PA lawmakers looking to reform Philadelphia courts

    Taking aim at persistent problems

    Pennsylvania State lawmakers are in Philadelphia to put the city’s Court System under the microscope. Senators heard from all sides of the judicial problems, which include trouble getting convictions and an overall slow courts system. State Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCafferty says the problems have existed for decades and held up a report from the 70’s documenting them.

    “This is not something that we are just trying to quickly go thorough. This has been over 30 years of the same problems exist. We have a first judicial district that is having funding cut everytime we turn around and we’re being asked to do more with less.”

    Public defenders testified that newly implemented changes designed to streamline the process may be counterproductive. They says trying to hold preliminary hearings right away is just making things harder. They say the reform could clog the Common Pleas Court system while speeding the Municipal Court system.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal