The Pennsylvania House of Representatives impeached Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner by a vote of 107-85.
Statement from PA House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff on the impeachment vote:
“By impeaching Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, we put ourselves on the record that we stand with the people of Philadelphia who have been living in fear for their lives and the safety of themselves and their families. We are standing up for those who do not have a voice, but long for safety and freedom from fear.
“What is clear is that the Philadelphia district attorney, through his improper use of prosecutorial discretion, has implemented policies and mismanaged his office in such a way that its purposeful ineffectiveness in combatting the crime and violence crisis gripping the city has contributed to the problem itself.
“We did not take this path lightly or with joy and eagerness. But the impeachment of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner is without a doubt the right thing to do.”
The next step is a trial in the state Senate to be held at a later date.
House leaders' press conference following impeachment vote
PA House Majority Leader Benninghoff advocates for impeachment.
Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) advocates for impeachment.
Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler advocates for impeachment.
The Case Against Krasner
Violence in Philadelphia has surged since progressive Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has taken office. His failure to appropriately prosecute criminals is threatening the safety of residents in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia’s crime accounts for 48% of the violent crime in our state.
• Decrease in convictions and more repeat offenders being set free.
• The re-offense rate by those not allowed to possess a firearm is 10% higher in Philadelphia than the rest of the Commonwealth.
» Why? DA Krasner’s inability or refusal to prosecute, essentially allowing more offenders previously arrested for possessing a firearm to return to the community without repercussions.
Krasner’s office loses cases or decides not to prosecute at a much higher rate than the rest of the state. More crimes, means more crime victims.
Other Important Implications
National chain employers are shuttering Philadelphia stores due to retail theft/security/safety.
Krasner uses his office to crusade against what he considers “social injustices,” such as bail reform and reduced sentencing. However, his campaign comes at the expense of victims and lost lives.
Impeachment is one of the Pennsylvania Constitution’s strongest tools for the General Assembly to hold an elected official to account.
The failure to ethically prosecute cases, to seek justice for victims of crime and ignore the laws of this Commonwealth illustrate the district attorney’s dereliction of his duties.
Plus, skyrocketing crime in Krasner's Philadelphia isn't just affecting Philadelphia.
By the Numbers
The following data sets demonstrate how crime has risen in Philadelphia and then offers a comparison to the rest of the Commonwealth.
In Philadelphia alone, violent crimes are up by 4.4% in comparison to last year, including a staggering increase of robberies committed
with a firearm – which is up by nearly 49%.
The atmosphere of lawlessness in Philadelphia continues. As homicide rates continue to climb, the homicide clearance rates (solving or closing a case) continue to drop at alarming rates.
According to 2021 data by the Pennsylvania State Police, Philadelphia accounted for nearly 50% of the state’s total number of violent
crimes (15,030 in Philadelphia, 31,350 statewide). Worse yet, 64% of the state’s total number of firearms-related crimes occurred
in Philadelphia (7177 in Philadelphia, 11,253 statewide). These numbers are extremely disproportionate, considering Philadelphia’s
population of 1.58 million makes up only 12.3% of Pennsylvania’s total population of 12.79 million.
Offenders Returned to the Street
According to the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, the amount of Violation of Uniform Firearms Act (VUFA) cases started by Krasner’s office but ended by being withdrawn, dismissed or nolle prossed (prosecution discontinued) is disproportionately high in comparison to other counties.
Between 2015 and 2020 the number of VUFA cases within Philadelphia increased from 7% to 21%. In that same time span, the Commonwealth’s 66 other counties experienced an increase from 7% to 10%.
Additionally, those charged with a VUFA offense were charged with another VUFA offense within three years at a higher rate in Philadelphia (29.5%) compared to the statewide average (20%).
VUFA cases are particularly concerning because they include charges of possession of a firearm by someone who is prohibited to do so because of a previous criminal conviction. By abandoning charges against VUFA offenders, Krasner’s office has allowed more offenders who were recently arrested for possessing a firearm to return to the community with no repercussions.
» More details here.
» Read more FAQ's on Krasner and the articles of impeachment here.
» Read more about the impeachment process here.
Philadelphia is experiencing a year of record bloodshed.
Public safety is a core function of government.
Since Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has taken office in 2018, crime in Philadelphia has exploded. Meanwhile, Krasner has pushed ultra-progressive policies, which has led to decreased convictions, more repeat offenders being set free and inarguably contributed to the crime surge.
In June, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation to create the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order with the purpose of investigating the matter, reviewing the performance of public officials and making legislative recommendations, which may include impeachment.
The committee is empowered to investigate:
• The rising rates of crime, including the enforcement and prosecution of violent crime and offenses involving the illegal possession of firearms in Philadelphia.
• The use of public funds intended for the purpose of enforcing the criminal law and prosecuting crime in Philadelphia and elsewhere.
• The enforcement of crime victim rights.
• The use of public funds intended for the purpose of benefitting crime victims.
To combat this historic crime wave, everyone must participate – police, prosecutors and community leaders. No one is above the law, no one.
We have asked District Attorney Krasner to participate, to provide information, instead, he decided to go to court to block this House Committee from doing its job.
Actions by the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order
The House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order passed its third and final report on Nov. 29.
- Read the report, a response from the chairman, and the attachments here.
On Oct. 24, the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order unanimously moved to adopt a second report. This report was then adopted in the House of Representatives later that day.
- Read the second report.
- Read attachments to the second report.
Rep. John Lawrence, chairman of the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order, sponsored House Resolution 227, a Resolution finding that Philadelphia District Attorney Lawrence Krasner is in contempt of the House of Representatives.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (162-38) to hold Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in Contempt of the House for willfully refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order.
|Rep. Lawrence's introductory remarks on HR 227 before the House vote
Prior to the House vote, the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order unanimously moved to recommend that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner be held in contempt due to his refusal to comply with subpoenas issued by the committee last month. The committee also adopted an interim report on the matter.
|House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order voting meeting
House Resolution 216 established the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order to investigate, review and make legislative findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives regarding the rising rates of crime in the City of Philadelphia; the city’s use of public funds intended for law enforcement and prosecuting crime; the enforcement of crime victim rights in Philadelphia; and the use of public funds for the purpose of benefitting the city’s crime victims. The resolution authorizes the chairman to subpoena information relevant to the committee’s work.
Additional Comments from Members of the PA House
Rep. Martina White:
“As Philadelphia, my home city, is experiencing another year of historic crime and violence, District Attorney Larry Krasner has sought to blame everyone for the city’s problems but himself. My city’s streets are unsafe and there seemingly are no consequences for those who violate the law, despite the best efforts of law enforcement to lock up dangerous criminals. Today’s vote to hold Krasner in contempt shows a significant bipartisan majority of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives stands for law and order and puts a check on the district attorney’s above-the-law attitude. It is the first, and a necessary, step in ensuring Larry Krasner can no longer let his brand of woke politics wreak havoc on Philadelphians who just want to live in safe communities.”
Rep. Josh Kail:
“I have said from the beginning that Larry Krasner is not above the law. His continued willful defiance of the investigative Select Committee looking at historic crime and violence in Philadelphia shows he continues to not believe the law applies to him. By holding him in contempt today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is continuing to stand for the rule of law, accountability, and ensuring Pennsylvania’s elected officials deliver on their promise to uphold the law.”
Rep. Tim O’Neal:
“Larry Krasner is a failed district attorney who has violated his oath of office and continues to operate outside the boundaries of the law. I was glad to see a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives stand up to hold this rogue actor responsible and put the force of law and support of the House behind the subpoenas issued by the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order. It is my hope that today’s vote is the first step in further accountability against Larry Krasner as we seek to ensure the laws of this Commonwealth are enforced and respected in Philadelphia.”