Friday, January 21, 2022

State Investigating Krasner's Failure To Prosecute Gun Crimes

By Ralph Cipriano

The Judiciary Committee of the state House of Representatives,  now considering a proposal to impeach Philly D.A. Larry Krasner, has already commissioned a comprehensive multi-year audit aimed at exposing Krasner's horrendous record of prosecuting gun crimes.

"The families that live in, work in, or visit, the City of Philadelphia shouldn’t have to live in constant fear of gun violence," state Rep Todd Stephens said on June 8, 2021 when the Montgomery County Republican introduced House Resolution 111. 

The bill, which called for authorizing an in-depth six-year study of all gun prosecutions in Pennsylvania from 2015 to 2020, was passed by the state House on Nov. 17th, by a 133 to 67 margin. Although the bill calls for a state-wide study of gun prosecutions, the language of the bill, as well as the rhetoric of its sponsor, clearly targets Krasner's D.A.'s office.

According to the House Resolution 111, the study will be done by the PA Commission on Sentencing, which Rep. Stephens described as a "data-driven, evidence-based, bipartisan, legislative agency" seasoned at studying "criminal cases involving firearms."

"The Commission will rely on arrests, guilty pleas, convictions, sentences and other data to study the manner in which firearms cases have been investigated, prosecuted and adjudicated in the City of Philadelphia and other counties to help inform the General Assembly of any reforms necessary to better protect the people of this Commonwealth," Stephens said.

House Resolution 111 calls for the Commission on Sentencing to deliver their report to the House's Judiciary Committee on June 30th. The bill gives the Judiciary Committee, composed of 15 Republicans and 9 Democrats, the authority to "conduct hearings to elicit testimony, documents and other evidence related to the findings of the report."

Such a study would expose what Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw has described as Krasner's "revolving door" for repeat gun offenders. We're talking about: [A] the gun cases that were either dismissed by judges or withdrawn by the D.A.'s office; [B] the lenient sentences routinely doled out by the D.A.'s office under Krasner; and [C] the recidivism rate for gun crimes, something the D.A.'s office currently does not track, for good reason.

The known stats on Krasner's record of prosecuting gun crimes, published on the D.A.'s own data dashboard, are indeed horrendous.

Out of 1,810 total firearms cases in 2021, a total of 1,114, or 61.5%, were either dismissed or withdrawn.

Of the 1,810 gun cases, only 47, or a paltry 2.6%, were found guilty at trial. Another 545 cases, or 30.1%, pleaded guilty.

While police are making gun arrests at historic levels in Philadelphia, the conviction rate for gun crimes has taken a nose dive since Krasner took office as D.A. in January 2018.

In 2015, when Seth Williams was D.A., the conviction rate for the D.A.'s office for prosecuting gun crimes was 73%. But under Krasner, that conviction rate in 2020 fell to 49%

And last year, that conviction rate under Krasner dropped even further, to a pathetic 35.6%.

Regarding lenient sentencing and recidivism, Big Trial tracked what happened to 231 defendants who were charged in July of 2019 with a gun crime, technically known as a Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act of  Pennsylvania [VUFA].

 Of the original 231 defendants, 73, or 32%, got a free ticket out of jail after the charges against them were either dropped, dismissed or lost by the D.A.'s office. 

Of the 231 defendants, only 45, or 19% wound up pleading guilty, but the guilty pleas didn't amount to much jail time, because every convicted criminal got a deal from their "Uncle Larry." 

Out of the 45 defendants who pleaded guilty, 40 got lenient county jail terms well below state sentencing guidelines. Many of those county sentences involved immediate parole, early parole, house arrest, and probation; or the defendants were out on bail because they hadn't been sentenced yet.

What was the result of the D.A.'s revolving door for gun crimes? As of Nov. 1, 2020, just 16 months after they were originally arrested in July of 2019 for gun crimes, a total of 176 out of the original 231 defendants, or 76%, were already out of jail, and free to commit more crimes.

And how many of these criminal defendants took advantage of that opportunity? Out of those original 231 defendants from the class of July 2019, court records show, 51 or 22%, were arrested again and charged with more crimes that included gunpoint robberies, armed carjackings, rape, attempted murder, as well as a half-dozen murders.

House Resolution 111 says a state-wide study is needed because VUFA cases "involve individuals who have been convicted previously of an enumerated list of serious crimes and then subsequently found to be in possession of a firearm despite being statutorily prohibited from doing so."

That's the revolving door the police commissioner was referring to. The bill calls for a review of all VUFA arrests in the Commonwealth, to see whether individuals were "subsequently arrested for another VUFA offense . . . or a violent offense within the last 5 years."

According to HR 111, the study is needed "to determine if these cases are being adequately handled under Pennsylvania law" by D.A.'s like Larry Krasner. 

According to Jason Gottesman, press secretary to the House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, the  study on the prosecution of gun crimes and the possible impeachment of Krasner "are not necessarily related."

"We wanted to get a sense of how [VUFA] violations are prosecuted across the Commonwealth to inform our efforts to keep Pennsylvanians safe," Gottesman said.

Two days ago, Jake Corman, president of the state Senate, made headlines with his request that House leaders consider impeaching Krasner.

According to the relentlessly pro-Krasner Philadelphia Inquirer, Jane Roh, Krasner's spokesperson, described the possibility of the impeachment of her boss as a publicity stunt "meant to distract attention from the Republican-led legislature’s failure to pass meaningful laws to tackle gun violence."

“Jake Corman would rather point fingers at someone who’s been in office for four years than take accountability for what he’s failed to deliver for the past 25 in a seat he inherited from his father,” Roh told Krasner's staunch defenders at the Inquirer. 

But PR flacks for leaders in both the state House and Senate disagreed with Roh's assessment.

“This isn’t about politics, publicity or PR. It is about public safety and making the people of Philadelphia feel safe in their homes and their community again," said Jason Thompson, a spokesperson for state Senator Corman.

Over at the state House, Gottesman, the press secretary for the House's majority leader, said of Corman's request, “We appreciate the Senate’s letter. The potential impeachment of Larry Krasner and other rogue officials is something our caucus has been examining and will continue to actively look at."

“What is abundantly clear is Philadelphia’s unchecked violence is a direct failure of city leaders and the District Attorney to take most basic necessary steps to keep Pennsylvanians safe," Gottesman said. 

"House Republicans have been leading on this issue by providing more resources to city prosecutors and starting the process of once again giving the Attorney General concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute gun crimes while also doing more to bring accountability to district attorneys across Pennsylvania," Gottesman said.

“We are glad to see the Senate join us in our efforts to hold Larry Krasner responsible for his abysmal failure to enforce the law.”

When he introduced House Resolution 111, Rep. Stephens, wrote, "Sadly, each day, those of us in the Philadelphia media market bear witness to the bloodshed that has overcome the City of Brotherly Love."

Stephens cited the city's homicide rate of 499, which was a 40% increase over the 356 homicides that occurred in 2019. 

"In 2020, Philadelphia suffered the highest rate of fatal shootings, 27.39 per 100,000 residents, among the 10 cities with populations greater than 1 million," Stephens wrote.

Last year, Philadelphia set a new all-time record for murders, with 562. For comparison purposes, New York City, with more than five times the population of Philadelphia, had only 485 murders.

The study authorized by House Resolution 111 would examine all VUFA cases across Pennsylvania from 2015 to 2020. In Philadelphia, that would mean comparing VUFA cases prosecuted under former D.A. Seth Williams in 2015, 2016 & 2017, against Krasner's record of prosecuting gun crimes in 2018, 2019 & 2020.

Regarding impeachment, the last time the Pennsylvania state legislature impeached anyone it was in was in 1994, when the late State Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen was removed from office and stripped of his pension. 

Prior to his impeachment, Larsen, a Pittsburgh Democrat, was removed from the bench after he was convicted of a crime, namely conspiring to order mood-altering drugs under the names of his employees, in order to hide a history of mental illness. 

Regarding impeachment, however, Article VI of the state Constitution, sets a much lower bar than being convicted of a crime.

"The Governor and all other civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misbehavior in office," the state Constitution says. 

According to state Senator Corman, the misbehavior that Krasner should be investigated for involves dereliction of duty.



  1. Pennsylvania needs to have a law like Florida has. If you commit a crime with a gun it is an automatic 5 year sentence, plus additional time for the actual crime. The death penalty should also be reinstated. Mandatory sentences would back assholes like Krasner into a corner by tying his hands when it comes to prosecuting the critters that are overrunning the streets of Philadelphia.

    1. I like those laws, but they require someone to actually be prosecuted. Knowing Krasner, it would just cause him to prosecute even less.

  2. But yet we have 3 Black Democrats Hughes. Street. And Williams whose communities represent the majority of the Homicides and gun violence continue take a knee and kiss the Krasner ring! All 3 of you are sellouts!! Disgusting!!

    1. It appears most Blacks do not really care about other Blacks being killed. We see little being said, done....
      Most of the outrage (fake) comes from politicians like Jim Kenney, and the mostly white reporters at the Inquirer, who are so passionate, poignant in their speech and articles, which yield zero results.

      We see more about palpable outrage manifest in anti-Asian, ant-LGBTQUI+, anti-Semitic hurt feelings and misdemeanors than Black children being murdered in the streets and such.
      The muted frenzy on Black death is to serve to make white, priveleged rich politicians like Kenney and reporters like Melamed and the billionaire funders of the media feel good about themselves.
      They think their empty, vacant, shallow blatherings have an impact.

    2. Philadelphia is 40% black and - according to FBI statistics - blacks commit violent crimes 3 times more than do other races. Simply put, Krasner has been pandering to the voting black community with his derelict law enforcement policies and apparently this strategy has been working.

  3. The DA doesn't have time to prosecute gun crimes.He is too busy settling old scores with Roger King and Lynne Abraham.Also desperately looking for ways to fabricate Free Mumia evidence.

    1. True.
      Krasner is only concerned with white people probles,

    2. Where is Police Chief Pretty Feet and Hands in all of this?
      They are her people. Her community. Her babies.

    3. 'I am heartbroken and outraged (and now bored....Kenney's so over it) ,' says Philadelphia mayor after city tops 400 homicides

      Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement that she's "devastated by the rising homicide rate." She over it too now.

      Ah well.

  4. Also impeachable (and they really need to make this a focal point because it's a clear offense): Krasner egregiously violated campaign finance laws and illegitimately won both elections using MASSIVE funding from an out of state extremist Super PAC and should be impeached as a result:


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