Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives voted 151-49 Wednesday for legislation allowing state prosecutors to handle some of Philadelphia’s gun-related cases.
The bill would renew the state attorney general’s “concurrent jurisdiction” with the Philadelphia district attorney, letting the commonwealth shoulder part of the effort to prosecute firearm-related offenses in a city where many feel the job isn’t getting done.
Outrage at Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s (D) leniency toward criminals has driven Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) to call for the prosecutor’s impeachment.
Corman sent a letter to leaders of the GOP-run state House of Representatives asking them to seek Krasner’s removal. In his missive, the lawmaker deplored the city’s sharp present rise in violent crime and said the district attorney has played a major role in that spike by allowing many offenders to escape punishment.
With homicides in Philadelphia, PA reaching a new record high this year, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has renewed his call for gun control, leaving progressive law-enforcement officials like Philadelphia’s infamously lenient District Attorney Larry Krasner (D) unmentioned.
As of Dec. 29, 557 murders took place in Philadelphia in 2021, a 10.4-percent increase over the 499 murders that occurred during 2020—a year that itself saw 143 more murders than the previous year. (Homicides in Philadelphia have not numbered as many as 500 since 1990.) Gun robberies, vehicle theft and retail theft have all risen significantly.