Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner will not seek the death penalty against the man accused of murdering Temple University officer Chris “Fitz” Fitzgerald.

Aizaz Gill, a Republican running for state representative in the Philadelphia/Montgomery County district now held by Rep. Kevin Boyle, is outraged and wants the state to act. He’s calling on the state Senate to move forward with its impeachment trial for Krasner, and for the state to appoint a special prosecutor to take over the case who will seek the death penalty.

The Fitzgerald family has also asked for the death penalty in the case and, if necessary, a special prosecutor to pursue it.

Krasner’s impeachment remains on hold pending an appeal to the state Supreme Court. And even if another prosecutor took the case, Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro is continuing a moratorium on the death penalty begun by his predecessor former Gov. Tom Wolf (D), a pledge he made during the 2022 gubernatorial campaign. Shapiro has also asked the legislature to repeal the state’s death penalty law.

“How many more examples of Larry Krasner’s pro-criminal, soft-on-crime agenda do we need until our State senators do the right thing and put the safety of Philadelphia families first? There are no more excuses they can give for not moving forward on impeaching Larry Krasner,” said Gill.

Fitzgerald, 31, was gunned down near campus on Feb. 18, 2023, allegedly by Bucks County teenager Miles Pfeffer, 19, while investigating a robbery.

“Krasner’s latest failure to stand up to a cop-killing criminal is more proof he needs to be impeached if we want to make Philadelphia safe,” Gill said. “Every police officer, every citizen deserves to know that our district attorney is on their side. But it is now more clear than ever that Larry Krasner is not. Since he continues to refuse to do his job or quit, it is time for action on impeachment.”

Gill’s Democratic opponent Sean Dougherty defeated Boyle in the May primary. He says he “grew up and personally knew Officer Fitzgerald since childhood. He lived right next door to my best friend. I attended his viewing. I stand with Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald. Family is everything. As a practicing attorney, I stand by the law.”

Asked to comment on Gill’s remarks, Krasner’s spokesman, Dustin Slaughter, said, “We’re not going to comment on individuals who are taking advantage of a family’s grief for political opportunism.”

Asked about the reasoning behind the decision not to seek the death penalty since killing a police officer is an aggravating factor for that ultimate punishment, Slaughter said, “This decision was made after extensive input over many hours from the family of Officer Fitzgerald and from experts. The members of the District Attorney’s Office (DAO) committee that considers possible death penalty matters include attorneys with a cumulative total of hundreds of years of homicide and other criminal trial and appeal experience. They reviewed all aspects of the case itself and all obtainable information on the defendant prior to making their recommendations to DA Krasner, who made the final determination.

“The input of the family is deeply appreciated and was carefully considered by the committee and DA Krasner prior to his decision. The DAO looks forward to continuing to support the family’s needs and to vigorously prosecuting this terrible murder.”

The Temple University Police Association posted to X, “The embarrassment of District Attorney Larry Krasner, will NOT seek the death penalty in the murder case of our hero, Sgt. Christopher Fitzgerald. Absolutely devastating news for the Fitzgerald family and law enforcement officers throughout Philadelphia. To the Fitzgeralds, we stand with you now and forever. We love you.”

Gill called for the Fitzgerald case to be taken over by recently appointed Special Prosecutor Michael Untermeyer.

“Larry Krasner continues to defy common sense and common decency. His refusal to even meet with Officer Fitzgerald’s family proves he is following a political agenda instead of being a prosecutor. This case would be better served by the Special Prosecutor, and the Attorney General’s Office should take it over now,” Gill said.

Officer Fitzgerald was murdered within 500 feet of a SEPTA location, and under a recently passed law, the state attorney general has the power to prosecute crimes on SEPTA properties. Untermeyer is the prosecutor named by the attorney general to handle these cases.

Linda Stein is News Editor at Delaware Valley Journal.

This article was republished with permission from the Delaware Valley Journal.

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