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Pennsylvania House report attributes 'catastrophic rise in violent crime' in Philadelphia to radical Democrat DA Larry Krasner, now facing impeachment
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Pennsylvania House report attributes 'catastrophic rise in violent crime' in Philadelphia to radical Democrat DA Larry Krasner, now facing impeachment

Pennylvania lawmakers minced no words in a damning new report issued on Monday that detailed Democrat District Attorney Larry Krasner's various shortcomings as well as the fallout of his leftist policies.

The "Second Interim Report," produced by the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order, stated that the George Soros-backed Philadelphia district attorney "has contributed to a catastrophic rise in violent crime at the expense of public safety" and failed "to integrate and effectuate his progressive policies with any success."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the committee voted 5-0 to send the 63-page report to the House, which voted 189-11 on Oct. 24 to accept it.

While the report did not explicitly demand that Krasner be impeached, the chairman of the committee, Republican state Rep. John Lawrence (R-Chester/Lancaster), stated on Monday: "Today’s report is by no means a conclusion of the committee’s work. The investigation into the historic crime and violence in Philadelphia and recommendations for possible solutions will continue in earnest over the coming weeks."

Pennsylvania House Republicans announced Wednesday that they were filing articles of impeachment, stating that "impeachment is one of the Pennsylvania Constitution's strongest tools for the General Assembly to hold an elected official to account" and adding that Krasner had overseen a "year of record bloodshed."

The report

Philadelphia scores an 8 on Neighborhood Scout's crime index, where 100 is the safest. The likelihood of becoming a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 102.

Last year, the city set an all-time record with 559 murders. The Philadelphia Tribune reported that as of September 30, 400 people have been murdered so far this year.

Although part of the problem is that the Philadelphia Police Department is grossly understaffed, the report released by state lawmakers this week indicated that much of the crime can be attributed to Krasner's progressive policies, his "handling of criminal cases, and ... abject failure to respond, in any meaningful way, to the current crisis."

The select committee noted that to date in 2022, "65% of all violent offenses have been withdrawn by the [district attorney's office] or dismissed by the courts, resulting in no prosecution for those crimes."

Violent crimes include murders, nonfatal shootings, rape, robberies, and aggravated assault.

The report noted that Krasner's DAO withdraws cases "at an alarming rate" as compared to district attorney's offices in other Pennsylvania counties. "The data reveals that in 2019 and 2020, charges associated with certain firearms offenses were withdrawn by the DAO at a rate of 18% and 20%, respectively, compared to the respective statewide averages of 8% and 10%."

Krasner's approach to crime has allegedly emboldened criminals, who understand that the "likelihood that they will be arrested is slim and ... once caught, the likelihood that they will be prosecuted and incarcerated is minimal."

A number of Krasner's destructive policies were discussed in the report. In 2018, his office reportedly ended the requirement of cash bail for a number of misdemeanors and felonies. Krasner's office also implemented a policy whereby it would reduce or neutralize more consequential sentences or convictions to spare criminal noncitizens from deportation after they had committed crimes in Philadelphia. In one instance, "a child pornography charge was pled to a summary offense solely because the defendant was an illegal immigrant."

Doubling down

Chairman Lawrence summarized the committee's findings: "Criminals are not being prosecuted. Crime rates are up dramatically. And the citizens of Philadelphia are paying the price. A thousand Philadelphians have been murdered since the beginning of 2021. Carjackings and non-fatal shootings have skyrocketed under Krasner’s watch. Residents literally fear for their lives. Morale in the law enforcement community is low."

"Rather than change direction or realign his prosecutorial priorities, DA Krasner hired Washington, D.C., lawyers and sued the select committee in an attempt to stop the investigation and set roadblocks at every turn," Lawrence added.

Krasner sent a letter to members of the select committee on Oct. 21, in which he rejected blame for the chaos he has overseen, going so far as to suggest that his methods were sound. He wrote, "Criminologists know what works to prevent crime. It is not love for the NRA, opposition to reasonable gun regulations, or draconian sentences. ... All leading criminological reports show zero correlation between crime and progressive/reform prosecution."

In a city that is setting murder records, Krasner claimed, "Every decision I make as District Attorney is with the goal of seeking justice and improving public safety ... we are winning."

Impeachment

While the report did not call for impeachment, an expert opinion was included speaking to the legislature's ability to remove a prosecutor under the Pennsylvania Constitution.

In a section entitled "Prosecutorial Discretion in the Commonwealth," Bruce Antkowiak, a criminal justice professor at Saint Vincent College, indicated that "in those situations where a prosecutor's discretion is abused to the level where the legislature believes that it constitutes misbehavior in office, the only remedy currently available under Pennsylvania Law is provided for in Article VI" of the state's constitution.

Accordingly, the "Governor and all other civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misbehavior in office. ... The person accused, whether convicted or acquitted, shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to the law."

On Wednesday morning, the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus announced the group is filing to impeach Krasner.

Republican state Rep. Tim O'Neal said, "Larry Krasner is a failed district attorney who has violated his oath of office and continues to operate outside the boundaries of the law. ... It is my hope that today’s vote is the first step in further accountability against Larry Krasner as we seek to ensure the laws of this Commonwealth are enforced and respected in Philadelphia.”

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