- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
DA Watch (or As the Cookie Crumbles)
A lot of us in the blogging community were strong supporters of Seth Williams in his race against Lynne Abraham during last May’s primary. However, lest any of our readers think that our interest in the goings on at the DA’s office was limited to that one race, I thought I would highlight a few news items that serve as, unfortunately, more proof that our current DA’s office is not operating as well as its should be.
Click "read more" below to see the evidence.
First up, in Friday’s Daily News was a report that the rape charges against Omar Lezama de la Rosa are being dropped. According to the article which you can read here De La Rosa had been charged with rape and robbery in an incident that occurred six years ago. Apparently de la Rosa was mistaken for his cousin and now, via DNA testing, he has been exonerated. De Rosa was happy with the DA and, according to the DN:
“they did their job,” he said in a wilting Mexican accent.
Well I’m glad he thinks so, but I’m not so sure. Mistakes can be made, but it troubles me that the DA’s office would have locked this guy up for life if his attorney hadn’t pushed for DNA testing. And even though he is free now, the attention brought to this case has already set the wheels in motion for his deportation from the US.
Second up is a report that a judge threw out felony charges in the case against a South Street bouncer. This bouncer kicked a punter out of a club and ended up tossing him over a railing and into a 13-foot fall. Obviously this bouncer deserves some kind of punishment for his careless and overly aggressive behavior, especially as the kid who fell was in a coma for a few weeks afterwards, but for the DA’s office to have sought attempted murder and other felony charges seems like a text book case of overcharging. Read the whole article here and see for yourself what overcharging looks like.
Lastly, and perhaps the most disturbing report on our favorite DA, is the story of a
So, to sum up what I fear will not be the only edition of “DA Watch”
I am left wondering why the DA’s office moves forward in the prosecution of cases where they clearly do not have enough evidence to achieve convictions. Not only I am worried about serious miscarriages of justice, but I also wonder how efficient a DA’s office can be that gets it wrong so often.
Philadelphians do want justice for victims of crime but they also need to know that there is justice for those accused of committing crimes and yes, even justice for those convicted of crimes.
The next DA’s race is a long way off. We can’t content ourselves with waiting until then to start affecting some changes now. The best way to get the ball is rolling is for all of us to start telling Lynne Abraham what we think about the activities of her office. Send her an email at DA_WEBMAIL@phila.gov and post any replies you get in the comments section below.