Philadelphia City Council approves permanent 10 p.m. curfew as crime rises

Hans Bader | December 5, 2022 | 10:15am EST
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(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

If cities won't put violent criminals behind bars, law-abiding citizens end up losing some of their freedoms. Philadelphia is moving to make permanent its curfew banning minors from being outside after 10 pm, as violent crime keeps rising. Innocent young people are paying the price for the city's refusal to put most violent criminals behind bars.

Philadelphia's City Council has voted to make permanent the 10 pm curfew that was in place this summer for almost everyone under the age of 18:

Philadelphia’s summertime curfew could soon become permanent. City council passed a bill Thursday afternoon that would make the summer curfew permanent.

Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson proposed the legislation and is a mother herself.

Gilmore Richardson says her goal is to protect Philadelphia’s young people who all too often fall victim to the city’s violence.

“There are too many young people who have been involved in crime or criminal incidents simply because they have been out late at night,” she said.

As Jazz Shaw notes at Hot Air,

The curfew was put in place because more crime is committed under the cover of darkness. The curfew itself should be seen as a tacit admission that Philadelphia is simply too dangerous and the government is unable to keep its residents safe. Moving to make the curfew permanent is essentially another admission that they can’t (or won’t) do anything about it and things won’t be getting better any time soon.

You didn’t need a rocket scientist to figure this out. Wawa has been shutting down its stores in Philadelphia because they are robbed too often to be profitable and their employees are not safe while working there. Much of the blame is properly being placed on the shoulders of Philly’s soft-on-crime DA, Larry Krasner. That would be the same District Attorney who was recently impeached by the state legislature. Of course, Krasner continues to insist that none of this is his responsibility, despite the fact that he released a convicted murderer last year who is now wanted for yet another murder.

Of course Philadelphia is ridiculously dangerous. And it’s a self-inflicted wound for the most part. But it’s also worth noting that the curfew hasn’t done much to put a dent in the crime rates and extending it likely won’t have any significant positive effect either. That’s because curfews are much the same as gun control laws and “gun-free zones.” The only people who pay any attention to them are law-abiding residents. The gang bangers and other criminals aren’t going to change their plans for the evening just because they might be given a ticket for violating the curfew.

Philadelphia's District Attorney, Larry Krasner, fails to prosecute most serious crimes, even when arrests are made. As Big Trial notes, “the percentage of criminal cases withdrawn or dismissed by the D.A.’s office has gone from 28% in 2014 under former D.A. Seth Williams all the way up to 67% last year under D.A. Krasner.” Meanwhile, the murder rate in Philadelphia has risen, breaking record after record.

Krasner fired experienced prosecutors who were good at obtaining justice for crime victims, as soon as he took office. As Big Trial notes, he replaced them "with a combination of social justice warriors, former public defenders and woke progressives fresh out of law school."

The result was that criminals remained free to kill innocent people. 21-year-old Jailene Holton was shot to death by a man that Krasner’s office failed to convict of rape despite overwhelming evidence, such as text messages. Krasner’s office assigned an inexperienced recent hire to prosecute the case. He bungled the case, so the defendant walked free. Seven months later, that man shot Jailene Holton to death in a rage.

Krasner's office freed a convicted murderer last year, claiming the evidence of his guilt was weak. Now, that murderer is wanted for yet another murder. Charles Gossett was shot to death on Labor Day, in a barrage of 17 shots. A month later, when video of the suspected killer was released, he was recognized as Jahmir Harris, by the brother of a man Harris was convicted of killing in 2012. Harris was convicted based on eyewitness testimony and other evidence. Despite that, Harris was set free last year at the urging of District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer: "The DA’s Office asked Common Pleas Court Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi to vacate Harris’ conviction and set him free, which she did — but not without hesitation....Later, she harshly criticized ... the director of [Krasner’s] Conviction Integrity Unit — for what the judge" viewed as a one-sided assessment of the case.

Krasner has shown contempt for the rule of law. Earlier this year, the “Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 162-38 Tuesday, with numerous Democrats siding with Republicans, to pass a resolution holding Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in contempt of state for refusing to comply with a subpoena,” reported WITF. In a memo, three state representatives said “unchecked violent crime in Philadelphia has reached a breaking point and one obvious cause is the dereliction of duty by District Attorney Krasner in the willful refusal to enforce Pennsylvania’s criminal laws in the City of Philadelphia.”

Earlier, Krasner was ordered to apologize for lies his office told a federal judge. Law and Crime reports:

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D), one of the first of a wave of progressive prosecutors elected on a criminal justice reform platform, made “false” claims that his office communicated with the family members of the victims of a man that he sought to free from death row, a federal judge found...the district attorney’s office wrongly suggested the relatives of the Pennsylvania couple killed by Robert Wharton supported his release from death row. In fact, U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg found, Krasner’s office did not even contact the sole surviving victim of the attack: Lisa Hart-Newman, who was an infant when Wharton killed her parents, turned off the heat, and left her inside the house to die.

Krasner’s office sided with the killer in his federal challenge to his sentence, citing his good behavior in prison. But “the district attorney’s office failed to advise the court about Wharton’s ‘violent escape from a city hall courtroom’ and subsequent escape conviction,” Judge Goldberg said. Because Krasner’s office had committed “egregious” and “exceptional” violations of federal court rules, the judge ordered the DA to “send separate written apologies” to four victim family members. Krasner is himself a scofflaw, notes Big Trial: “Krasner, a persistent tax deadbeat, still owes the city $83,406.50 in back taxes.”

As Big Trial notes, “for Krasner’s prosecutors, winning a conviction in court is a rare event....the percentage of guilty verdicts won at trial have gone from 17% of all criminal cases in 2014 under former D.A. Seth Williams, all the way down to just 2% of all criminal cases prosecuted last year under D.A. Krasner.”

Under Krasner, Philadelphia’s murder rate spiked in 2020, then hit an all-time high. Philly has more murders than bigger cities like New York or Los Angeles. Yet when Krasner was asked “about the city’s crime surge,” he played it down, minimizing "crime," "lawlessness," and "violence," reports NBC News, while "a former Philadelphia mayor who is African American, erupted at Krasner, accusing him of dismissing the pain of Black residents who suffer from the violence.

Many violent crimes in Philadelphia are committed by criminals with long rap sheets. An “illegal Congolese alien had already racked up multiple convictions, including for sex crimes, but still hadn’t been deported and was walking” the “streets free to rape” a woman on a “Philadelphia train,” notes lawyer Ted Frank. Keith Gibson had “nine convictions,” yet remained “on the streets" to "murder six more people.”

Philadelphia has suffered a larger increase in killings than most places, but other cities also face rising deaths. Killings have increased in nearby Baltimore, where most killings are committed by people who previously were convicted of a serious crime, but who are no longer in jail due to their past lenient sentence. Progressive  prosecutors have stopped prosecuting many violent juveniles as adults. As a result, juveniles commit more crimes.


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