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“Prison gerrymandering” happens when prisoners are counted as living in their prisons, not at their home addresses. Because of that, Pennsylvania’s system for drawing political maps benefits white rural voters at the expense of voters in urban areas. That disproportionately affects people of color, according to experts.
For example, two Villanova University criminologists found that if prisoners were counted based on their home addresses, Philadelphia would gain more representation in the state House of Representatives.
Right now the Census Bureau counts a person’s “usual residence,” meaning where a person “lives and sleeps most of the time." A change could alter political power in Pennsylvania.
A former Philadelphia police officer was given a one-year prison sentence after confessing to the violent sexual assault of a woman while on duty. The assault happened three years ago.
But the judge and prosecutors said they weren’t exactly thrilled with the plea deal for 53-year-old Thomas O’Neill, a 24-year veteran of the force before he resigned in 2016. Prosecutors said the one-year prison term is relatively light, due in part to limitations on what they could charge.
“Quite frankly, I have real trouble with this plea," the judge in the case said. "This is an extraordinarily troubling case because the conduct here is extraordinarily reprehensible and incomprehensible.”
Some of the more progressive Democratic candidates running for president, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are expected to take the stage at the Pennsylvania Convention Center this weekend.
The convention opens today and is expected to draw 3,000 attendees, with the headline being Saturday’s forum for presidential candidates.
Nothing’s much better than the skyline at sunrise. Thanks for the pic, @iambossy!
Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!
“If Democrats and Republicans take opposing positions on vaccines, we will likely see a polarization on this issue among the public, much like we saw on climate change. That might lead to plummeting rates of vaccine coverage, an outcome no one should want.” — Dominik Stecula, a postdoctoral fellow at Penn’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, writes about the danger of vaccines becoming a partisan issue.