gun case who has to go to trial, your chances of walking are still good. Why? Because out of the 236 gun cases from July of 2019, only 2 cases ever made it to trial. And the D.A.'s office lost both cases.

How about that for a record of futility?

Out of a total of 236 gun cases from July 2019 that were prosecuted by the D.A.'s office under Larry Krasner, not a single defendant to date has been convicted by a judge or a jury of being guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The futility of the Philly D.A.'s office in prosecuting gun cases happened by design. Three big reasons explain why Larry Krasner operates that revolving door for suspects accused of gun crimes.

The Three Big Reasons For The Revolving Door

Reason No. 1: the D.A.'s Progressive polices. D.A. Krasner, who opposes cash bail, presides over an office that sets low bail for most cases, bail that for dangerous, armed drug dealers amounts to chump change.

And D.A. Krasner, who opposes "mass incarceration," also has a standard office policy of giving criminals minimum sentences that are always well below the state's legal guidelines.

Any requests for substantial jail time in the Progressive office of D.A. Krasner have to be approved by a supervisor. And any substantial jail time for a crime of violence, such as murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault or gun charges, has to be personally approved by either Krasner or his first assistant.

The second factor behind the revolving door: the general incompetence of the D.A.'s office under Krasner.

Krasner, a career gadfly of a defense lawyer who dedicated himself to radical-fringe left-wing causes, has zero experience as a prosecutor. His first action when he took over the D.A.'s office was to fire his 31 most senior prosecutors. He promptly hired 60 rookie prosecutors, 18 of whom couldn't even pass the bar exam.

The incompetence of the D.A.'s office under Krasner can be seen at every level of the criminal justice process. It starts when Krasner's prosecutors try to convince a judge at a preliminary hearing to hold a defendant over for trial. And it ends when Krasner's prosecutors go to court, try cases and lose.

The third factor behind the D.A.'s revolving door for gun crimes is the subversive war being waged  against cops from inside the criminal justice system. As a defense lawyer, Krasner sued the Philadelphia Police Department 75 times. In his Progressive D.A.'s office, he has continued his war on police in an internal campaign led by Assistant District Attorney Patricia Cummings, head of the D.A.'s Conviction Integrity Unit.

Cummings, who has serious integrity issues of her own, has sent out hundreds of letters to cops on Krasner's behalf informing them that they have been placed on the "do not testify" list, meaning the D.A.'s office will not call them as witnesses in any case.

Cummings has also sent out hundreds more letters formally notifying cops that certain damaging information from their personnel files, no matter how old, is about to be voluntarily turned over by the D.A.'s office to defense lawyers.

In other words, every month, the D.A.'s office is hard at work seeking to either disqualify or damage the credibility of more cops as witnesses in court, so the D.A.'s office can drop, dismiss or lose even more cases.

A Variety Of Offenses

The 236 gun cases from July 2019 were for a variety of offenses.

Of the 236 cases, 166 involved the illegal possession of a firearm. Of those 166 cases, 99 defendants, or 42%, were criminals barred from possessing firearms because they had prior convictions for serious felonies.

Of the 236 cases, 68 defendants, or 29%, were accused of using a gun during the commission of a felony, such as a shooting, attempted murder, robbery or kidnapping.

The D.A.'s Pathetic Record At Preliminary Hearings

At preliminary hearings, a judge has to decide whether a defendant already in custody after an arrest for an alleged gun crime should be held over for court to face charges.

Of the 236 cases from July 2019 that went to preliminary hearings:

-- 13 cases were dismissed outright by judges for lack of evidence.
-- In 3 cases the judge either threw out the gun charges against the defendant because of a lack of evidence, or the gun charges were withdrawn by the prosecutor.
-- 20 cases were dismissed by judges due to a lack of prosecution.
-- 23 cases were voluntarily withdrawn by the D.A.'s office due to prosecutorial discretion.

To sum up, the cases withdrawn and completely over after the preliminary hearing stage of the criminal justice process amounted to 56, or nearly 24%. Three more defendants went to trial on other charges, but the gun charges against them were dismissed.

The D.A.'s Pathetic Record At Sentencing

As of March 16th, 54 cases from those July 2019 gun arrests were disposed of. Here are the dispositions:

-- 2 defendants arrested by the cops for allegedly committing gunpoint robberies were sent by the D.A.'s office back to juvenile court, rather than being prosecuted as adults.
-- 5 defendants were sent to diversionary programs where they would receive counseling rather than jail time.
-- 5 cases were dropped by the D.A.'s office due to prosecutorial discretion.
-- 2 cases were dismisssed by judges due to lack of prosecution.
-- 1 case was abated because the defendant, Enrique Hernandez, 37, was shot to death on Sept. 8, 2019.
-- 14 defendants negotiated a guilty plea.
-- 23 defendants agreed to plead guilty, but no deal was struck on a sentence.
-- 2 defendants went to trial and were found not guilty.

Of the 14 defendants who negotiated guilty pleas that included agreed-upon sentences:

-- 7 defendants were sentenced to probation, meaning they didn't have to serve a day in jail.
-- 7 defendants were sentenced to jail; but five of the 7 were granted immediate release or early parole by the D.A.'s office on the day they signed their plea bargain, regardless of whether the defendants had months left to serve on their jail sentences.

Of the 23 defendants who pleaded guilty but the plea bargain didn't include an agreement on a sentence, as of March 16th, only 9 of these defendants had been sentenced.

Three of those defendants who pleaded guilty got state sentences because they had prior convictions.

The 3 state sentences:

-- 3 to 6  years in jail for a felon who was barred from possessing a firearm, and also had prior convictions for aggravated assault on a cop, and possession of an unlicensed firearm.
-- 2 1/2 to 5 years in jail for a gunpoint robbery with two victims.
-- 3 1/2 to 7 years in jail for two separate gunpoint robberies.

Of the remaining six defendants:

-- 5 defendants got 11 1/2 to 23-month sentences; but 4 of those 5 got immediate parole.
-- 1 defendant was sentenced to no further penalty, meaning he left court without having to do any jail time or go on probation.

To sum up, of the 23 defendants who agreed to a plea bargain and have been sentenced as of March 16th, 17, or 74%, immediately walked without having to serve another day in jail.

Keep in mind that all of these sentences handed out under plea bargains were way below state sentencing guidelines for gun crimes that call for maximum sentences of:

-- 5 years for conviction of a first-degree misdemeanor, such as carrying a firearm in public.
-- 7 years for a third-degree felony, such as carrying a firearm without a license.
-- 20 years for a first-degree felony, which usually involves using a gun in the commission of a shooting, kidnaping, murder, rape or robbery.

So you see everybody accused of a gun crime got a break from their Uncle Larry.

A prime example of the weak sentences handed out by the D.A.'s office is Eric Beverly, 21, of Frankford. He was arrested on July 7, 2019 for attempted murder after he tried to shoot another person to death. The eight charges filed against Beverly included attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, and four firearms charges.

Beverly had a prior conviction for a gunpoint robbery. In 2018, he was sentenced to 3 to 6 years in jail and 5 years probation after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, robbery with intent to commit serious injury, conspiracy, theft, assault, and possession of an instrument of crime.

So what did the D.A.'s office do when it came to arranging a plea bargain for Beverly's arrest in July 2019, when he tried to shoot somebody to death?

On Jan. 7th of this year, the district attorney allowed Beverly to enter a negotiated guilty plea to a single gun charge, possession of firearms. As part of his plea bargain, the D.A.'s office dropped the other seven charges, including attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Beverly was sentenced to time served, 23 months, plus two years of probation. And the plea bargain arranged by the D.A. called for running Beverly's new sentence for possession of firearms concurrent with his old sentence on the 2018 gunpoint robbery. So Beverly wound up not having to suffer any additional penalty for his most recent crime -- when he tried to murder somebody with a gun.

The Poster Boy For The Guns Of July

But if you're looking for a poster boy for Krasner's permissive policies stemming from the arrests of July 2019, it would have to be Franciso Ortiz, 29, of Northeast Philadelphia.

On July 13, 2019, police arrested Ortiz and charged him with carrying an unlicensed firearm, possession of a prohibited fireman, and carrying a firearm in public.

Bail was set at $100,000, a relatively low amount considering Ortiz had twice pleaded guilty in 2009 for two different arrests on illegal gun charges, for which he served a total of 10 years in prison before being released in April 2019.

But on July 30, 2019, Ortiz's lawyer made a motion to lower his bail to $50,000, and the D.A.'s office went along with it. So on July 30, 2019, after putting up 10 percent, or $5,000, Ortiz walked out of jail and embarked on a bloody spree of drug-related shootings.

On Sept. 18th, police say, Ortiz shot a 22-year-old man to death who was outside his home while his girlfriend and child were inside.

On Oct. 19th, police said, Ortiz opened fire on another man driving through the Hunting Park section of the city. The victim  responded, police said, by allegedly using his child as a human shield.

Ortiz wound up shooting 11-month-old Yazeem Jenkins four times, including once in the head and once in the chest. If the child survives, doctors said, he'll be a quadriplegic.

Less than 24 hours later, according to police, Ortiz supplied an AK-47 assault rifle that was used by two other men in another drug-related shoot-out that resulted in the murder of a two-year-old girl in her mother's living room. The mother, who was holding her baby in her arms, was shot in the head and back.

Ortiz is now being held without bail on three open cases containing some 39 charges that include murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, plus numerous weapons offenses.

The Revolving Door Is Why The Mayor And Police Commissioner Have Turned On Krasner

Krasner's record on prosecuting gun crimes is why our normally wimpy mayor and his brand new, seldom-seen police commissioner have publicly turned on the D.A.

At a March 31st, at a joint press conference, Mayor Jim Kenney said,  "We are calling on the district attorney to vigorously enforce all firearms charges during this time of crisis. It is imperative that he [Krasner] send a clear message that gun violence will not be taken lightly."

"There needs to be some consequences for carrying an illegal gun in Philadelphia," the mayor concluded. "If you're carrying a gun illegally you need to be locked up and kept there."

"There has to be teeth, there has to be consequences" to illegally carrying a gun in the city, agreed Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. "We can't see a revolving door."

But under Larry Krasner, that's exactly what we have.

Repeat Offenders

Of those 236 gun cases from July 2019, five defendants were arrested twice. So that means out of the 236 cases there were a total of 231 defendants.

Of the 231 defendants, 45, or 19.5%, had open cases during the prior 12 months. And at least 35 defendants, or 15%, were arrested again after their July arrests. That's a total recidivism rate, past and future, of at least 34.6%.

The number of 45 defendants who were arrested in the last 12 months, however, is probably higher, as the D.A.'s office has been marking many prior cases as "Limited Access," meaning the press and public can't see them.

For example, on July 18, 2019, the police arrested Kenneth Saunders, 43, of North Philadelphia and charged him with possession of a firearm, aggravated assault, firearms not to be carried without a license, carrying firearms in public, simple assault, and reckless endangerment.

Saunders had a prior record. In 2005, he was found guilty of carrying firearms without a license, carrying firearms in a public place, endangering the welfare of children, and reckless endangerment. He was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail plus three years probation.

In 2010, he pleaded guilty to manufacture, delivery and possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, and was sentenced to 24 months of probation. In 2013, he was found in contempt of court and sentenced to five to 10 days in jail.

In 2015, he was pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license, and was sentenced to 4 to 10 years in jail and seven years probation.

But on Nov. 4, 2019, all six charges filed against Saunders for his most recent July 2019 arrest were withdrawn and are now marked "LA Case" for limited access, meaning the press and public can't see them.

It's amazing all the favors Krasner does for criminals.

Krasner's Defense Of His Record: The Earth Is Flat

In the grand tradition of figures don't lie but liars can figure, Krasner has a history of inventing his own statistics to back his arguments that the earth is flat.

At a virtual press conference on April 17th, held without the presence of reporters, either in person or on Zoom, Krasner unveiled his own freshly-baked crime stats in an attempt to show that the crime rate in the city was going down, rather than up.

To get there, Krasner compared the crime rate of the city on pandemic lockdown for one week this April to the crime rate of the city on an average week over the past three years.

Krasner gave his presentation at a time when police statistics on major crimes committed so far this year, such as homicide, armed robbery, aggravated assault with a firearm, commercial burglaries and shooting incidents, were all arrows on a graph pointing straight up when compared with the crime rates of the previous year.

But Krasner has his own stats, and apparently he only believes what his stats say.

It's called inventing your own reality. And it  helps if you can find somebody dumb enough to run with it.

Fortunately for Krasner, he works in a town where the alleged newspaper of record shares his enlightened views on how to remake society into a Progressive Utopia.

Useful Idiots At The Inquirer

A great example of this synergy happened on June 18, 2019, just a couple of weeks before the gun arrests of July 2019 took place. On that day, D.A. Krasner sat down with gullible reporters from his favorite newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, to try to explain why his radical policies had nothing to do with the escalating crime rate.

As the Inquirer dutifully reported, the interview with Krasner was conducted after yet another weekend of violent crime in Philadelphia. The Krasner interview was also done to rebut Richard Ross, the then police commissioner, who had publicly stated that there was a perception among criminals that if they were caught in Philadelphia carrying illegal firearms, they would suffer no consequences.

If that criticism sounds familiar, it's the same charge that Mayor Kenney and the new police commissioner made against Krasner at a March 31st press conference.

But back on June 18, 2019, Krasner defended himself by making the argument to the useful idiots at the Inquirer that his administration had approved for prosecution more than 98% of gun cases in 2018. And that Krasner's prosecution rate on gun crimes was so much better than the 97% percent prosecution rate for guns crimes posted by the D.A.'s office in 2017 under former D.A. R. Seth Williams.

Hey Mr. Krasner.,what does it matter if your office approves 98 percent of gun cases for prosecution, if only 15.6 percent get convicted? And they all either walk immediately, or get sweetheart deals way below the sentencing guidelines?

That's just what happened regarding the 236 gun crimes that the D.A.'s office allegedly prosecuted from July of 2019. The cops made the arrests but the D.A. let the criminals out the back door.

What's the response of the D.A.'s office to the statistics in this story?

As usual, both Lawrence "Stonewall" Krasner and Jane "The Mute" Roh, his alleged spokesperson, along with Patricia 'Integrity Challenged" Cummings, did not respond to a request for comment.

Only a fool -- or a Progressive reporter at the Inquirer -- would believe any of Krasner's ridiculous arguments and bogus stats about the crime rate going down, rather than up, or buy that Krasner's office is doing a great job of prosecuting gun crimes.

But that's exactly what the useful idiots at the Inquirer continue to do.

On April 24th, under the bylines of three reporters, the Inquirer ran a story with the headline "Even a pandemic can't slow Philly's gun violence."

In the story, the Inky reported that since the mayor had shutdown the city, "at least 135 people have been shot -- an average of more than four a day -- often in neighborhoods long plagued by gun violence."

The story went on for more than 40 paragraphs, recounting the circumstances behind one recent shooting after another. But at any point in that long story did the Inky hold the D.A. accountable?

Nope. In that long story, the Inquirer devoted just one he-said, she-said paragraph to the question of whether  the D.A.'s office was responsible for the escalating gun violence in the city:

"The violence in Philadelphia has reignited a simmering tension between the police and District Attorney Larry Krasner. Last month, Kenney and Commissioner Danielle Outlaw faulted Krasner's office for not aggressively prosecuting suspected gun offenders -- a charge Krasner has called inaccurate and unnecessarily divisive."

Nothing to see here folks. Whether the D.A.'s office is responsible for escalating gun violence is just a political debate. And hey, while drug dealers are shooting and killing each other out on the streets, and babies, kids and Moms are getting caught in the crossfire, we wouldn't want to be unnecessarily divisive.

Apparently, the card-carrying Progressives at the Inquirer can't bring themselves to tell the citizens of Philadelphia that the Progressive policies of District Attorney Krasner have been a bloody disaster.

Krasner, a blind ideologue, is headed over a cliff, but sadly, he's taking the city along with him.

If you're going to continually let armed and dangerous criminals walk on gun charges, they'll continue to shoot it out on the streets.

There will be more murders, more innocents caught in the crossfire. And more public handwringing from the mayor and police commissioner.

Meanwhile, the Inquirer continues to cover for Progressive Larry Krasner.

To pull that off, the Inquirer has had to break every journalistic rule in the book. And repeatedly betray the public by refusing to report the obvious facts that show the D.A.'s raw culpability for the daily carnage going on out on the streets.


  1. The incompetence at the DAO was by design.

  2. An excellent critique of the incompetent DA's office in conjunction with an anti police newspaper both set on future riddled with progressive fallacies and incompetence.I would respectfully request if there is a pattern of the lawyers representing these criminal defendants.

  3. A very good question. From what I've seen so far, the defense lawyers who contributed to Krasner's campaign for D.A. appear to be getting their money's worth.

  4. Unfortunately he is only hurting the black community. While his numbers are down in his ugly head the amount of black people dying is insane! So, he looks like a friend to criminals but he’s actually taking out the black community this way. Think about it!

  5. WTF criminals walking out the door after being arrested on gun charges. Maybe if they had been elected officials the Inky would have had something to say and gotten them off the street. This is sickening and to think that our federal prosecutors work in conjunction with the Inky to send any politician to jail for life. Federal prosecutors invent crimes and outright lie to federal grand juries, federal judges and use the Inky as an accomplice to sway the public.

    The Traffic Court trial was one such fiasco of a trial, a few former prosecutors said that the charges were not even an indictable offense but it went to federal court because the leader of the Supreme Court wanted it to, instead of doing his friggin job he wanted to send everyone to prison for life. WTF are we going to one anther in this country? Good people that did not take a fucking dime who did not defraud the city or state as was alleged. We watched as prosecutors displayed repulsive behavior to send fellow citizens to jail, no slimy act was to low for the feds to sink. They did a bad job and were caught by the defense but their unforgivable behavior went unnoticed by the Inky because they were part of the prosecution. Who could expect the Inky to have highlighted the outrages of federal employees when they were part of the scheme to send good people to jail for life. If the Supreme Court had a friggin problem with Traffic Court there was an Ethics Board in place to handle any concerns. The plan was to trap and disgrace other humans. Well fuck the Supreme Court and fuck the Inky for being in on the scheme.

    We are fucking the country with prosecutors who lie to get an indictment and use terrorist tactics to threaten innocents to sign plea bargains. This has to stop, life is cheap in America. You can get shot walking down the street or put in prison for life for no crime whatsoever,a lying federal prosecutor just had to say there was a crime and the Inky falls to their knees. Let's find another way to straighten out our systems that are not working, or unless the Inky thinks all Americans belong in jail. Prosecutors are "making work" for themselves and taking the Inky hostage.

    Shame on the Inky for being in a compromised position, you can never help a defendant because you only are there to condemn, not seek justice, not seek the truth, just to work for the prosecution. Well grow a set of balls and come to the aid of the public who is now in grave danger as the revolving door for criminals is wide open. Let federal prosecutors fight their battles in court not on the front pages of the paper. The justice department in America is in a disgraceful state, good people are working to make it better but we need the Inky to realize the harm they are doing by NOT doing the job of a journalist, speaking the truth.

  6. All levels of Government and the Media have been Corrupt and Partners in Crime, that can be documented, during the Last 50 Years I have witnessed its Inner Workings and Results.

    The Bold Effrontery for Mayor Jim Kenney to stand in front of City Hall and call for Higher Taxes to support a failed Adminsitration who continues to Champion Illegal Immigrants, Drug Addicts, and Pensions for Retired City Employees who have fed from the Gravy Train while frolicking in their Publicly Supported Pig Stys.

    It's quite Ironic that the Bankruptcy of the Print Media and the Economic and Social Collapse of this Country has been orchestrated by the Establishment who have deceived and manipulated the Truth for their Self Gain.

    It was not a fabrication of the Truth that generated the McCarthy Hearings and the Search for Crimes of Treason perpetrated by Government Officials. The Problem was that they didn't dig deep enough and root out all the Vermin in the Recesses of the Iconic Halls of the 3 Branches of Government, which has allowed for their procreation of the Class of Sociopaths and Enemies who have followed in their Path.

    McClatchy Corp., a former Owner of the Inquirer, is now near Bankruptcy and seeking a Bailout before its Imminent Collapse.

    Will the Chinese Communist Party be the White Knight and take control of another Faux Pillar of Democracy through their Enablers on Wall Street
    as has been their Strategy and Executed Plan???

    I shed no tears for the Rank and File Slugs who may lose their Inflated Pensions and may have to join the Armies of the Illegal Criminal Aliens, Unemployed, Homeless, Released Felons and other Victims of a Corrupt System and Society who will further bankrupt our Society if we allow the Kenneys and Krasners to continue to Remain in Power???

    Those who march against the Feckless and Corrupt Overlords who now restrict their Rights to Assembly and other Inalienable Rights, the Politians are the Ones who should be summarily handcuffed imprisoned and face Prosecution for their High Crimes.

    It's too bad that the Lying Treasonous Scoundrels in the Media don't serve prison sentences with the Criminal Gang of Prosecutors, FBI, Media Tycoons, and Elected Officials who leaked the lies which they Recited and Published that ruined the Lives of so Many.

    That is not to say, that all Prosecutions are Without Merit, but those that are the most damaging, will remain the most flagrant and obvious Examples of Miscarriages of Justice.

    Now the Communists who sought to Manipulate Public Opinion and Fix Elections, have a Candidate like Senile Serial Sex Offender Joe Biden, Darling of Comcast and U. of P., who will bail out the Punks of Journalism, just as they have supported the Asset Managers and Oligarchs who control the Tech Giants who now censor and recite the lies that have destroyed the Hope for Democracy and the Execution of the Rule of Law.

    Bezos, Gates, Roberts, and Bloomberg should be in the 1st Class of Treasonous Billionaires dragged in chains in front of Congress and then prosecuted and serve as the first wave of " Liberals, Liars and Thieves" who pay the price for Treason.


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