Friday, April 3, 2020

What A Social Justice Reporter Left Out Of Her Inspiring Story

By Ralph Cipriano

It's an uplifting story about a woman unjustly convicted of murder that has a happy ending. What could be wrong with that?

In 2010, Cynthia Alvarado, then a 27-year-old Philly mom who worked as a dancer at a gentlemen's club, was sent to prison for life by a criminal justice system that according to Alvarado's advocates, historically exploits and oppresses poor women of color.

Then, after Alvarado served more than a decade of her unjust sentence, a crusading Villanova sociology professor teamed up with a bunch of idealistic Villanova law students to spring Alvarado out of the slammer.

To tie it all in a neat bow, the story, which ran March 30th in The Philadelphia Inquirer, was written by Samantha Melamed, the newspaper's official "social justice" reporter. But when she wrote her uplifting story, Melamed, who declined comment, left out a few pertinent facts.

For starters, Melamed devoted just one paragraph to describing the actual crime that landed Alvarado in jail. Court records, however, tell a tawdry tale that doesn't exactly cast Alvarado in a positive light. It's a story that also doesn't have a happy ending for another poor woman of color who, a jury decided, lost her life in part because of Alvarado's actions.

Second, Melamed overlooked the extraordinary legal gymnastics of District Attorney Larry Krasner, a criminal's best friend. In order to spring Alvarado out of jail when she was down to her last legal Hail Mary, Krasner had to abandon the traditional role of a prosecutor by taking a couple of legal dives in court. He also had to ignore an apparent conflict of interest, and overrule his head of homicide, who reportedly had advocated retrying Alvarado for murder and robbery.

All in a day's work for Let "Em Loose Larry.

Finally, the Inquirer's social justice reporter curiously failed to divulge the true details of Alvarado's plea bargain, which were readily available in court records. Those records show that Krasner gave Alvarado a sweetheart deal so she could immediately walk out of jail, and not have to worry about being retried on murder and robbery charges, or have to deal with any big hassles from her probation officer.

It tuns out that the real story of how Cynthia Alvarado got out of jail thanks to Larry Krasner and friends is a whole lot messier but way more entertaining than the sanitized version presented by the Inquirer.

Once again, the local paper of record has proved time and time again that when it comes to reporting on a fellow progressive like Krasner, it can't be trusted.

So let's take a fuller look at the case of Cynthia Alvarado and her miraculous release from jail.

The Crime

At 3 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2008, Cynthia Alvarado was behind the wheel of her red Honda Civic. On a fall afternoon, she was driving her cousin, Oscar Alvarado, 25, to the park, but they weren't out for some fresh air.

The cousins were on their way to Fairhill Square Park in North Philadelphia, a section of town that used to be called "The Badlands," to score some Xanax without a prescription. Riding along in the back seat to share in the adventure was Bianca, Cynthia's one-year-old daughter.

Another messy detail omitted by the Inquirer: the relationship between the two Alvarado cousins was complicated. As Cynthia told the police about Oscar later that night, "That's my cousin and my lover."

In a July 10, 2019 opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph F. Leeson Jr. recounted the known facts of the case, as disclosed during trial.

"While Oscar Alvarado was in the park purchasing the pills," the judge wrote, Cynthia Alvarado ran into a childhood friend, Maiced Beltran. Cynthia offered Beltran a ride. "When Oscar Alvarado returned with the drugs, they each ingested multiple Xanax pills."

The trio of adults then spent the next hour driving around various locations with the baby still in tow. "At some point during this time, Oscar Alvarado pulled a gun out from underneath his seat and showed it to [Cynthia] Alvarado and Ms. Beltran."

At approximately 4 p.m., the trio returned to Fairhill Park to purchase more Xanax. Beltran suggested to Oscar Alvarado that he try to "get a play," meaning he should attempt to wheedle some extra pills out of his drug dealer without having to part with any additional cash.

As Oscar walked away from the car and into the park to buy drugs, according to Beltran, Cynthia had another suggestion: "Cuz, you know what to do. You know, if they don't give you a play, just pull that shit out," she supposedly said, referring to the gun.

According to the judge, Beltran "became upset at [Cynthia] Alvarado for making this statement and began yelling at her." Meanwhile, Oscar Alvarado was in the park searching for his drug dealer. When Alvarado found the dealer, he "pulled the gun out of his waistband, stuck it in the drug dealer's midsection, and took a bottle of Xanax that the drug dealer was holding in his hand," the judge wrote.

As Oscar turned around and walked back to his cousin's car, the drug dealer began yelling, "He robbed me." People in the park repeated what the drug dealer said, and then they followed Oscar, who ran toward the car and jumped in the front passenger seat.

At that moment, Marta Martinez, 37, a homeless woman in the park, "approached the vehicle and attempted to look in the driver's side window," the judge wrote.

"Oscar Alvarado reached across the driver's seat and shot the victim through the partially open driver's side window," the judge wrote. "Oscar Alvarado then opened the passenger door, reached over the hood of the car, and fired two or three more shots into the park. He got back into the car and yelled, 'Pull off, pull off.' "

Cynthia Alvarado drove away, according to the judge, allegedly telling Beltran, "That's why he loves me. That's why we ride or die." The police, however, had recorded a far more colorful version of that alleged quote, as reported in 2009 by Julie Shaw of the Philadelphia Daily News:

"This is why he fucks me. Because I'm a ride or die bitch."

After they drove off, the trio ingested more Xanax that they had stolen from the drug dealer. They drove to various locations, including the house of Cynthia Alvarado's father. There, Cynthia Alvarado traded her Honda Civic for her father's Dodge pickup truck. They stopped to buy a vial of angel dust before they ended up smoking it at Cynthia Alvarado's apartment.

Four hours later, the cops showed up at Cynthia's door. The cops told Alvarado that Martinez was dead and she was now a suspect in a murder case. She was arrested at approximately 8:30 p.m.

While in the back of a police car, Alvarado made "several statements to [police] regarding her involvement in the crime," the judge wrote. She also told the cops she had witnessed the shooting of Martinez before she drove away.

How The Inquirer Covered The Crime:

In 2008, addicted to Xanax, Alvarado had driven her cousin Oscar to Fairhill Square Park to buy drugs. But while she waited in the car, Oscar pulled out a gun -- and in the melee that followed he fired into a crowd. He jumped into the car, and Alvarado sped away. She did not learn until later that a bystander, a woman named Marta Martinez, was killed.

Alvarado's Rap Sheet

Cynthia Alvarado was no stranger to the criminal justice system, with one arrest as a juvenile and four more arrests as an adult, but almost all of the charges over the years had been dismissed.

 In 1994, when she was 13, Alvarado was arrested for the first time. Tried as a minor in 1995, records show, the court entered a finding of adjudicated delinquent -- meaning Alvarado was guilty -- on a charge of aggravated assault, a second-degree felony. As part of a plea bargain, three other charges against Alvarado, including simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and robbery, were dismissed.

In 2004, Alvarado was arrested and charged for obstruction, harassment and terroristic threats, but all three charges were subsequently dismissed.

In 2005, she was found guilty of driving under the influence. She received a sentence of three to six days in jail and six months probation. A charge of criminal mischief was withdrawn.

In 2007, she was arrested for retail theft but the charges were dismissed.

On Aug. 15, 2008, two months before she was arrested and charged with the murder of Martinez, she was charged with theft, criminal conspiracy, unauthorized use of motor vehicles, and criminal mischief. But all those charges were subsequently dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

The Murder Trial

At trial, both Cynthia and Oscar Alvarado were charged with robbery, second-degree murder, and conspiracy. Oscar Alvarado was convicted, but the jury had problems trying to decide the fate of Cynthia Alvarado. Specifically, the jury was trying to figure out under the law whether Cynthia should be convicted as an accomplice to robbery and murder.

Pennsylvania law states that a person is an accomplice to a crime if he or she acts "with the intent of prompting or facilitating the commission of the offense." Or if he or she "solicits such other person to commit" the crime. Or if she or she "aids or agrees or attempts to aid such other person in planning or committing" a crime.

According to the prosecutor at trial, the case against Cynthia Alvarado was clear cut.

"Did she aid, agree to aid, attempt to aid the other person in committing it? Yes," the prosecutor said. "This includes flight. She was his getaway driver. She is just as guilty . . . as him of second degree murder."

Then the prosecutor repeated the sanitized version of the Beltran quote to the jury: "'That's why he loves me, because I ride or die with him."

"Conspiracy basically means they were teammates," the prosecutor said. "They were both down with committing that robbery. And how do we know she was in on the robbery . . . Because of the comment, 'Cuz, if they don't give you a play you know what to do. Just pull that shit out.'"

"There can be no clearer description of someone's participation in a robbery," the prosecutor said. "She flat-out told him to do it."

But the jury was so confused that four times Judge M. Teresa Sarmina had to issue instructions on state law regarding accomplice liability.

"To be an accomplice, Cynthia Alvarado must have specifically intended to help bring about the crime by assisting Oscar Alvarado in commission of that robbery in some fashion," the judge told the jury.

The second time she instructed the jury, the judge said they had to find that the two cousins had entered into "an agreement, an understanding, a shared criminal intent that a crime would be committed" to reach a verdict that Cynthia Alvarado was guilty. "Then you have a  conspiracy," the judge told the jury. "And it is often said that the act of one is the act of all."

The final instruction came after the jury sent the judge this note: "Does aiding after a crime in itself constitute accomplice liability?"

"It could," the judge wrote back.

Both defendants were convicted of robbery and second-degree murder, but found not guilty of conspiracy. Judge Sarmina sentenced both defendants to a mandatory term of life imprisonment.

The Appeal Process

In her first appeal, Cynthia Alvarado alleged that the judge had committed a legal error by instructing the jury that she could be convicted under accomplice liability law because of her actions after the crime. But that argument didn't get her anywhere.

On June 19, 2012, the state Superior Court denied the appeal and affirmed Cynthia Alvarado's conviction. Four months later, on Oct. 5, 2012, the state Supreme Court denied Alvarado's request for review.

Alvarado then filed a pro se petition under the state's Post Conviction Relief Act [PCRA], claiming her lawyer had been ineffective for failing to object to the judge's response to the jury's question on whether Alvarado could have been convicted under accomplice liability.

On May 14, 2014, the PCRA court dismissed Alvarado's petition as meritless. On Feb. 19, 2015, the state Superior Court affirmed the dismissal. On June 30, 2015, the state Supreme Court denied Alvarado's request for review.

Alvarado had exhausted the appeals process in the state of Pennsylvania. She was literally down to her last chance, what's known as a habeas corpus petition, which in Latin means "produce the body." In federal court, Alvarado sued the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, taking the position that her incarceration was illegal because of the judge's faulty written instruction and her own lawyer's ineffectiveness.

Experts agree it's a long shot, but no recent statistics are available. However, according to ancient Bureau of Justice statistics from 1984 published online, the odds of a federal court granting a habeas petition were 3.2 percent; and the odds of the petition resulting in the release of the prisoner were 1.8 percent.

The Advocate

Jill McCorkel is a professor of sociology and criminology at Villanova University. She staffs Villanova's Center for Irish Studies, Gender & Women's Studies, and African Studies.

According to an online bio, "Dr. McCorkel's research investigates the social and political consequences of mass incarceration in the United States. She focuses primarily on how law and systems of punishment perpetuate race, class and gender-based inequalities."

In Philadelphia, McCorkel was often seen protesting outside the district attorney's office. During the 1990s, she has written that she participated in weekly demonstrations, holding up signs that said "Jail Racist Killer Cops," and chanting "No justice, no peace, No racist police."

She described herself on Twitter as a longtime supporter of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal since the early 1990s, saying she believes he was wrongfully convicted. She also blamed racism and sexism for the large number of incarcerated women, and their lack of advocates.

"Helping incarcerated women get free is almost exclusively women's work," she wrote on Twitter on Oct. 12, 2019. "I could count on one hand the number of men in this line of [criminal justice]  activism. Today we talked about why this is the case."

"Short answer: racism + sexism."

The Advocate On Behalf Of Alvarado

McCorkel had been hooked on the Alvarado case since 2010, when her husband, Brad Mellinger, had served on the original jury. According to the Inquirer story, Mellinger was the inquisitive juror who kept sending the trial judge notes asking about accomplice liability law.

Mellinger told his wife that none of the jurors believed there had been a conspiracy between the two cousins. And he was shocked to learn that Cynthia Alvarado had received a life sentence.

According to the Inquirer's description of McCorkel's sociological studies that began in the 1990s, the surge in the female inmate population was not due to women committing more crimes. It was  because of mandatory minimum sentences that resulted in "harsh" penalties for women peripherally involved in a case.

What McCorkel found in her research, according to the Inquirer, was that "women not fully understanding the criminal justice process" were being leveraged by police and prosecutors against the men in their lives. Often, they won't give information because they're scared of the guy or in love, and then they end up getting hit with charges in retaliatory fashion," McCorkel was quoted as saying in the Inquirer.

All those themes, McCorkel found, were prevalent in the Cynthia Alvarado case. In a TED talk entitled "#MeToo and Mass Incarceration" that was recorded Feb. 19th and posted online a week later, McCorkel gave a summary of her version of the Alvarado case.

McCorkel's TED Talk

According to McCorkel, at the time she was arrested, Cynthia Alvarado was the mother of two young daughters, ages 1 and 8. Alvardo had become addicted to Xanax, McCorkel said, after a car accident that left her with a shattered pelvis and killed her cousin Oscar's older brother.

McCorkel, who did not mention the romance between the two cousins during her Ted talk, described Oscar as a "troubled young man with a history of substance abuse" and violence. But the murder of Marta Martinez was unintentional, McCorkel said.

"Oscar didn't intend to kill Marta; he did not know Marta," McCorkel said. "Marta was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time."

As for Cynthia, the murder was "something she had no involvement in." And that's what she repeatedly told the cops the night she was arrested: " I didn't have anything to do with what happened."

During her interrogation by a couple of homicide detectives, McCorkel said, Cynthia was handcuffed to a chair for hours. She repeatedly pleaded with two detectives to let her return home to her daughters.

What the cops wanted Cynthia to do was give up her cousin, but she repeatedly refused. She also kept pleading to go home to her kids, whom Alvarado believed were unattended.

But according to McCorkel, the detectives told Cynthia that the only way she would be allowed to retain custody of her two children was to sign a statement that was their version of events.

During the interrogation, according to McCorkel, Cynthia was not given any food, or allowed to go to the bathroom. McCorkel also told her TED talk audience that one of the detectives on the case, since fired by the department for misconduct, leered at her, brushed up against her, and promised her favorable treatment in exchange for sexual favors.

Cynthia kept refusing, McCorkel said. At the end of a long night of interrogation, Alvarado, feeling helpless, and wanting to go home to her children, finally agreed to sign the statement. But she never went home that night, McCorkel said. Instead, the cops immediately arrested her and charged her as an accomplice to murder and robbery.

"Cynthia Alvarado had no one in her corner that night," McCorkel said. As far as McCorkel was concerned, Alvarado was the victim of "gender inequality and racism and gender state violence."

But as somebody who was used to just demonstrating outside the district attorney's office, there wasn't much McCorkel could do to change prosecutors' minds. Until Larry Krasner got elected district attorney.

In an online book, the Routledge Handbook of Public Criminologies, McCorkel wrote a chapter entitled, "The Campaign to End Mass Incarceration in Philadelphia." In that chapter, McCorkel described her transition from "dedicated outside agitator" at the D.A.'s office to "insider" during Larry Krasner's administration.

According to her online bio, McCorkel was a campaign advisor to Krasner. She also currently serves as a member of the D.A.'s Task Force for Women and Girls in the Criminal Justice System. In the book, McCorkel praised "the solutions he [Krasner] is pursuing to dismantle mass incarceration" as "a revolution in prosecution."

Now behind the scenes as an insider, McCorkel was in a position to lobby prosecutors for Alvarado's release. She also recruited a group of Villanova law students to aid in the cause. According to the Inquirer, the law students went out to the scene of the crime. They also pored over court transcripts, and raised doubts about witness testimony in the case, as well as the actions of police.

A Brand New Ballgame

On June 29, 2016, Alvarado filed her habeas petition in U.S. District Court that raised two issues. First, she claimed that her lawyer had been ineffective for failing to properly object to Judge Sarmina's written response to the written question about whether the jury could find Alvarado guilty  if she was solely an accessory after the fact.

Second, Alvarado claimed that her lawyer was ineffective for "failing to impeach Maiced Beltran, the state's main witness, with the fact that she had an open felony criminal case at the time of her testimony." Before Beltran cooperated with the cops, they told her she was a suspect in the murder of Martinez. Beltran wound up getting probation.

Alvarado was represented in her federal appeal by Susan Lin, a partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing, Feinberg & Lin. David Rudovsky, the founding partner of the firm, is a longtime Krasner ally who has previously represented Mumia Abu-Jamal in the past. Krasner's wife, former Common Pleas Court Judge Lisa Rau, is a former law partner of Rudovsky's.

It's not known what the D.A.'s office did in response to Alvarado's petition. Jane Roh, a spokesperson for Krasner, as well as Krasner himself, did not respond to a request for comment.

Catherine Kiefer, who was then Krasner's supervisor of civil litigation, but has since left the office, declined to comment. In other appeal cases, most notably a bid for a new trial for Mumia Abu Jamal, Krasner did not oppose a petition for a new trial.

That prompted Maureen Faulkner, the widow of Mumia's murder victim, Police Officer Danny Faulkner, to file a King's Bench petition in state Supreme Court, seeking to disqualify Krasner as  prosecutor in the Mumia case.

According to Faulkner's lawyers, in refusing to contest the latest PCRA hearing in state Superior Court, the D. A. "is simply refusing to carry out its responsibility to objectively analyze the case and enforce the law."

According to Faulkner's lawyers, the reason why the D.A. wouldn't do his job is bias: "Unfortunately high ranking officials in the District Attorney's Office -- including the District Attorney himself -- suffer from undeniable personal conflicts of interest which are so obvious and so incendiary that the office's continued representation to the Commonwealth all but guarantees a biased and unjust adjudication of the Jamal case."

"To simply concede the issue now pending in the Superior Court," Faulkner's lawyers wrote, was "tantamount to refusing to carry out the District Attorney's responsibility to enforce the law and defend the prosecution of a stone-cold murderer."

The scenario of Krasner not opposing a defendant's petition for a new trial is probably what happened in the Alvarado case. Only the victim in that case, the late Marta Martinez, didn't have advocates in court to contest Krasner's actions in abandoning the D.A.'s traditional role as prosecutor.

In U.S. District Court, Judge Joseph F. Leeson Jr. subsequently decided that Judge Sarmina's written instruction during the Alvarado trial  "likely carries greater weight a jury" than previous verbal instructions. Judge Leeson also decided that in her final written instruction to the jury, Judge Sarmina wasn't merely reciting the law on accomplice liability, but dealing with a specific set of facts.

And instead of clearing up the jury's confusion with "concrete accuracy," Judge Leeson wrote, Judge Sarmina "instead gave an ambiguous and likely misleading instruction."

The U.S. District Court judge also opined that because the jury found Cynthia Alvarado not guilty of conspiracy "the verdict suggests that the jury found no credible evidence of Alvarado's intent but convicted her of murder under accomplice liability based on her actions alone -- aiding after the crime."

"In doing so, the jury applied the trial court's written supplemental instruction in a way that allowed them to convict Alvarado on an accomplice liability theory without finding that she possessed the required" intent.

The judge concluded that Judge Sarmina's written response to the jury question "violated Alvarado's federal due process rights." The judge also concluded that her lawyer was ineffective because he didn't object to the judge's written instruction.

So on July 10, 2019, the judge vacated Alvarado's convictions of second-degree murder and robbery. He gave the D.A. 120 days to decide whether to retry Alvarado or release her from custody.

As he previously did in Alvarado's appeal in federal court, Krasner didn't contest the judge's ruling. According to McCorkel, she wrote in an email that the D.A. "declined to appeal the federal court's decision."

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

McCorkel was still working hard behind the scenes to free Alvarado, along with the volunteers she recruited from Villanova's law school.

On Aug. 27, 2019, McCorkel wrote on Twitter: "A colleague asked me if I 'took the summer off' after being promoted to full professor. Nah, son. I devoted 100 percent of my time to Cynthia Alvarado's wrongful conviction case & working on behalf of incarcerated women in PA."

But early this year, as the case dragged on, McCorkel was becoming agitated enough to take a public swipe at Anthony Voci, the D.A.'s head of homicide.

"It was been 7 months since a federal court granted Cynthia's habeas petition, vacating the conviction & sentence," McCorkel wrote on Twitter on Feb. 25th. "And yet she remains wrongfully incarcerated because the Chief of Homicide at Philly DAO wants to retry her for murder."

"Why? Why would prosecutors compound the injustices of this case by threatening to retry it?," McCorkel wrote on Feb. 25th on Twitter. "The shooter, Cynthia's co-def., was convicted & sentenced to life. Why would prosecutors continue to spend taxpayer $$ to keep an innocent woman in prison? Something smells fishy . . ."

In an email, McCorkel said that it was her understanding that Voci, the D.A.'s chief of homicide, "insisted that she plead to 3rd degree murder," which, she said, would have resulted in a sentence of something like 15 to 22 years.

In taking a public swipe at Voci, and repeatedly going on Twitter and doing a TED talk as Alvarado's most prominent public advocate, McCorkel posed the appearance of a conflict of interest for Larry Krasner.

Why? Because McCorkel had previously not only served as a campaign advisor to Krasner, but she was also currently a member of the D.A.'s Task Force for Women and Girls in the Criminal Justice System. McCorkel also appeared to function as an advisor to Alvarado's defense team.

Krasner, however, did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Jane Roh, his alleged spokesperson, nor did Voci.

How The Inquirer Reported Alvarado's Plea Bargain

That verdict was overturned in federal court last year . . . And the District Attorney's Office offered a deal: Alvarado could plead guilty to third-degree murder and get 11 to 22 years in prison.

What Really Happened

On March 11th, Alvarado pleaded guilty in a negotiated settlement with the D.A.'s office to the charges of third-degree murder and robbery. She received a sentence of a minimum of five years and six months to a maximum of 11 years, along with probation for four years.

According to what McCorkel wrote about Alvarado in an email, "She took the deal" because she "has no money to hire a trial attorney and she doesn't want to sit in prison another two years away from her kids while waiting to go to trial."

"I don't know if he [Voci] ever actually intended to retry the case," McCorkel wrote in an email. "He was posturing like he was going to. It was a gamble the Alvarado family decided not to take."

"I'm extremely disappointed in the D.A.'s actions in this case," McCorkel wrote. Alvarado, however, got credit for time served. And according to court records, on March 11th, Alvarado, now a 39 year-old grandmother, was "paroled immediately."

But by cutting Alvarado's sentence to 5 1/2 years to 11 years, the D.A.'s office was saying that Alvarado's prison sentence was over a long time ago. That meant that her probation would be served under county supervision and not the state, which is more stringent.

For example, if Alvarado got caught with a joint on state parole, it would be a ticket back to jail. But under county parole, it's the D.A. who would decide whether she violated her parole. And since Krasner doesn't arrest people for drug possession any more, Alvarado would be home free.

It all boiled down to a sweetheart deal for Alvarado, a big victory for McCorkel and her students, and a sanitized but uplifting social justice story for the Inquirer.

But as the late Paul Harvey used to say, "Now you know the rest of the story."


  1. No action emanating from Krasner's office has a scintilla of integrity or non partisanship.

  2. Another great piece of Real Journalism. Thanks for the time and energy that you expend to present a View of Justice that is encouraging meaningful and truthful.

    Were those pictures of the accused submitted to the Judge as part of her Appeal?

  3. Ralph, thank you for the excellent piece. After reading it, can one believe anything in the Inquirer anymore? I know people hate the phrase "fake news" but Melamed's twisted article is a prime example of "fake news" if there ever was one.

  4. They really can't be trusted whenever they're writing about another fellow Progressive Democrat. They've proven that over and over again.

    They're not reporting the news, they're trying to remake society. Hence, they look for stories that will back up their views of the universe.

  5. Hey Ralph,

    I may have said this in the past but I’ll say it again: I agree with your research in how Krasner is insufficiently doing his jobs. But I don’t really see a need to post the salacious photos of this woman or how her profession relates to this story at all. Be better than that.

  6. Dear Mandy, I'm not better than that. This is who she was, what her job was at the time, part of the messy story that the Inquirer sanitized. I'm not into sanitizing, I'm into what really happened.

    If you want sanitized, head for

  7. You'll fit right in with the other virtue signalers who regularly write for that rag.

  8. You didn't really convince me that this woman deserved life without parole and you failed to mention that PA is one of the few states
    that has a felony murder law and I'll guarantee that I can site hundreds of actual cases where this law resulted in life sentences that reasonable people would find excessive--including the jurors who found them guilty. If you and your brethren had your way, everyone present on the block when a murder occurred would get life.

  9. You seem to have missed the point of the entire story. The story was about what the Inky's social justice reporter left out of her social justice fable. All the gritty details of the crime, and all of Krasner's legal gymnastics to open the jail door for this woman.

    Whether it was justified or not isn't my point. My point is what went unreported.

  10. One of the implications of your article was that she got off easy. And basing a life sentence on words that were alleged to have been said as opposed to ACTIONS is problematic to say the least (and also a little too convenient in this case). As far as the media goes--the conservative media does not get high marks for accuracy or truth. I'll take the NYT any day over FOX News.


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