Just got off the phone with Philly DA Seth Williams on his move to drop charges against 20,000 fugitives with old cases.
In response to the obvious question: why? the DA delivered the following soundbyte:
“The reality of bringing in the witness from the Horn and Hardart’s from 1969 who saw the person stealing the ketchup or whatever it was that made it a misdemeanor in the first place is highly unlikely.”
However, 3 to 4 percent of these cases weren’t petty thefts, but crimes that left victims bruised and bloodied. Williams says his office is examining those cases and could bring charges again.
As an aside, my grandparents used to take me to the Horn and Hardart on City Avenue when I was a kid. I have dreamlike memories of a shaggy red carpet and having my cheek pinched by numerous elderly Jewish women. Good times.
More to come on All Things Considered this afternoon.