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    Charges dropped

    The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that court officials have quietly dropped criminal charges against more than 19,000 defendants who skipped court years ago.

    Accused drug dealers, drunken drivers, thieves, prostitutes, sex offenders, burglars, and other suspects in cases from 1998 and earlier are getting the break of a lifetime.

    The purge clears a huge backlog of cases that may never have been tried anyway. Understandably, though, victims are upset.

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