AP Photo/Matt Rourke

One Question Destroys Philly DA Krasner’s Task Force for Prolific Gun Offenders

Last month, Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner announced he was putting together a special task force to address “prolific gun offenders” in the city. On the surface, it sounds like a heck of a plan since those prolific offenders are typically the people causing most of the issues in the city.

But the truth of the matter is that there are questions as to why that’s even needed.

Writing at Broad and Liberty, writer Paul Davis asks a simple question that shatters the who notion.

He asks why they’re not already in prison.

“I extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to our partners in Philadelphia City Council for securing the funding to make this new initiative a reality,” said Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner. “I’m confident that under the leadership of Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Palmer, the Prolific Gun Offender Unit will vigorously and appropriately prosecute and convict the relatively small number of people who pose a significant threat to public safety in our city.”
Jeffery Palmer, the supervisor of the new unit, added, “We believe the Prolific Gun Offenders Unit will have a significant impact on violent crime and gun possession in Philadelphia. Through my work as assistant supervisor of the Gun Violence Task Force and Homicide and Non-Fatal Shootings Unit, I’m very familiar with the danger that illegal firearms pose to everyone in our city. The Prolific Gun Offender Unit will focus on the small percentage of people who pose a large risk to the safety and well-being of the wonderful people of Philadelphia.”
When I heard about the DA’s new unit, my first thought was how does one become a “prolific” gun offender in the first place? Shouldn’t these repeat offenders already be serving time in prison for illegal gun offensives?
Could it be that the prolific gun offenders are walking the street and committing more illegal gun crimes because Krasner and company did not properly prosecute them after their earlier arrests for gun offensives? 
Did Larry Krasner, known as “Let ‘Em Loose Larry” by cops and crooks alike, decide not to prosecute the illegal gun offenders or plea bargain the charges down to minor offenses? 

Davis spoke with a former Philadelphia police officer who noted that Krasner’s office does try to prosecute a lot of these crimes. They just kind of suck at it.

That’s not a whole lot better than not prosecuting them at all, though it does at least make it look like you’re trying. Sort of.

The truth is that if these crimes are such an issue that you need an entire task force, why were these cases being assigned to such junior prosecutors? Why not simply assign them to more experienced attorneys in the first place?

The former police officer asked whether this is an acknowledgment that Krasner knows he’s failing the people of Philadelphia. I tend to think that it is.

Don’t get me wrong, going after the people who are responsible for the problems in Philly is a good thing. It makes far more sense than passing new laws that won’t actually do anything to criminals, just the law-abiding citizens of the city.

But it shouldn’t have gotten to this point. It sounds like Krasner’s had opportunities to put a lot of these people away, which would mean getting some of the worst off the streets for a couple of years.

He’s failed and now he’s trying to find a way to address it without admitting he failed.

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