17 November 2022- In the wake of violent crime spikes in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has tried to take a number of actions to course correct what they consider a dereliction of duty by law enforcement officials and politicians in the city. Impeaching DA Larry Krasner, investigations into Krasner at a state level, and other steps have been tried to secure a city that has been struggling with this throughout the pandemic and beyond.
A step that was taken recently by the House and Senate was the approval of HB140, which on the surface seems to be a benign bill about regulating bike lane inclusions in certain municipalities. When dug into deeper, however, it becomes evident that the meat of the bill was to create a special prosecutor in the city, directly under supervision of the court system of the Commonwealth.
The special prosecutor would seem to subvert the power of the DA, looking to prosecute crimes that were not already being executed. The prosecutor could “FOR THE PURPOSES OF CARRYING OUT THE DUTIES OF THE OFFICE OF SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR MAY USE FACILITIES, RESOURCES AND PERSONNEL OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, INCLUDING INVESTIGATORS, ATTORNEYS AND NECESSARY EXPERTS, TO ASSIST WITH A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OR PROSECUTION. A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR MAY REQUEST ASSISTANCE FROM THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE IN CARRYING OUT THE FUNCTIONS OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR”.
A full rejection letter from the governor is below.