DA stands by case purge

Philadelphia’s District Attorney is reaffirming his decision to drop charges against nearly 20 thousand fugitives with pending cases in Philadelphia.  But DA Seth Williams is re-evaluating whether charges should have been dropped in cases of violent crime.The DA’s office, in concert with Philadelphia court officials, withdrew the charges only in cases that were at least a decade old, and for defendants who haven’t been arrested since their skipped court date.Williams says the majority of cases dropped were “victimless crimes like prostitution, drunk driving, and drug possession.”  But the purge included some charges of assault, theft, and sexual offenses.Williams says the inclusion of those cases is an oversight and that his office is looking into reinstating the charges.”Any time you try to cull through over 20,000 cases, you know, maybe three or four, a very small percentage, like in this instance, might not have been tagged appropriately,” said Williams, “and so we’re going to try to correct those.”Victims and victim advocates have expressed outrage over the move.

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