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How Things Roll in Philly

I’m very intrigued by this post by Wyatt, about turning a criminal over to the feds for prosecution on guns charges (felon-in-possession), something we know that the City of Philadelphia often will not do:

Anyway, the AUSA wanted to take over the case and try him federally. He even asked my permission – which made me laugh a little – because he said a lot of Philly detectives resent it when the feds take over their jobs. I told him that I couldn’t care less about that or the court overtime, because putting a thug like this behind bars for some real time was much more important. In Philly, this guy would have received probation or something equally ludicrous. The feds expect him to serve between 7 and 20 years if convicted. Nice!

Emphasis mine.  So petty territorial issues are more important than public safety in the City of Brotherly Love?  Wonderful.  I’m glad Wyatt’s experience with the AUSA was positive, and if we had more detectives in that city with his attitude, we might be able to get some of these folks behind bars where they belong.

I’ll be honest, as a libertarian, I’m skeptical of federal authority to control possession of guns, even by felons, but I’m also skeptical of a city justice system that just refuses to enforce the state laws that are supposed to take care of this problem.  As long as the herpes theory of the commerce clause is law, it seems to be that the primary goal should be getting dangerous people off the streets.

2 Responses to “How Things Roll in Philly”

  1. Wyatt Earp says:

    Thanks for the link, Sebastian. I was puzzled by his statement, too. I guess I am one of a small group of people who think we’re all on the same side. The Philly justice system is broken, and if the feds can serve up some real time for some real toads, then we all win.

    Who am I to argue with the results?

  2. Bruce says:

    Mumbles Menino copped (no pun intended) the same attitude when Mitt Romney offered him the services of the State Police to track down fugitive gang members, known offenders, etc.

    Menino flat out refused.

    a. It would give Romney a “tough on crime” plank to add to his presidential platform, and anything that makes Republicans look good is bad in Menino’s book, even if it results in a safer city for the people of Boston.

    b. It would have put BPD officers overtime in jeopardy.

    It’s “for the children”.

    Or at least, the immature, self-centered children with guns and badges and sitting in plush downtown offices.

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