Left-wing Philadelphia District Attorney held in contempt by legislators, ordered to apologize by judge

Left-wing Philadelphia District Attorney held in contempt by legislators, ordered to apologize by judge
Larry Krasner, Soros' man in Philly. (Image: Screen grab of WHYY News video, YouTube)

“The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 162-38 Tuesday, with numerous Democrats siding with Republicans, to pass a resolution holding Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in contempt of state for refusing to comply with a subpoena,” reports WITF:

The resolution says Krasner showed “willful refusal” on multiple occasions to comply with the subpoena requesting materials related to Philadelphia’s rising crime rates…For months, multiple Republican House Reps. have been working to impeach Krasner….In a memo, three GOP reps said “unchecked violent crime in Philadelphia has reached a breaking point and one obvious cause is the dereliction of duty by District Attorney Krasner in the willful refusal to enforce Pennsylvania’s criminal laws in the City of Philadelphia.”

Meanwhile, Krasner was ordered to apologize for lies his office told a federal judge. Law and Crime reports:

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D), one of the first of a wave of progressive prosecutors elected on a criminal justice reform platform, made “false” claims that his office communicated with the family members of the victims of a man that he sought to free from death row, a federal judge found. According to a scathing 28-page memorandum opinion, the district attorney’s office wrongly suggested the relatives of the Pennsylvania couple killed by Robert Wharton supported his release from death row. In fact, U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg found, Krasner’s office did not even contact the sole surviving victim of the attack: Lisa Hart-Newman, who was an infant when Wharton killed her parents, turned off the heat, and left her inside the house to die.

As the judge noted, Hart-Newman “was ‘extremely disappointed to learn of the District Attorney’s stance and very troubled that he implied that the family approved of his viewpoint.’’”

Krasner’s office, which opposes the death penalty, sided with the murderer in his federal challenge to his death sentence, claiming his original lawyer failed to fully investigate and present evidence of his positive adjustment to prison. As the American Bar Association Journal notes, although an appeals court had

required a review of evidence in favor and in opposition to the death penalty, the district attorney’s office failed to advise the court about Wharton’s “violent escape from a city hall courtroom” and subsequent escape conviction, Goldberg said. That’s “possibly the worst type of prison adjustment,” he observed.

Department supervisors on the capital case review committee said they recommended conceding Wharton’s habeas petition without knowing about the escape attempt. But that admission “was curiously contrary” to an assistant supervisor’s assertion in court that the office was aware of Wharton’s escape conviction, Goldberg said.

As Law and Crime notes,

The DA’s office argued that they did not need to present a full investigation of the facts for and against Wharton, but Judge Goldberg noted that the Third Circuit [Court of Appeals] gave prosecutors precisely the opposite instruction….Finding Krasner’s office committed “egregious” and “exceptional” violations of the federal rules of procedure, the judge ordered the DA to “send separate written apologies” within 30 days of the ruling to victim family members Tony Hart, Michael Allen, Patrice Carr, and to victim Lisa Hart-Newman.

Krasner, a soft-on-crime district attorney, is himself a scofflaw, notes Big Trial: “Krasner, a persistent tax deadbeat, still owes the city $83,406.50 in back taxes.” But “unless he’s impeached, or somehow removed from office, Krasner….will continue to let armed and dangerous criminals off the hook. And they’ll continue to go out and hurt, maim and/or kill more innocent victims.”

Krasner fails to prosecute most serious crimes, even when arrests are made. As Big Trial notes, “the percentage of criminal cases withdrawn or dismissed by the D.A.’s office has gone from 28% in 2014 under former D.A. Seth Williams all the way up to 67% last year under D.A. Krasner.” Meanwhile, the murder rate in Philadelphia has risen, breaking record after record.

Krasner fired experienced prosecutors who were good at obtaining justice for crime victims, as soon as he took office. As Big Trial notes,

When he first took office back in January 2018, Krasner’s first official act was to fire 31 senior prosecutors…The new Philly D.A., a career criminal defense lawyer who had never prosecuted a traffic stop, replaced the most senior prosecutors in his office with a combination of social justice warriors, former public defenders and woke progressives fresh out of law school.

The result was that criminals remained free to kill innocent people. 21-year-old Jailene Holton was shot to death by a man that Krasner’s office failed to convict of rape despite overwhelming evidence, such as text messages. Krasner’s office assigned an inexperienced recent hire who had previously interned in a public defender’s office to prosecute the case. He bungled the case, so the defendant walked free. Seven months later, that man shot Jailene Holton to death in a rage.

As Big Trial notes, “for Krasner’s prosecutors, winning a conviction in court is a rare event. The D.A.’s own Data Dashboard shows how inept the D.A.’s office is at obtaining guilty verdicts under Krasner. According to the D.A.’s own stats, the percentage of guilty verdicts won at trial have gone from 17% of all criminal cases in 2014 under former D.A. Seth Williams, all the way down to just 2% of all criminal cases prosecuted last year under D.A. Krasner.”

The man who shot Holton — Anthony Nelson — did so an in indiscriminate shooting that showed deranged indifference to human life. Big Trial describes the shooting:

Nelson was among a group of men who got kicked out of the Philly Bar and Restaurant in Northeast Philadelphia…After the men got kicked out of the bar, Nelson, according to police, retrieved a gun from a vehicle. And then from less than 100 feet away, he allegedly fired some 15 shots at the front of the bar. Holton, who was inside the bar with friends as that night’s designated driver, was struck in the head….The murder of Holton was a tragedy that seasoned prosecutors said could have been prevented if the ADAs in Larry Krasner’s office knew what they were doing.

Under Krasner, Philadelphia’s murder rate spiked in 2020, hit an all-time high in 2021, then rose again in 2022. Philly has more murders than bigger cities like New York or Los Angeles. Yet when Krasner was asked “about the city’s crime surge,” he played it down, reports NBC News:

“We don’t have a crisis of lawlessness,” Krasner said. “We don’t have a crisis of crime. We don’t have a crisis of violence.”… Michael Nutter, a former Philadelphia mayor who is African American, erupted at Krasner, accusing him of dismissing the pain of Black residents who suffer from the violence.

Many violent crimes in Philadelphia are committed by criminals with long rap sheets. An “illegal Congolese alien had already racked up multiple convictions, including for sex crimes, but still hadn’t been deported and was walking” the “streets free to rape” a woman on a “Philadelphia train,” notes lawyer Ted Frank. “Keith Gibson had 29 felony arrests” and “nine convictions,” yet remained “on the streets at age 39 to murder six more people” in Philadelphia and Delaware.

The New York Times reported that “murder rose by almost 30% in 2020” in America, and is still “rising.” That was “the biggest rise in murder since the start of national record-keeping in 1960.” By contrast, the murder rate has been falling in most foreign countries, which (unlike the United States) have not gotten softer on crime in the past few years. In 2021, more than a dozen American cities set all-time records for murder. Murders are rising in Baltimore, where most killings are committed by people who previously were convicted of a serious crime, but were no longer in jail due to lenient sentences.

Progressive district attorneys such as Los Angeles’s George Gascón and San Francisco’s Chesa Boudin stopped charging violent juveniles — including killers — as adults, meaning that 17-year-old serial killers won’t be held beyond age 25. That will increase the juvenile crime rate: As Peter Moskos notes, “Recidivism among 16-year-olds went up” a lot when the age for being prosecuted in adult court was raised in New York. Carjackings by teens are already skyrocketing, as fewer teens get prosecuted in adult court or sent to prison. Yet Gascón dismissed criminal charges against many violent juveniles, giving teens who commit robbery, arson, and sexual battery “restorative justice” (a slap on the wrist) instead of prison time. He did this even though longer prison sentences reduce crime. A study found that when California imposed longer sentences for repeat offenders, that deterred many crimes from being committed.

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department. Hans writes for CNSNews.com and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Contact him at hfb138@yahoo.com


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