Amid a summer of skyrocketing homicide rates and widespread social unrest, one man stands at the center of Philadelphia’s pandemonium: District Attorney Larry Krasner.
Krasner’s soft-on-crime policies, pursued in the name of “progressive” law enforcement and campaign promises, have stripped the city of its sense of justice by eliminating any fear of retribution among those committing crimes. Krasner may be appeasing the woke, but the only people benefiting are those standing in front of a judge.
The inevitable consequences of this woke virtue-signaling are damning: homicides in Philadelphia have increased over 32% since 2019 and shootings are up 36%.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania William McSwain issued a scathing rebuke of DA Krasner’s record earlier this month, citing the “chaos in Philadelphia created by local criminal justice policies that coddle violent criminals.”
The statement announced that McSwain plans to pursue charges in two cases that he thought were botched by Krasner’s office. Thankfully the federal government has taken notice of the city’s incompetencies.
In one of the cases cited by McSwain, Khalif Tuggle, 28, received a cushy plea deal from Krasner’s office after he was accused of shooting a man in the chest in his car, robbing him, and leaving him for dead in the street. The victim, Thomas Petersen, eventually died at Temple University Hospital.
Among the awful highlights is the case of Michael Banks… Since [Banks] was released back into the community, he is now accused of killing a seven-year-old boy, whom he shot in the head.
Rather than prosecute Tuggle for first or second degree murder, Krasner’s office negotiated a sentence that would provide him with eligibility for parole after ten years. McSwain’s federal charges would rectify the situation by raising the possibility of life imprisonment — if Tuggle is once again convicted. Maybe justice can be served.
McSwain’s statement also detailed a grim list of ten cases where defendants who received plea deals from Krasner’s office went on to commit murder.
READ MORE: Media silence as murders surge in Philly
Among the awful highlights is the case of Michael Banks. After being arrested in October 2018 for a felony gun charge along with other counts, the district attorney’s office replaced the felony charge with a misdemeanor, despite Banks’ prior convictions. Since he was released back into the community, he is now accused of killing a seven-year-old boy, whom he shot in the head.
Former Assistant District Attorney Guy D’Andrea believes that victims have been an “afterthought” in Krasner’s office. “When people in the local jail system, and even in state prison, are referring to Larry Krasner as ‘Let him go Larry,’ that’s a problem.”
D’Andrea also offered praise for McSwain’s hands-on strategy to combat crime in the city. “I think it’s wonderful that we have someone, albeit from the federal system, doing the job of a local district attorney, because Mr. McSwain recognizes the importance of these offenses and what they can lead to.”
Former Assistant District Attorney Guy D’Andrea believes that victims have been an ‘afterthought’ in Krasner’s office. ‘When people in the local jail system, and even in state prison, are referring to Larry Krasner as “Let him go Larry,” that’s a problem.’
“There is someone in Philadelphia who is really doing what the elected district attorney should be doing. And it’s nothing more than taking crime seriously. No one’s asking Larry [Krasner] to do anything other than what he swore to do,” D’Andrea continued.
By the end to one of Philadelphia’s deadliest summers in recent memory, it has become clear that Krasner’s progressive agenda has failed victims of crime in the city. Homicides have reached record levels, shooting victims increase by the day, and property destruction and vandalism have gone unchecked.
With Krasner’s reelection bid to set off in 2021, his own campaign website offers a glimpse of what can be expected in another term: more of the same. Among the many appeals to the woke doctrine, it criticizes “harsh sentencing,” “high conviction rates,” and “our broken cash bail system” — agenda items that have led Philadelphia into a summer, and fall, of unrest.
“You want a moderate approach that is going to help the city as a whole as well as ensure that there is not a mass incarceration and that people based on race and other identifiers are not being targeted unnecessarily or illegally,” D’Andrea explains. “But that doesn’t mean that when someone has committed a crime of violence, or one that could lead to it, we should not take it lightly.”
Spencer Landis is a student at the University of Pennsylvania studying Classics and is the president of Penn College Republicans. He is currently interning at Broad + Liberty. @sdlandis25.