Recent Posts

Recent Comments


Cop Land

« | Main | »

Philly Dismisses Charges On 19,400 Fugitives

By Wyatt Earp | November 14, 2010

Regular readers know the disdain I have for the Philadelphia court system. The court personnel treat the criminals better than the cops, the judges are notoriously lenient, the prosecutors are always more willing to make a deal than try a case. It was bad when Lynne Abraham was the District Attorney, but she had the best intentions.

New D.A. Seth Williams? Not so much.

[I]n a sweeping move to lower Philadelphia’s staggering tally of 47,000 fugitives, top court officials have quietly dropped criminal charges against more than 19,000 other defendants who skipped court years ago.

At the urging of Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and District Attorney Seth Williams, Philadelphia judges closed criminal cases and canceled fugitive bench warrants for thousands of accused drug dealers, drunken drivers, thieves, prostitutes, sex offenders, burglars, and other suspects. The withdrawn cases date to 1998 and earlier.

19,400 fugitives just got their slates wiped clean, courtesy of Seth Williams and Ron Castille. I wonder what the victims think about this?

But hey, it’s just a few petty criminals and sex offenders that are getting dismissals. No violent criminals are getting off, right? Wrong:

Another fugitive, Alfred Carter, who fled in 1989 before he was sentenced for a strong-arm robbery, is now living in Washington. His conviction was set aside in an attack in which he admitted he left his victim dazed, weeping, and bleeding on a sidewalk in West Philadelphia.

“That’s good,” said Carter, 60. “I’m glad it’s dropped.”

Robbery. Last time I checked, that was a felony. I guess Christmas came early for Alfred Carter. Thankfully, some people see this disgrace for what it is:

Dennis Bartlett, executive director of a trade group for private bail insurers, called the purging “probably the greatest act of general absolution in the history of the city.”

“These perpetrators got away with it, basically,” said Bartlett, a critic of Philadelphia’s government-run bail system. “The citizens should be left breathless that in one fell swoop, the courts absolved thousands of people of crimes that they committed.”

Is he wrong? Remember, these are not acquittals; they are complete dismissals of criminal cases. And the primary reason given is that the criminals fled town.

While the District Attorney’s Office said it took pains to vet the dismissed cases and exclude violent offenses, The Inquirer’s review found that serious cases were dismissed.

Wow, that is really shocking. You see, Philly? You can rob some guys, grope some women, and deal more drugs than Manuel Noriega all the live long day and get away with it. All you have to do is step outside the city limits, lay low for a while, and you’re all clear.

This is one of the many reasons that detectives like me cannot stand this guy. If the people of this town knew about the other shenanigans going on in the D.A.’s Office, they would march there with torches and pitchforks. Obtaining an arrest warrant is near impossible under his regime. For example, in domestic assault cases, Williams wants a third-party witness to the assault before he approves a warrant. Where are you going to find a third-party witness when a man slugs his wife at 3am? You usually can’t, and the warrant sits unapproved. Then, when the man ends up killing the wife, who do you think will be blamed for the unapproved warrant? Then again, even if the warrant is approved, the man will be exonerated by the D.A.’s Office eventually.

Seth Williams thanks you for your business.

Topics: Philly, The Job | 21 Comments »

21 Responses to “Philly Dismisses Charges On 19,400 Fugitives”

  1. PhillipC Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Until the laws are changed so that people who abuse their authority, including the abuse of not doing their job, see penalties including monetary and jail time, we will always have people in those jobs that think that it’s easier to just sweep things under the rug.

    I’m honestly surprised that the good cops / DAs / judges and so on don’t start demanding reform to make the profession more accountable in order to get rid of this type of behavior, since it reflects badly on the entire system.

    I was brought up to be cautious of law enforcement personnel because of the petty tyrants that were wearing a badge back then. The more I see stories like this, the less it surprises me when I find people that are angry and distrustful of the system.

  2. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    PhillipC – Except in this case, it’s the cops and detectives themselves. Most of us can’t stand Williams, and are really pissed at this news.

  3. Jon Brooks Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Holy felony batman!!!

    So if some previous victim is walking down the street and sees the person that raped them for instance and makes a citizens arrest for instance thinking they will get the cops, the fugutive will go to jail etc., they will now be charged with kidnapping?? Way to go to the victims you sleazy #@$% &^%$%^ &*&^%….. DA (Dumb Ass).

  4. Jon Brooks Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    What does the ID card on his lapel say…..Hi! I’m Sh*t for brains!

    Since you have to much class to say/type this on your own blog Wyatt, let me say it for you….AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

  5. dragonlady474 Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    This DA better not even have the balls to say he works in the CJ field, he works in the Criminal Assistance field.

  6. dragonlady474 Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Passage Isaiah 59:11:

    All of us growl like bears,
    And moan sadly like doves;
    We hope for justice, but there is none,
    For salvation, but it is far from us.

  7. Pat Darnell and Friends Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Isaiah is cool.

  8. Vince Lyons Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Well, at least in the case of charges being dropped against protitutes the matter can be considered “professional courtesy”.

  9. Vince Lyons Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Now with all of those silly nonsense cases out of the way the Philly justice system can concentrate on real problems like the 3,000 people in the enitire state of Pennsylvania who have obtained a License to Carry Firearms from Florida (so they can carry in Delaware and Ohio).

    After all, like Brian Lentz (a philly ADA) claimed it’s those 3,000 convicted criminals carrying an UZI what we should really worry about!

  10. BlackOrchid Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Despite the fact that I am only a lurker, and have long left Philly for the warm confines of West Chester, I feel the need to spout off about this truly horrifying situation.

    If the people of this town knew about the other shenanigans going on in the D.A.’s Office, they would march there with torches and pitchforks.

    No they wouldn’t, Wyatt, and you know it damn well.

    At this point everyone left in my hometown (maaaybe except for Roxy, the Yunk and the NE) feels it’s in their best interests to stick their fingers in their ears and sing “la la la! I can’t HEAR you!” as the city circles the drain.

    They’d rather pretend Nutter and his cronies are Super Awesome than admit anything is wrong.

    I remember my Roxy neighbors talking about the practicality of blowing the Green Lane and Falls bridges . . . maybe that time is rapidly approaching . . .

  11. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Jon – According to the DA’s Office, the crime never happened. The fugitives are getting a blank slate, a clean sheet. They committed their crimes and got away with it. And people wonder why I’m disgruntled.

    DL474 – We should post that above Williams’ office door.

    Pat – No doubt about it.

    Vince – There are so many problems here, so much corruption in the administration, that some people just give up. And that’s the real crime here.

    Orchid – Hey! Thanks for stopping by! The bridge idea is a damned good one. It’s like Escape from New York, except that neighborhood would be isolated by a 50-foot wall.

    And you’re right: If people knew what else was going on – like the warrant issues – most still wouldn’t care. As long as it doesn’t affect them, they walk on by.

  12. Kim Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I want to go to Philly, go on a crime spree, come back here, and have it be like it never happened.

    Let’s see…. I could rob a bank… Nah. That takes too much work trying to get in and out in under 2 minutes.

    Hold up some convenience stores. No. I worked convenience stores and was actually working one when someone tried to rob me.

    Steal kids piggy banks…. Nah. They will need that money for college.

    I would not make a very good criminal.

  13. RT Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I’m speechless.

  14. Randal Graves Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Roll ‘em up.

  15. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Kim – Yeah, you need to be able to not care about anything or anybody.

    RT – Lovely, ain’t it?

    Randal – Ironically, we’re fast approaching East St. Louis.

  16. bob (either orr) Says:
    November 15th, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Let’s get these skels residences right next to Mr. D.A., Justice Castille (and what the hell ever happened to him? He’s gone all fruitcakey lately), Mayor Squidward, etc.

  17. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 15th, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Bob – Maybe Rendell can put them up on his block in East Falls?

  18. Ferrell Gummitt Says:
    November 15th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Question: Did Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and District Attorney Seth Williams go to the Eric Holder School of Law?

  19. Bob G. Says:
    November 16th, 2010 at 10:14 am

    So THIS is what’s passing for a Philly D.A. these days???
    (God, I miss the RIZZO era)

    Is it just ME, or does D.A. Williams bear a striking similarity to Professor Klump (Eddie Murphy)?


    I’m, just sayin’…
    (everything in spandex)

    Stay safe

  20. Skip Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Wyatt, just out is a good novel by W.E.B. Griffin [Vigilantes] that is Philly today. Good cop story.

  21. Rick Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    It makes me ask WTF was he thinking