Statement on South Philly Dog Fighting Case

April 23, 2018 by

PHILADELPHIA (April 23, 2018) — Dog fighting is an extremely serious crime and has no place in our city.  The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office takes incidents of dog fighting and all kinds of animal cruelty very seriously.

Below is a summary of recent activity in a case involving dog fighting in South Philadelphia.

On Friday, April 20th, eight (8) defendants agreed to plead guilty to the charge of neglect of animals in connection to a March 10 raid of a warehouse/garage where dog fighting was occurring. A total of 14 people were arrested as a result of the raid.

The eight (8) defendants who agreed to the plea bargain either had very minor criminal records or no prior record at all. The evidence available against those eight (8) people did nothing to tie them to organizing the event, ownership of the building, or supplying the abused dogs to the fight.

The remaining six (6) defendants have not been offered any plea bargain and remain charged with dog fighting, which is a third-degree felony in Pennsylvania.

Why the different approach for those individuals? The defendants who are charged with a felony either have a substantial criminal record, prior dog fighting offenses, or the evidence in the case shows that they were responsible for organizing this dog fight. Those defendants were given no plea offer at all- they will face a preliminary hearing on June 5th for felony dog fighting.

It should also be noted that securing earlier guilty pleas for some defendants allowed the Judge assigned to the case to sign an order relinquishing the dogs to the custody of the SPCA where they can be rehabilitated and adopted. Otherwise, the dogs seized as part of this raid might have been forced to stay in a shelter for months or even years until the owners are convicted and forced to relinquish custody. That was a major positive outcome as a result of these early pleas.

We should also be clear that a summary conviction for neglect of animals is not the equivalent of a traffic ticket—it is a criminal conviction that will be part of the record of each offender. It does carry a fine instead of jail time, but can only be expunged after 5 years without any other criminal convictions. It certainly would appear on any background check. It could prevent them from adopting a pet or even gaining employment in any capacity involving animals. The plea bargain also required each defendant to pay restitution to the SPCA for the care of the abused dogs.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office will continue to aggressively prosecute these cases with the goal of securing the best possible outcome. In this case, we felt pursuing charges in this manner was the best approach.

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DA Krasner Creates Crime Victims’ Advisory Committee

April 6, 2018 by

PHILADELPHIA (March 6, 2018) – In celebration of Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner today announced the creation of a Crime Victims’ Advisory Committee (CVAC). The CVAC will not only empower witnesses and victims to improve the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s (DAO) victim and witness services, but will work to eliminate the trauma felt by crime victims and witnesses.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said, “In each one of the hundreds of cases the District Attorney’s Office works on each day, there is one thing in common, they all have witnesses and victims. So, as we get ready to celebrate Crime Victims’ Rights Week, I’m excited to launch this new advisory committee, I thank all our partners for their participation, and I cannot stress enough the importance of the work that they will do. Our criminal justice system needs you and will benefit from your guidance on how we can recognize trauma, support victims and witnesses as they recover, and break the cycle that exists between victim and perpetrator.”

“The inclusion of survivor voices is fundamental to the process of administering justice in a meaningful way. I applaud the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for creating this committee and elevating the voices of victims. Far too often victims are left without recourse for violations of their rights, Marsy’s Law and its passage in Pennsylvania will ensure that all victims have equal footing in the courtroom,” said Jennifer Storm, PA Victim Advocate.

In addition to professionals from the DAO’s Office of Victim and Witness Services, the CVAC will include Philadelphians who have personally experienced incidents of assault, sexual and/or domestic violence, or homicide and area organizations who serve the victims and witnesses of crime.

“The issues that victims face when entering the justice system are multi-layered and complicated.  Many victims of crime are further traumatized by the very systems that are responsible to ensure that they receive advocacy and services. My family was one of those families that was harmed.  This is one of the reasons why we created The CHARLES Foundation. It is hopeful to see that the District Attorney’s Office is looking at the problems that victims of crimes encounter and including the voices of the victims to develop solutions to reduce the probability of further harm,” added Toni Thorn, Homicide Co-Victim/The CHARLES Foundation.

CVAC members will meet monthly to discuss current and available victim services, share service delivery and crime victim support best practices, and establish measurable performance standards. The CVAC will also work to improve the DAO’s current portfolio of programs to better meet the needs of current and future victims to find ways to reduce future victimization and eliminate crime victim secondary and residual trauma.

In addition to announcing the CVAC, Krasner noted Marsy’s Law, which would create a set of constitutional, legal protections for the victims of crime.

“Legislation such as Marsy’s Law and my proposal – Senate Bill 1082 – which ensures victims’ rights and provides an opportunity for victims to be heard and compensated are critical to the effective operation of the justice system,” State Sen. Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery).

The Marsy’s Law bill calls for victims to:

  • Receive information about their rights;
  • Be notified about and be present for legal proceedings concerning them or the case they are involved in;
  • The right to be treated with fairness;
  • Respect for their privacy and dignity; and
  • To be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse in the criminal or juvenile justice process.

“Change in the realm of violence begins when people in leadership positions listen to the voices of those affected by violence and then utilize those concerns as a driving force to make a difference from the top down. In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness month, which is commemorated every April, this is a step in the right direction to ensure survivors of sexual assault are receiving proper treatment and support,” said Laquisha Anthony, Sexual Assault Survivor.

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DA Krasner Welcomes President Obama’s DOJ Appointee Robert L. Listenbee to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office

February 28, 2018 by

PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 28, 2018) – Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner today announced that he has appointed Robert L. Listenbee, Esq. as First Assistant District Attorney for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

Listenbee, who was appointed as the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) by President Barack Obama, will bring his operational expertise and experience working at the local, state, and national levels on juvenile and criminal justice issues to the newly created position. Judge Carolyn Engel Temin and Listenbee will both serve as First Assistant District Attorney’s with distinct operational and legal portfolios.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said, “The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is lucky to have two First Assistant District Attorneys whose talents and expertise are so complementary and so weighty. By having Robert Listenbee, who distinguished himself in the Obama administration as part of my team, we will be able to add more capacity to everything we do from juvenile justice issues to supporting the communities we serve to offering our city’s most vulnerable citizens a helping hand.”

“The City of Philadelphia has always been home to me, and having the opportunity to join the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office as DA Krasner’s First Assistant, as he embarks on one of the most consequential reform efforts of any district attorney’s office in the nation, is not just an honor, but is beyond exciting,” said First Assistant Robert Listenbee. “There is something special happing here in Philadelphia, and I’m ready to take what I’ve learned from my time at the Defender’s Association and in the Obama Administration and apply it to Philadelphia’s justice system to make it fairer and more effective.”

As the Administrator of OJJDP (March 2013 to Jan. 2017) Listenbee supervised an annual budget of more than $265 million dollars and a staff of 70 full-time employees. His primary focus was to address the core protections outlined in the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act, reduce out-of-home youth placements, and oversee the nation’s juvenile justice system by creating evidence based practices and programs. Some of the initiatives that he championed were halting youth violence, ending the “school-to-prison pipeline,” and reducing the involvement of girls, Hispanic youth, and LGBTQ-GNC youth in the nation’s juvenile justice system. During his time at the OJJDP Listenbee partnered with the Department of Education to enhance correctional education in residential placement programs, worked with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop programs to expunge juvenile records and eliminate barriers to successful re-entry, played a central role in the U.S. Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Initiative, and co-chaired the Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children’s Exposure to Violence which developed recommendations for launching a coordinated national campaign to address children’s exposure to violence.

Before joining the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) Listenbee focused on juvenile justice reform policy and worked to improve support for juveniles in the juvenile justice and welfare systems as a Stoneleigh Foundation Visiting Fellow at Drexel University. The Stoneleigh Foundation is dedicated to supporting the Philadelphia region’s vulnerable youth, by awarding fellowships to leading practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to study and implement meaningful change.

“During his tenure as a Stoneleigh Foundation Visiting Fellow, Bob Listenbee has been extraordinarily productive, serving as a bridge builder and strengthening collaboration among Philadelphia’s youth-serving systems,” said Ronnie L. Bloom, Executive Director of the Stoneleigh Foundation. “In this new role at the Office of the District Attorney, Bob will be uniquely positioned to apply these skills and help Philadelphia become a model for how prosecutors can work alongside community stakeholders toward a common aim of justice.”

Listenbee worked at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, rising to Chief of the Juvenile Unit (Sept. 1986 to March 2013). As a trial attorney, he handled hundreds of misdemeanor and felony cases in juvenile and criminal courts, in addition to jury trials. As Chief and Assistant Chief of the Juvenile Unit, Listenbee worked closely with the Chief Defender to enhance access to counsel and the quality of representation for youth in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. He lead the effort to obtain over $2 million in grant funds from governmental organizations and private foundations to support innovations within the Juvenile Unit. Listenbee stablished an Investigations Unit with full and part-time investigators, built a Juvenile Special Cases Section that handled sex assault cases, established a training program which provided support for juvenile defenders across the Commonwealth and enhanced initiatives to divert cases to diversion programs.

Listenbee has served on numerous committees on the local, state, and national levels including as a member of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice in response to the Luzerne County “kids for cash” scandal. He was also instrumental in creating the Juvenile Defender Association of Pennsylvania.

He received the Defender of Children’s Rights Award from the the National Juvenile Defender Center (2017), the Outstanding Service Award from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (2017), a Special Recognition Award For Exemplary Service in Juvenile Justice Reform from the Philadelphia Coalition for Victim Advocacy (2011), and the Champion for Change Award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur (2011).

Listenbee is also an author, lecturer, and justice system policy expert. He has a Bachelor of Arts (1972) from Harvard University in Political Science and his Juris Doctor (1978) from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, CA.

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Larry Krasner Announces End to Cash Bail in Philadelphia for Low-Level Offenses

February 21, 2018 by

Effort marks the first, of an ongoing review of cash bail

PHILADELPHIA (February 21, 2018) – Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner today announced, effective immediately, that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) will no longer ask for cash bail for low-level offenses. The new policy marks a decisive step towards making the city’s pre-trial system fairer for the poor and for people of color.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said, “There is absolutely no reason why someone who will show up for court, is not a flight risk, and is no threat to their neighbors and community, needs to sit in jail for days because they can’t post a small amount of bail. It’s simply not fair. We don’t imprison the poor for poverty. This new cash bail policy will not only save the taxpayers money by allowing low-level defendants to maintain their freedom, but it will begin to level the economic and racial playing field in our courtrooms.”

“Through our collaborative efforts under the MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge, as well as numerous other initiatives, we as a City are creating a more fair and efficient justice system,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “DA Krasner’s new policy to recommend against cash bail for low-level offenders is a significant step in that direction. This effort has the potential to reduce collateral consequences for those charged with low level offenses, and represents Philadelphia’s shift towards reducing or eliminating cash bail. We look forward to discussing how these changes will be applied and implemented by the District Attorney’s Office.”

After a review of all the requests for bail associated with lead charges filed in the First Judicial District (FJD) Municipal Courts over the last five years, DA Krasner has instructed Assistant District Attorneys (ADA) in the office to no longer request cash bail for defendants charged with one of the 25 specific charges (a detailed list is attached). These offenses represent approximately half of all lead charges applied over the past five years.

“I see cash bail as a medieval tool that exists in our modern criminal justice system. It’s a relic, and it increases the likelihood of future recidivism by almost nine percent. We in Philadelphia City Council recently passed a resolution about reforming cash bail, so we’re overwhelmingly supportive of the new policy, and I can tell you that I’ll do everything I can to expand fairness in the City of Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. (4th Council District).

When a defendant is charged with Possession with the Intent to Deliver (PWID) a substance other than marijuana, the DAO will consider the following factors to determine if bail will or will not be requested:

  • If the weight of the drugs is greater than 2.5g of heroin, 5g of cocaine/crack, 12.5 g of methamphetamine/PCP/amphetamine, or 5g of any other schedule I/II narcotic;
  • There is evidence of the presence of fentanyl;
  • The defendant has received two or more bench warrants in the past five years;
  • The defendant has one or more open PWID, violent felony, or gun-related case; and
  • The defendant has finished serving a PWID sentence in the last two years, a violent felony in the past five years, or a gun-related case in the past five years.

More than likely, if one or more of the above factors apply, bail requests will then be evaluated on a case by case basis.

In the FJD, and after a defendant is taken into custody, a hearing typically takes place in front of a Bail Commissioner, where the ADA requests a certain level of bail. For these 25 lead charges, nearly one in four defendants received bail between $0 and $10,000, which could keep them in pre-trial custody. Now, one of the following methods will be used:

  • Released on Recognizance;
  • Released on Special Conditions (this kind of release involves some pre-arranged communication between the defendant and FJD Pre-Trial Services before trial); or
  • Signed on Bond (a promise to pay an unsecured bail if the defendant violates their release).

ADAs will continue to have discretion to ask for monetary bail in exceptional circumstances. For example, cases where a defendant is charged with a string of crimes, such as burglaries or thefts, or who have multiple DUIs in a short period of time, may be given cash bail despite the presumption against it. The office’s new policy follows.

 

Breakdown of Charges no Longer Requiring Cash Bail

  • Access Device Fraud;
  • Burglary F2- Not for Overnight Accommodation, No Person Present;
  • Contraband;
  • Criminal Mischief;
  • DUI;
  • Forgery;
  • Fraud in Obtaining Food Stamps/Public Assistance;
  • Identity Theft;
  • Intentional Possession of a Controlled Substance;
  • Paraphernalia;
  • Possession of Marijuana;
  • Possession with Intent to Deliver (marijuana, 5lbs or under);
  • Possession with Intent to Deliver (non-marijuana, subject to listed caveats);
  • Prostitution;
  • Providing False Identification to Law Enforcement;
  • Retail Theft;
  • Resisting Arrest;
  • Receiving Stolen Property (not graded as F2);
  • Theft by Deception or False Impression;
  • Theft by Unlawful Taking (not graded as F2);
  • Theft from Motor Vehicle (not graded as F2);
  • Trademark Counterfeiting;
  • Trespass (non-residential);
  • Unlawful Purchase of a Controlled Substance (BFP); and
  • Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.

 

Policy Memorandum from the District Attorney

Effective February 21, 2018, the District Attorney will ordinarily no longer ask for cash bail for the following misdemeanors and felonies. All representatives of the District Attorney will be expected to abide by this presumption.  Where justice requires, there is discretion to go against this presumption.

The cash bail system is rife with injustice and exacerbates socio-economic and racial inequalities, disproportionately penalizing the poor and people of color.  The reforms laid out below represent a decisive step toward ending the use of cash bail and making the pretrial system more just.

 

All representatives of the District Attorney should presume that they will no longer seek cash bail on the following charges:

  • (35-780-113-A16 Intentional Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • (75-3802) DUI
  • (18-3929) Retail Theft
  • (35-780-113-A19) Unlawful Purchase of a Controlled Substance (BFP)
  • (35-780-113-A3) Possession of Marijuana
  • (18-3921) Theft by Unlawful Taking (not graded as F2)
  • (18-5902) Prostitution
  • (18-3925) Receiving Stolen Property (not graded as F2)
  • (18-3304) Criminal Mischief
  • (18-4101) Forgery
  • (18-3502) Burglary F2- Not for Overnight Accommodation, No Person Present
  • (18-3503) Trespass (non-residential)
  • (18-3934) Theft from Motor Vehicle (not graded as F2)
  • (18-3922) Theft by Deception or False Impression
  • (18-5104) Resisting Arrest
  • (18-3928) Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
  • (35-780-113-A320) Paraphernalia
  • (18-5123) Contraband
  • (18-4914) Providing False Identification to Law Enforcement
  • (62-481) Fraud in Obtaining Foodstamps/Public Assistance
  • (18-4120) Identity Theft
  • (18-4119) Trademark Counterfeiting
  • (18-4106)  Access Device Fraud
  • (35-780-113-A30) PWID-Marijuana (5lbs or under)

 

Special Conditions for PWID Cases (Other than Marijuana)

Where a defendant is charged with possession with the intent to deliver a substance other than marijuana, the presumption against monetary bail applies, except in any of the following circumstances:

  • The weight of drugs possessed is greater than:
    • Heroin: 5g
    • Cocaine/Crack: 5g
    • Methamphetamine/PCP/Amphetamine: 5g
    • Other schedule I/II narcotic: 5g
  • There is evidence of the presence of fentanyl
  • The defendant has received two or more bench warrants in the past five years
  • The defendant has one or more open cases of:
    • PWID
    • A violent felony or
    • VUFA/PIC (gun)
  • A defendant has finished serving a sentence for:
    • PWID in the last 2 years
    • A violent felony in the past 5 years
    • VUFA or PIC (gun) in the past 5 years

 

Discretion:

In the above cases where the presumption applies, representatives of the District Attorney should generally recommend R.O.R.

While a presumption against cash bail applies in the above cases, representatives will continue to have discretion to ask for monetary bail where justice requires.  For example, cases where a defendant is charged with a string of crimes, such as burglaries or thefts, or who have multiple DUIs in a short period of time, may be given cash bail despite the presumption against it.  A significant history of recent flight may also suggest detention.

 

For all cases not subject to the above policy, representatives of the District Attorney should continue to evaluate bail requests on a case by case basis.

This policy will also apply to bail reduction motions in preliminary hearing and trial rooms, and in Motions Court.

 

Larry Krasner Announces Opioid Lawsuit Under Commonwealth’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Laws

February 15, 2018 by

FOR IMMIEDATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Ben Waxman, 215-686-8711, benjamin.waxman@phila.gov
Larry Krasner Announces Opioid Lawsuit Under Commonwealth’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Laws

PHILADELPHIA (February 15, 2018) – Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner today announced the filing of a lawsuit against ten pharmaceutical companies, under the Commonwealth’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Laws, for their role in creating the city’s opioid epidemic. The filing, which was made in Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas, was filed on Feb. 2, 2018.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said, “The City of Philadelphia has been hurt, more than any other city in the nation, by the scourge of opioids. The time to act is now, which is why I’ve taken this unprecedented action, in parallel with the City of Philadelphia’s suit, to stop these companies from systematically distracting the public from knowing the true dangers of opioid use as they reap billions of dollars in profits.”

The defendants in the lawsuit are: Purdue Pharma, L.P.; Purdue Pharma, Inc.; The Purdue Frederick Company, Inc.; Allergan Finance, LLC; Cephalon, Inc.; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.; Endo Health Solutions, Inc.; Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Johnson & Johnson.
“The City of Philadelphia certainly needs to address the health and treatment aspects of the opioid crisis, because it is devastating our neighborhoods – especially the residents of Kensington and Fairhill, but it also needs to stop the flow of these addictive drugs into our homes,” said Philadelphia City Councilwoman Maria D. QuiñonesSánchez. “This lawsuit, and the one filed by the City of Philadelphia are a good start, which is why I’m proud to support District Attorney Krasner’s efforts today and am happy to stand with him as we work to stop the pipeline of addiction.”

The lawsuit is designed to recover some of the extraordinary costs that the City of Philadelphia and its citizens have had to bear because of the opioid epidemic. The Consumer Protection Law authorizes either the PA Attorney General or a PA County District Attorney to sue in the name of the Commonwealth if they believe that a manufacturer is using, or planning to use, certain unfair or deceptive practices prohibited by law.

“I have seen first-hand the devastation caused by opioids, and the deadly path that leads users to heroin addiction,” said Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, MD, MPH. “This is a public health crisis. So, it’s time for these companies to help us solve the problem that they have in part caused.”

There are currently sixteen separate lawsuits that have been filed by different counties in Pennsylvania against opioid manufacturers, including one recently filed by the City of Philadelphia. Krasner’s lawsuit is unique because it is the first of its kind filed by a county district attorney under the Consumer Protection Law.

“I’d like to thank Mayor Kenney’s Opioid Task Force and the team of outside, expert attorneys who are working with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office on this case, added Krasner.

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The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million citizens of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecution of over 75,000 criminal cases annually.

 

District Attorney Larry Krasner to announce major consumer protection lawsuit

February 14, 2018 by

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 14, 2018

CONTACT:

Ben Waxman, 215-686-8711, benjamin.waxman@Phila.gov

PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 14, 2018) – Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner will be joined by public officials and community advocates as he announces a major consumer protection lawsuit designed to hold accountable those who have threatened the health and welfare of the City of Philadelphia.

WHO:              Larry Krasner, Philadelphia District Attorney

WHERE:

Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office

Ray Harley Training Room

3 S. Penn Square

Philadelphia, PA 19107

WHEN:          

Feb. 15, 2018 at 2 p.m.

 

LARRY KRASNER ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF IMMIGRATION COUNSEL FOR PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

January 25, 2018 by

FOR IMMIEDATE RELEASE
January 25th, 2018

CONTACT:
Ben Waxman, 215-686-8711, Benjamin.Waxman@Phila.gov

 

PHILADELPHIA (January 25, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney today announced the appointment of Caleb U. Arnold as Immigration Counsel to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO). Arnold, who has over ten years of legal experience working on immigration issues, will advise the District Attorney and DAO staff on best practices to protect the rights of immigrants interacting with the criminal justice system. (PLEASE NOTE: Caleb Arnold uses the pronouns They / Them)

District Attorney Larry Krasner said, “I am thrilled today to announce the appointment of Caleb Arnold as Immigration Counsel to the Philadelphia District Attorney. Caleb is the perfect person to help implement my agenda of equal justice and civil rights for all. Together, we will ensure that all people are treated fairly by the justice system regardless of their immigration status. This is also part of our overall effort to protect the most vulnerable and ensure they are able participate as witnesses or complainants in the criminal justice system.”

Part of Arnold’s work will be to help build relationships with immigrant communities to ensure that witnesses and victims feel safe participating in the process regardless of immigration status. They will also advise prosecutors on minimizing the impact of criminal convictions on immigration status, especially for low-level offenders who pose no threat to public safety.

Immigration Counsel Caleb Arnold said, “I am so excited for this opportunity to help develop systematic changes that recognize the collateral consequences to someone’s immigration status as we determine just outcomes.  I am also eager the build alliances and trust with immigrant communities in Philadelphia, and develop policy and practices so that all witnesses and victims are able to safely get the help they need and safely participate in the criminal justice process.”

DA Krasner was first introduced to the concept of appointing immigration counsel when visiting with prosecutors in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office back in June of 2017. Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez has already implemented a policy that aims to prevent collateral consequences of convictions by ensuring that Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs) are aware of immigration status.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “I commend DA Larry Krasner for his leadership and courage in adopting a policy that protects immigrants from disproportional consequences of criminal convictions and for sending a message that the justice system must treat everyone fairly, regardless of status. The success of a similar policy in Brooklyn – where our special counsels advised in over 200 cases so far to reach immigration-neutral outcomes – proves that greater equity does not jeopardize public safety. In the face of misguided federal policies, we need more local prosecutors who are willing to take a stand and do what’s right, and I’m pleased that DA Krasner is helping lead this growing movement.”

Erika Almiron, Executive Director of Juntos said, “The hiring of Caleb Arnold as the first ever immigration counsel for the District Attorney’s office marks an important milestone in the way that our city’s criminal justice system interacts with our immigrant communities. Far too often an interaction with our city’s criminal justice system has been the catalyst for many of our loved ones to be entered into deportation proceedings due to the overcharges given by previous administrations and overzealous former DAs who believed more in punishment rather than restorative justice. We recognize this new position as a first step and look forward to working with Caleb Arnold, District Attorney Larry Krasner and the rest of the DA’s office to ensure that threat of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is purged from all aspects of our criminal justice system.”

Catheryn Miller-Wilson, Executive Director of Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society of Pennsylvania said, “We must allow the criminal justice system to do its job. If victims, witnesses and defendants are afraid to participate in the criminal justice system then all of our communities suffer.  Immigration status questions have no place in the criminal justice system and we applaud the DA for working to take immigration status out of the conversation.”

Golnaz Fakhimi, Immigrant Rights Attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union said, “We commend District Attorney Krasner for his sensitivity to community fears about immigration consequences for non-citizen participants in the criminal justice system.  When an accused person, complainant, or witness is a non-citizen, criminal justice contact can carry risk of devastating immigration consequences. And the effects can extend into the family and community at large.  With this appointment, District Attorney Krasner is demonstrating good faith to his community.”

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY LARRY KRASNER TO ANNOUNCE CREATION OF NEW POSITION TO FOCUS ON IMMIGRANT RIGHTS

January 24, 2018 by

Contact: Ben Waxman, 215-686-8711, benjamin.waxman@phila.gov

What: DA Larry Krasner will hold a press conference to announce the creation of a new position within the District Attorney’s Office that will focus on protecting the rights of immigrations interacting with the criminal justice system. The position is modeled after a similar effort pioneered by the Brooklyn DA’s Office in New York City.

Who:
Larry Krasner, District Attorney of Philadelphia
Newly Appointed Immigration Counsel for District Attorney’s Office
Immigration Attorney’s from Brooklyn DA’s Office
Immigrant Advocates & Activists

When: Thursday, January 25, 2018, at 11:30 a.m.

Where:

Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
3 South Penn Square, Mezzanine Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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MULTIPLE CHARGED WITH USING FAKE INSURANCE CARDS AFTER ATTEMPTED FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE SALE

January 18, 2018 by

Defendants

  • Angel Feliciano (Age: 21, OTN: U1060080)
  • Janice Rosario (Age: 26, OTN: U1046625)
  • Ana Torres (Age: 45, OTN: U1046614)
  • Lorenzo Santell (Age: 24, OTN: U1039706)
  • Rudolph Savage (Age: 49, OTN: U1041121)

Charges

  • Insurance Fraud 18 Pa C.S. § 4117 – F3
  • Forgery 18 Pa C.S. § 4101 – F3

Background

Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) Insurance Fraud Unit arrested Angel Feliciano, Janice Rosario, Ana Torres, Lorenzo Santell , and Rudolph Savage and charged them with Insurance Fraud and Forgery. The DAO received a referral from the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority about posts on Facebook by Lorenzo Santell, who is not a licensed insurance agent, about selling fake financial responsibility cards.

Detectives from the Insurance Fraud Unit went to Santell’s home and found two vehicles in front of his home registered to Santell and Torres with fake financial responsibility cards from American Independent Insurance Company. Detectives also found the title history of 11 vehicles purchased by Mr. Santell between May 16, 2016, and March 24, 2017, were registered with fake insurance financial responsibility cards from various insurers. Further investigation confirmed the identities of the defendants after interviewing several tag agents and confirming that the licenses used to register the vehicles matched the defendants. It also confirmed that the financial responsibility cards presented by each of the defendants were fraudulent, and a copy of the cards was obtained from the tag agency with obvious spelling errors. For example, the heading of each of the cards misspelled responsibility as “RESPOSIBILITY”.

The above defendants were arrested between the months of November and December 2017.   They are next listed to appear for a status listing in courtroom 406 on February 2, 2018 at the Criminal Justice Center.

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY KRASNER APPOINTS JUDGE CAROLYN ENGEL TEMIN AS INTERIM FIRST ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY

January 11, 2018 by

PHILADELPHIA (January 11, 2018) – Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner today continued his pledge to transform the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) into the most effective prosecutor’s office in the nation by appointing Judge Carolyn Engel Temin as his Interim First Assistant District Attorney and restructuring the DAO.

“Judge Temin is a criminal justice trailblazer and I’m honored that she has rejoined the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office,” said District Attorney Krasner. “Judge Temin has not only tried and ruled on thousands of cases, but was appointed to be an international war crimes judge. She also made history as the first female Public Defender in Philadelphia before becoming a homicide prosecutor. I’m thrilled she has returned to us, and I’m overjoyed to put her vast experience to work as we make this office the best prosecutor’s office in the country.”

Judge Temin was appointed by the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina as an International Judge on the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. The court tried cases involving organized crime, public corruption, and war crime cases including those from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague (Sept 2004 through November 2005).

“What District Attorney Krasner has proposed is a complete modernization of the office. I’m honored to be part of the transformation,” said Interim First Assistant District Attorney Temin.

After leaving private practice, Judge Temin became the first female lawyer to be hired by the Defender Association of Philadelphia (1964 to 1970) where she was responsible for, including other initiatives, parole and probation hearings. She joined the DAO in 1971, working in the office for nearly ten years, in numerous positions including as a Homicide prosecutor. And in 1983, she was elected to Philadelphia County’s Court of Common Pleas where she ruled on thousands of cases until she left the bench in 2003.

Temin has also lectured, taught, and consulted on legal issues and judicial systems in Serbia, Honduras, the Republic of Georgia, Tunisia, Thailand, and Barbados. She has received numerous international, national, and local awards for her work, and participates in a wide range of civic and legal activities and associations. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania (1955) and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania (1958).

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