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And Yet They Want to Blame Guns

The Philadelphia Inquirer seems to be on to something:

Philadelphia defendants walk free on all charges in nearly two-thirds of violent-crime cases. Among large urban counties, Philadelphia has the nation’s lowest felony-conviction rate.

Only one in 10 people charged with gun assaults is convicted of that charge, the newspaper found.

Only two in 10 accused armed robbers are found guilty of armed robbery.

Only one in four accused rapists is found guilty of rape.

The data also show that people charged with assaults with a gun escape conviction more often than those who use fists or knives. Of people arrested for possession of illegal handguns, almost half go free.

Nationally, prosecutors in big cities win felony convictions in half of violent-crime cases, according to federal studies. In Philadelphia, prosecutors win only 20 percent.

So does the Inquirer want to explain how more gun laws are going to help if we’re not even enforcing the laws adequately against rape and robbery? This is scandalous, yet the Inquirer’s editorial board will continue to blame guns and the NRA, and shame Harrisburg for not passing more laws. Can we try locking up criminals first?

5 Responses to “And Yet They Want to Blame Guns”

  1. Carl in Chicago says:

    Politicians care more about appearances than substance.

    Also, they understand that prosecution and incarceration (substance) cost far, FAR more than do additional laws and ordinances (appearances).

    You’re exactly right … it’s a goddamned scandal. And they must be called on it. How can prosecutors be held responsible for not doing their jobs?

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Dannytheman says:

    It’s all right there in front of them, they have all the facts they will ever need. Yet they continue to ignore them. The city asks for more police and less guns in the hands of law abiding folks!

    I hate Philadelphia. I try not to go there and I only live 17 miles west of it. If the stadiums were not there, I would hardly ever go there!

  3. rainster says:

    Maybe they should lock up the prosecutors? That’s a really pathetic conviction rate.

  4. Matthew Carberry says:

    It’s hard to judge a conviction rate, or even decision to prosecute rate, without actually looking at the cases on an individual basis.

    If the cops are doing a bad job in gathering evidence, or the laws themselves are unliked by potential jurors (two of several reasons), there will be fewer cases that prosecutors should realistically bother seeking indictments for or take to trial and of those, fewer yet that prosecutors actually think have a chance of winning.

    Alaska has a working relationship with the Feds in that, if it looks like a violent crime would have stiffer penalties in Federal court due to use of a firearm the case is moved to that venue and both sets of prosecutors work together to make the case.

  5. Laughingdog says:

    “If the cops are doing a bad job in gathering evidence”

    Being the type of person that always tries to play devils advocate, that’s the first thing that popped into my mind. While incompetence on the part of the prosecutors is one possibility, it’s also hard to win cases if the police are incapable of giving you anything winable in the first place.

    Granted, it doesn’t have to be an “either-or” scenario. They might all be incompetent.

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