The level of gun violence has skyrocketed in Philadelphia, with 22 shootings during the recent Father’s Day weekend that left six dead and 26 wounded. As of Sunday, there have been 820 firearm violation arrests for 2019, which is double the number at this time in 2016. Things have gotten so dire that State Senator Anthony Williams is asking Governor Tom Wolf to call for a state of emergency.
When asked about the reason for the rise in gun violence on the Monday after the weekend, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross basically accused criminal justice reform without citing leading reform advocate District Attorney Larry Krasner who started the job in 2018. When a reporter asked if he was referring to Krasner, Ross said he was not ruling it out. He added that those arrested do not fear the consequences.
Krasner countered in a statement that that previous DA declined to pursue about 3% of gun arrests, but his team declined 2% of gun arrests. He added, “We bring pretty much anything. When there are facts or law that will support bringing charges of illegal possession of a gun we are there.”
Reforms focus on non-violent cases
The commissioner does seem to be looking for excuses and mixing up his facts. Krasner and others have repeatedly assured citizens that these reforms target those arrested for drug crimes. These measures also are giving youths a chance to find work because they do not have a criminal record for a tough-on-crime minor offense.
Your sentence needs to fit the crime
Commissioner Ross and others resisting these changes apparently have a short memory when it comes to why the reforms were needed. These changes will take time to succeed and certainly are not responsible for the spike in gun violence.
If you face multiple charges or a non-violent felony, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The changes by Krasner and others have begun, but those charged still need to ensure that the sentencing fits the crime. A knowledgeable attorney can help.