Thursday, October 15, 2020

The D.A., A Non-Violent Prisoner Release, And A Brutal Murder

By Ralph Cipriano

At a June 8th City Council budget hearing, District Attorney Larry Krasner was asked about the recidivism rate of the more than 1,000 criminals that Krasner had just let out of jail during the Covid-19 crisis.

Only 4.7 percent of the prisoners were recharged, presumably for such low-level offenses as turnstile jumping, graffiti writing, or driving under the influence, the jovial Krasner told the City Council. And less than 1% of the prisoners he released, the D.A. bragged, were recharged with a violent offense. 

"We were of course selective about primarily making sure these were nonviolent offenses," Krasner assured the council, "so you don't see any sort of a crime spike coming out of it." 

Meet Jamal Brinson, one of those supposedly nonviolent criminals that Krasner let out jail during the Covid crisis. At just 20 years of age, Brinson, of North Philadelphia, had five previous arrests on a total of 17 charges for offenses that included selling hundreds of packets of heroin, and dozens of packets of crack cocaine, as well as robbery, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. 

Brinson also happened to be on probation for a gunpoint robbery when he got busted three times in two months last year for selling drugs. But despite his violent, drug-dealing past, Brinson was placed on the Covid-19 Public Defender's Parole List No. 1. On April 17th, the D.A.'s office agreed to Brinson's release, after he had served only one month of a sweetheart plea bargaining deal previously arranged by the D.A.'s office that sentenced Brinson to 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail.

What did Brinson do with his newfound freedom? Just 20 days after he got out of jail, on May 6th, Brinson played the lookout in the attempted robbery and murder of a Dominican bodega owner, who was shot in the face by Brinson's partner in crime, and died three days later. 

The Brinson case says a lot about the priorities of our district attorney, known as "Uncle Larry" to local drug dealers. If Larry Krasner hadn't been so worried about Jamal Brinson catching the flu, a Dominican bodega owner might still be alive. 

But our D.A., formerly a cop-hating defense lawyer who sued the Police Department 75 times, prioritizes doing favors for criminals over the rights of law-abiding citizens, who because of the D.A.'s progressive policies, often end up as crime victims.  

At 9:57 p.m. on May 6th, police responded to a radio call for a "person with a gun" inside the Vargas Mini-Mart located at 241 East Cambria Street. Officers found Jose Peralta, a 55-year-old Hispanic male, unresponsive, after he had suffered a gunshot wound to the face. The victim was transported to Temple University Hospital where he was reported in critical condition. He died three days later.

A security camera at the bodega showed that a black male wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with "Power Corps" written on the front, accompanied by another black male dressed all in black, had previously visited the store at 9:34 p.m. that same night, to purchase a 12-ounce can of pineapple soda and a small bag of Doritos. The man in the hoodie handed the female store clerk a Pennsylvania state access card, and after paying for the snacks, he left.

Less than 20 minutes later, at 9:52 p.m., the two men returned to the store. But this time, the man in the hoodie wore a white mask and brandished a firearm. The second man who accompanied him was seen on video guarding the front door.

During the attempted robbery, the man in the hoodie stuck his handgun through a cutout in the plexiglass barrier at the counter and fired one shot, striking the victim in the face. As he was leaving the store, the gunman fired a second shot in the direction of a female clerk and another store employee.

Police traced the access card used to buy the soda and chips back to a woman who, on her Facebook page, appeared in a photo with a man who matched the identity of the man in the hoodie. Richard Lighty, 21, was the brother of the gal that the access card had been issued to. 

On May 18th, police made a pedestrian stop at the Frankford Bus Terminal, located at 5200 Frankford Avenue, and charged the two criminal associates, Lighty and Brinson, with blocking the highway. At a police interview a day later,  Lighty waived his Miranda rights and confessed on video to shooting the victim during a failed robbery attempt.

For the killing of Peralta, Lighty was charged with murder, robbery with the intent to inflict serious bodily injury, conspiracy, carrying an unlicensed firearm, carrying firearms in public, and possession of an instrument of crime. For shooting at two other bodega employees, Lighty was charged with two counts each of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, simple assault, conspiracy, and possession of an instrument of crime. 

Brinson was charged with murder, robbery with intent to inflict serious bodily injury, and conspiracy, and  two counts each of aggravated assault, robbery with intent to inflict serious bodily injury, conspiracy, simple assault and reckless endangerment. 

The way the D.A. handled the release of Brinson "makes no sense," said a seasoned former prosecutor who sought anonymity.

"He's a violent person, he's got robbery and assault charges against him, and he sells drugs," the seasoned former prosecutor said. "Clearly the city was safer while this guy was in custody." The D.A.'s office, however, was "more worried about him [Brinson] catching the flu than letting a criminal out of jail so he can kill people."

What does the D.A. have to say about this latest travesty of justice? We don't know, because he only talks to reporters who share his progressive views, like his friends at The Philadelphia Inquirer. 

As he has done for the past 15 months, Krasner, as well as his alleged spokesperson, Jane Roh, did not respond to a request for comment.

A look at Brinson's lengthy rap sheet for a person his youthful age shows a career criminal reaping one favor after another from the D.A.'s office. 

On May 5, 2016, when he was 15 years old, Brinson was arrested for the first time and charged with reckless endangerment, simple assault, conspiracy, robbery inflicting threat of immediately bodily injury, theft, and receiving stolen property. 

On Aug. 24, 2018, five of the six charges against Brinson were withdrawn. The defendant was found to be an adjudicated delinquent, the equivalent of a guilty plea, on the sixth charge, robbery while inflicting the threat of immediate bodily injury.

On Nov. 23, 2016, when he was 16, Brinson was arrested again and charged with possession of an instrument of crime, robbery with threat of immediate serious injury, and conspiracy. He was found to be an adjudicated delinquent on all three charges.

On April 10, 2019, Brinson, then an 18-year-old adult, was arrested for the third time and charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, intentional possession of a controlled substance, and conspiracy.

Police records state that cops observed Brinson and an associate selling clear plastic packet of heroin stamped "Nightmare" with a picture of Freddy Krueger on it. Cops recovered 22 packets of crack cocaine, 224 clear packets of "Nightmare" Heroin, and 238 clear packets of "Walking Dead" heroin.

On April 11, 2019, Brinson's bail was set at $25,000, meaning he had to put up 10 percent, or $2,500. On April 17, 2019, the bail was lowered to $25,000 unsecured, meaning he didn't have to post any money with the court before he walked out the door. 

On April 30, 2019, Brinson was arrested a fourth time and charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver,  intentional possession of a controlled substance, and disorderly conduct.

On May 19, 2019, Brinson was arrested a fifth time and charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, and intentional possession of a controlled substance. 

Police observed Brinson at 2800 Mutter Street selling crack cocaine and heroin to several customers. After police arrested Brinson, they recovered $630 in cash from the drug dealer, and six clear Ziplock packets of heroin stamped "Good Luck," and 16 clear packets of crack cocaine. 

Despite his multiple arrests, his bail stayed low. On May 19, 2019, Brinson's bail was set at $20,000, requiring a 10% deposit of $2,000. On May 29, 2019, however, his bail was changed again, this time to $20,000 unsecured, meaning he didn't have to put down a cent, while he avoided jail, and was placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring.

But the D.A.'s office wasn't through doing even more favors for Brinson. They allowed him into a diversionary program that provided for house arrest rather than jail, a diversionary program that with his violent past, Brinson shouldn't have been eligible for. And then the D.A.'s office designated both the April 30, 2019 and May 19, 2019 drug arrests as "Limited Access" cases, so the press and public  couldn't see them. 

Meanwhile, Brinson wasn't showing any signs of rehabilitation. On Aug. 20, 2019, he failed to show up for court. A bench warrant issued for his arrest wound up being waived for a hearing on a violation of house arrest. But a judge waived the bench warrant and reinstated house arrest for Brinson. On Aug. 29, 2019, Brinson's bail was raised to $100,000, and this time he was required to put up 10 percent, or $10,000. 

On Sept. 24, 2019, Brinson was tried on the charges resulting from his April 30, 2019 drug arrest. Under terms of a plea bargain, the charges of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, a felony, and intentional possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor, were withdrawn. And Brinson was allowed to enter a negotiated guilty plea to disorderly conduct, a summary offense. 

According to court records for the negotiated plea bargain for his three drug busts in 2019, Brinson was to be subjected to "no further penalty" for his April 30, 2019 bust, because of the penalties imposed in his two other drug cases.

On Dec. 16, 2019, an order for marking two of Brinson's drug cases as limited access cases, so the press and public couldn't see them, was approved by Judge Leon Tucker. 

On Jan. 14th of this year, Brinson was sentenced on the charges from his May, 19, 2019 arrest. Under a negotiated plea bargain, Brinson pleaded guilty to manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, and the other charge, intentional possession of a controlled substance, was dropped. He was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail, plus two years of probation.

On March 11th of this year, the charges from the April 10, 2019 case went to court, and under the negotiated plea bargain, Brinson pleaded guilty to manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver. Under terms of the plea bargain, the other two charges, intentional possession of a controlled substance, and conspiracy, were dropped. 

He was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail, plus two years of probation. The jail sentences for the two drug cases were to be served concurrently; the four years of probation were to be served consecutively.

On April 17th, when Brinson was sprung from jail because of the Covid pandemic, court records claimed that the early release of Brinson was carefully implemented by all parties involved, including the public defender's office, the D.A., and Common Pleas Court Judge Timika Lane.

"Upon careful consideration of defendant's motion for release due to COVID-19 pandemic," court records state, "by agreement of the parties it is hereby ordered and decreed that defendant's motion is granted. The Philadelphia Prison System shall release defendant pursuant to its guidelines and procedures."

"The court grants the motion based on the following representations of counsel: the Commonwealth's agreement with defendant's release; defendant's criminal history, including the allegations in the case[s] for which defendant is present incarcerated, and/or defendant's history of court appearances as well as bench warrants; and the defendant's medical status."

Krasner's treatment of Brinson was the kind of prosecutorial misconduct decried by former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III, when he wrote the foreword to a study published in July by the pro-cop Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

The study found that so-called social justice prosecutors like Krasner in six cities across the country "have failed to successfully prosecute offenders, dropping or losing more cases than their predecessors," Meese wrote. 

"Violent criminals who prey on innocents do not deserve to be coddled," Meese wrote in a direct rebuke to Krasner and other so-called "social justice" prosecutors elected by donations from billionaire George Soros. 

"Prosecutors who fail to hold them [criminals] accountable are derelict in their duty to justice," Meese wrote. Meese hoped the study would "serve as a wake-up call to our elected leaders, law enforcement officers, and the media that leftist ideas of social justice and true criminal justice are not compatible." 

"The duty of every prosecutor is to serve the public's interest, not their own," Meese wrote. "Ideological crusades have no place in the court of law, and criminal conduct cannot be sanctioned on personal whims."

Except, of course, if you're Larry Krasner.


  1. Do the Members of City Council know that Krasner lied to them? If so and they are aware now, can they summons him to appear again to explain his new findings? Or shall I say your new findings, Krasner like the Inky who keeps us in the dark about accuracy in the justice department . Having a detailed account before Krasner tried to lie to them again would help.

    I agree with Reese, every prosecutor should serve the publics interest, not their own, this could be said about the Inky as well.

    Telling the truth all along would have given them credibility, they have very little now and it all started with denying the public the truth.

  2. In 1980 I had a meeting with Ed Messe at the white house and as the president of the Pennsylvania FOP I gave him a book written and paid for by the Civil Rights Commission on police misconduct and how to sue police. Messe gave it to president Reagan and he abolished the Commission. The book is still in every law office today. My question is Krasner's law firm still advertises taking police abuse cases and removed his photo from the ad but I wonder if as head of the firm does he receive income from cases he handles as DA and could he pass on to his firm information received from investigations by his elective office. At what point does it cross the line of conflict of interest?

  3. The Senate Judiciary Committee has performed a great Public Service in the extraordinary Hearing on the Confirmation of Judge Barrett to take her seat on the SCOTUS. The examination of the Judge and the display by the Senators has revealed the clear contempt for the Rule of Law by Democrat Partisans.

    It would be highly instructive if DAs like Krasner were subpoenaed to testify in front of this Committee so that Lessons could be learned of how corrupt and unlawful Prosecutors and their Enablers have assumed power and wreak havoc on Society with their proxy criminals and clients who they have placed on the Streets.

  4. Where are the "progressive" members of City Council on this? Why isnt Krasner held accountable? I thought All Lives Matter. Prayers for the Peralta family. Another life lost too soon.

  5. "Progressive Policing" and "Progressive Prosecution" claims yet another victim.

  6. Please Ralph don't be bothering him with these trivial crimes.He is laser focused on pursuing and prosecuting voter harassment crimes.Is Jane.Roh.related to Marcel.Marceau.?


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