August 2, 2012 |
Most illegal gun-possession trials resemble a sad, lopsided wedding, a throng of loved ones flocking the defendant while, on the courtroom's other side, no one sits behind the lone prosecutor. But that's not what happened Friday at the sentencing hearing of Jerome Hill, 22, after his seventh arrest as an adult and only brief stops in jail. Despite the defense attorney's failure to appear for four hours, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Wellbrock had plenty of company: Capt.
July 31, 2012 |
On the map that hangs from Police Capt. Joseph Bologna's office wall, colored tacks represent violent crime in the 19th District, which spans West Philadelphia from Cobbs Creek to West Fairmount Park. On a recent afternoon, tacks were clustered in bunches across the map, which is common. Unusual were the two tacks pinned in Overbrook Park. They marked the deaths of Christopher Malcolm, 17, and Rohan Bennett, 13, brothers shot to death in their parents' home Tuesday in what police say was a bad drug deal - and the type of violent crime that is rare in the mostly working-class neighborhood of red-brick rowhouses and tidy lawns, bordered by the well-heeled townships of Haverford and Lower Merion.
July 27, 2012 |
Why assault weapons available Why is a 24-year-old graduate student allowed to build up an arsenal of assault weapons? I expect our military and our police to have such weapons, but I see no reason that every random person should be allowed to purchase them. We have the National Rifle Association to thank for making military-style weapons so easily available, as well as our elected officials who don't speak out about this. Thank you, E.J. Dionne, for saying so articulately what I feel ("A debate gun lobbyists don't want," Sunday)
July 24, 2012 |
WHEN FEDERAL agents and Philadelphia cops arrested a group of gun-toting men near the airport on Wednesday — thwarting an alleged plan to rob a drug dealer — the takedown was the result of a new partnership between federal and local officials to combat violent and drug-related crime across the city. Attorney General Eric Holder and Mayor Nutter announced the partnership at City Hall on Monday. The partnership includes more than 50 federal law-enforcement officials, and Holder said that during a four-month "surge," which began June 4, federal resources are being used to build local capacity, enhance training, coordinate outreach, bolster intelligence and help plan and execute more sophisticated criminal investigations and prosecutions.
July 23, 2012 |
When I was a kid, one of my favorite Soupy Sales quips was, "Crime doesn't pay. I know because I tried it for two weeks and couldn't make ends meet. " But the line isn't really that funny, is it? Even real estate markets can be hurt by the impact of a single crime. More about that later. When I lived in Philadelphia and was called for jury duty, one of the voir dire questions was, "Have you or someone you know been a victim of a crime?" Every hand in the courtroom went up in response, including mine.
June 21, 2012 |
The violence was shocking, even for a community as crime-jaded as Chester: four fatal shootings in eight days, one of the victims a 2-year-old boy. Delaware County's only city declared a monthlong state of emergency. Just hours after it was lifted, yet another man was shot to death. That was two years ago, during the area's hottest summer on record. "We don't want that going on again," said Chester resident Jonathan King, president of the antiviolence activist group Brothers of Concern.
June 20, 2012 |
THE ANNUAL COST of violent crime in Philadelphia averages more than $472 per person, or a total of $736 million in 2010 alone. That's just one eye-popping conclusion of a new study examining costs associated with violent crime. The yearlong study by the Center for American Progress that was released Tuesday analyzed the direct and intangible costs associated with murders, robberies, assaults and rapes in eight U.S. cities, including Philadelphia. Direct costs are those borne by residents and city governments for increased spending on policing, prosecuting and incarcerating violent offenders; and by the victims of violent crime in medical expenses and lost income; as well as foregone tax revenue to cities.
June 14, 2012 |
While Republican Gov. Christie and Democratic legislative leaders tussle over tax cuts and higher education reform in the remaining days before the Legislature breaks for summer, one element of Christie's agenda seems to be sailing through with little controversy: a proposal to amend the state constitution so that judges can deny bail to violent offenders. Christie, a former federal prosecutor, wants to give New Jersey judges the ability to deny bail to a defendant who poses a danger to the community.
May 26, 2012 |
MEXICO CITY - Shortly after sunrise last month in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, police found 14 butchered bodies in a van outside city hall, a salvo in a seesawing battle of horrors between Mexico's two most powerful drug cartels. Soon after, nine people were hanged from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo. Fourteen heads were left in coolers outside city hall. Eighteen mutilated bodies were dumped by a scenic lake in western Mexico. The decapitated bodies of 49 people were dumped outside a small town 75 miles from the U.S. border.