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r/philadelphia
r/philadelphia
120
Posted by2 months ago
Silver

Pa. Supreme Court sides with former Philly cop facing murder charges and says DA Krasner can’t ‘rewrite the law’ — District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office had challenged the law as it related to the murder case of ex-officer Ryan Pownall. The high court rejected the argument and sided with Pownall.

158 comments
89% Upvoted
level 1
· 2 mo. ago · edited 2 mo. ago

It’s important to note that there are 5 Dems and 2 Republicans on this court.

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level 2

“Doing as the DAO asks ... would essentially criminalize conduct the General Assembly has deemed noncriminal,” wrote Justice Kevin Dougherty."

You know Kev is Johnny Doc's brother, right? This stuff is straight out of The Departed.

13
level 2
· 2 mo. ago
bodily autonomy = liberty

Not meaning to sound like an asshole, here, but... Why is that important? Most Dems are not anywhere as left as the Krasner camp.

(Nevermind, after reading some comments here, I totally understand why you would note it--apologies)

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level 2
level 1

Prosecutors said that was necessary because state law permits officers to shoot fleeing suspects even if there is no threat of imminent death or serious injury.

Damn.

85
level 2

Yeah, unfortunately SCPA is right: the problem here is the law, and Krasner really has no grounds to charge Pownall.

46
level 2
· 2 mo. ago
Melrose/Girard Estates

Current state law says police officers attempting to arrest someone can use deadly force in order to prevent death or serious injury to themselves or others. They can also use deadly force if they believe it’s needed to prevent a suspect from avoiding arrest or escaping, while at the same time believing the suspect committed or tried to commit an escape or “forcible felony” and has indicated they have a deadly weapon.

Not surprisingly, they conveniently left out the rest of it. Whether or not it’s a good law (probably not) is one thing, but they’re misrepresenting it purposefully to fit their agenda. It’s not like cops can justifiably (under the law) shoot a kid stealing candy or some shit.

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level 2
· 2 mo. ago
Brewerytown

Yeah, it's fucked up. Cops will decide to just literally kill someone, instead of chasing them down. The amount of unarmed people who have been shot by police is unacceptable.

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level 2
· 2 mo. ago
Spruce Hill

This law is somewhat limited due to Tennessee v. Garner

2
level 2

Yes that's the point, it directly conflicts with a recent supreme court verdict saying deadly force is never acceptable with fleeing suspects.

0
level 2
level 1
· 2 mo. ago · edited 2 mo. ago

Before people think I am defending Pownall, I'm not. This post is purely based off of the conduct of the DAO. Pownall would have faced justice had the DAO not completely fucked this up. (Edit to clarify: Facing justice in this context is having an actual review of the whole incident which the DAO completely botched the moment Krasner got his hands on it.)

The *kindest* way that you can interpret the conduct of Krasner's office in this whole thing is that it was handled like it was amateur hour. Prosecuting attorney's forgot or neglected to adhere to basic principals of procedure and constitutional rights afforded under the Federal and State constitutions. In a vacuum, this would be pretty plausible.

But, we have years of Krasner's conduct and his own election and re-election platform to point to this being malicious prosecution that attempted to purposefully subvert a legal process that every single citizen is entitled to, regardless of occupation. And none of this is an opinion of how events went down - his office's filings throughout the whole process document in writing and on the record their intent to just toss out the law without any concern for well-established constitutional rights at both the federal and state level. They wanted a result and violated every rule of procedure and right they could just to get that result.

Just some of what happened is abolutely insane. When they created the Grand Jury (which itself was a questionable decision), they purposefully didn't even tell the jury what the law was, instead telling the jury they should indict on 3rd Degree Murder and related charges. At no time did they ever provide the definition of any kind of Murder to the jury, nor did they provide the police use of force law. The DAO just told them to indict on 3rd Degree murder, wrote the Grand Jury presentment of findings themselves, and then told the grand jury to sign on. They did, because they thought that's how it was supposed to work. The Grand Jury isn't legal experts, they don't know better. The DAO absolutely does know better. On such a basic level, that's abhorrent.

The whole reason his office went the grand jury route was to avoid a judge (an expert in the law) from outright dismissing charges at a preliminary hearing. The DAO knew this, so they then tried to *make sure a preliminary hearing couldn't happen*. This should give everyone a huge amount of pause because it is such a flagrant violation of an incredibly basic civil right. There's only very few circumstances where a preliminary hearing can be skipped by the grand jury process (witness intimidation, for one), and this case clearly 100% did not fall into those exceptions. The DAO knew this and did it anyway. The DAO even argues that a grand jury indictment should never have to have a preliminary hearing, which is nuts too.

Then, the DAO literally went into court and threatened the judge with another appeal if they didn't rule in their favor, thus filing an unauthorized appeal. The DAO manipulated the appeal process in such a manner that the only reason that explains why they did it was so that Pownall couldn't get a speedy trial.

And they released the grand jury presentment to the media with a lot of fanfare while simultaneously fighting to have the case remain in Philadelphia, knowingly tainting the pool of jurors.

Finally, the DAO admitted (after a very long time and, still, without holding a preliminary hearing) that it was doing all of these wacky tactics to show that the statute involving police use of force guidelines (section 508) was "not fair", even though Tennessee v. Garner explicitly states that the existing statutes were of no consequence, and Pennsylvania repealed those statutes anyway. And the DAO then stated they wanted to section 508 to be modified by the state Supreme Court and *retroactively applied* to Pownall so he could be convicted.

You can absolutely disagree with Section 508 as it is written. What they can't do is disagree with it, try to have it overturned, then charge someone retroactively. And they didn't even get it overturned, and *STILL* charged him.

What. The. Fuck.

44
level 2

Krasner is a fucking maniac. When are people going to realize this?

10
level 2
[deleted]
· 2 mo. ago

So in Larry Krasner’s worldview, criminal defendants need to have all civil rights afforded to them under the law and are innocent until proven guilty*

*Unless they are police officers, then they have no rights and we can just treat them as guilty and ignore the law

Do I have that right?

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level 2
Comment deleted by user · 2 mo. ago
level 2
level 1

This is a majority Dem court, and they ruled against Krasner because they prosecuted this trial very inappropriately. The concurring and majority opinions were both scathing reviews of Krasner's conduct.

Krasner has no issues letting every kid go with a slap on the wrist because he doesn't think he can prosecute them right, but when it comes to going after cops he pulls out all the stops and has no issue bending the rules.

This is a prime example of Krasner letting politics drive his prosecutorial conduct without concern for the law.

The worst part is that this officer is probably going to get off free for the murder he most definitely committed due to Krasner's misconduct. Disgraceful

114
level 2

"Little that has happened in this case up to this point reflects
procedural justice,” Dougherty wrote. “On the contrary, the DAO’s
prosecution of Pownall appears to be ‘driven by a win-at-all-cost office
culture’ that treats police officers differently than other criminal
defendants. This is the antithesis of what the law expects of a
prosecutor.”
Damn, that's definitely scathing

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