https://hotair.com/john-s-2/2022/09/15/pennsylvania-house-holds-da-krasner-in-contempt-as-judge-orders-him-to-write-apology-letters-to-victims-family-n496812

Elected Republicans in the state called for Krasner’s impeachment this summer. At the same time a select committee made up of 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats attempted to subpoena documents about Krasner’s decisions while in office. Krasner has refused to comply with those subpoenas.

According to the committee, Krasner declined to accept hand-delivered subpoenas issued by the committee twice.

An electronic copy of the subpoena was accepted by Krasner’s attorneys, but his office said they will not comply, officials say.

As a result, the committee approved support to recommend that he be held in contempt.

“No one, including Philadelphia’s top law enforcement official, is above the law, or above being held accountable,” Ecker said. “It is extremely rare for the House to take up such a measure and this showcases the gravity of the situation in which we find ourselves.”

The impeachment effort this summer started with Republicans in the western part of the state, but the contempt vote held this Tuesday passed with overwhelming support (162-38) including from a majority of Democrats.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to hold Philadelphia’s liberal chief prosecutor, Larry Krasner, in contempt for refusing to cooperate with a legislative committee investigating his possible impeachment.

The committee, called the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order, was formed amid rising concerns over Philadelphia’s crime and murder rates, which have outpaced a nationwide rise in gun violence. More than 1,400 people in the city have been shot this year, hundreds of them fatally, a higher toll than in the much larger cities of New York or Los Angeles.

[Krasner] has taken the position that the legislature’s investigation is antidemocratic and illegitimate, and he refused to comply with a subpoena for documents issued by the committee last month. The resulting contempt resolution passed, 162-38, with the help of almost all Republican House members and 49 Democrats, including 10 from Philadelphia, according to a count by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Rep. Amen Brown, a Democrat who represent part of Philadelphia said of the vote, “The message was sent today that no one is above the law and it is not okay for any person in the stat of Pennsylvania to think they can be above the law.”

Speaking of DA’s who think they are above the law, this week a judge ordered DA Krasner to write letters of apology to four members of a victim’s family after his office presented misleading information about a convicted murderer whose death sentence Krasner wanted to overturn.

A federal judge has found that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office provided incomplete and misleading information as it sought to overturn the death sentence of a man who killed an East Mount Airy couple inside their home in 1984, then shut off the heat and left their infant daughter inside to die.

In a blunt opinion issued Monday, U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg said top prosecutor Larry Krasner’s administration had failed to conduct a careful review of Robert Wharton’s case before asking Goldberg to vacate the death penalty and order Wharton to serve a life sentence instead. Goldberg said the review by prosecutors was “patently deficient” for failing to mention that Wharton had previously been convicted of violently trying to escape from a City Hall courtroom.

In addition, Goldberg found that Krasner’s office had provided a “false” account of its interactions with the victims’ relatives, including their daughter, Lisa Hart-Newman, who survived the attack. Goldberg said prosecutors filed documents suggesting that the family of Ferne and Bradley Hart had consented to a request to vacate Wharton’s death sentence, which the judge said was “not true.”…

…he ordered that Krasner personally write apology letters to four of the Harts’ relatives, including their daughter.

Two supervisors in Krasner’s office, ADA Nancy Winkelman and ADA Paul George, were handling the case and claimed to have made a careful review of it prior to requesting the death sentence be overturned. But when evidence turned up that murderer Robert Wharton had made a prior escape attempt from City Hall, the two ADAs claimed not to know anything about it. Judge Goldberg noted that there was a conviction related to the escape on Wharton’s rap sheet, meaning that even the most cursory review of his record would have turned it up. That both ADA’s had somehow missed it just didn’t strike him as credible. He also noted that in a prior hearing one of the ADA’s said he did know about it:

The District Attorney’s supervisors’ testimony that they were unaware of the escape before recommending concession was curiously contrary to what had previously been communicated to this Court. On May 11, 2021, at the remand hearing on Wharton’s habeas petition, this Court directly asked the Assistant Supervisor whether the District Attorney’s Office was aware of Wharton’s escape conviction before making the decision to concede Wharton’s Strickland claim. Without any explanation or elaboration, he responded “yes.” (N.T. 5/11/21 at 66.) That same attorney was asked at the June 23, 2022 show-cause hearing to reconcile this answer with his newfound position that no one on the Committee was aware of Wharton’s escape before recommending con- cession. The Assistant Supervisor responded that his prior affirmative answer was only meant to convey that the District Attorney’s Office “as an entity” (e.g., the Office as configured thirty years ago) was aware of the escape but that no one on the Committee that recommended the concession in question was aware of it.

In relation to contacting the victim’s family, it turned out the ADAs had only contacted one member of the family and only to inform them of the office’s decision to overturn the sentence. There was no real communication and no effort to contact the other family members including the one surviving victim.

Regarding the District Attorney’s Office’s statement that its concession was made “[f]ollowing … communication with the victims’ family,” the Federal Litigation Supervisor who signed the concession explained in his affidavit that he did not mean to imply that the family had been consulted prior to the Office’s decision or that all members of the family had been contacted. Rather, he intended only to convey that the family had been informed of the outcome of the Office’s decision—that is, they had been told the Office would concede. This supervisor acknowledged that his statement regarding “communication with the victims’ family” was “vague,” “lack[ed] … clarity,” and was “amenable to the interpretation that the victims’ family agreed with the concession of penalty phase relief.” He also apologized for his lack of clarity. The Supervisor of the Law Division also recognized the Office’s misstep in not notifying the only surviving victim of Wharton’s crimes that the District Attorney would be seeking a concession. She stated that victim communication was not her responsibility and acknowledged that contacting that victim was “something we should have done. We recognize our mistake.”

We just forgot to contact the one surviving victim. Oops! Krasner’s office is either incredibly incompetent or, more likely, lied repeatedly to a judge for the benefit of a convicted murderer. Now he’s going to have to personally write letters of apology to the family. All in all, not a great week for Philadelphia’s progressive DA.

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