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DA Krasner rethinks homicide prosecutions, former City Rep facing corruption charges | Morning Newsletter

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Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.Read moreJOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer

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Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has attracted national attention for his policy changes. His office's new strategy for homicide prosecutions may make him a darling with progressives, my colleagues Samantha Melamed and Chris Palmer report this morning, but it's not popular with everyone. Elsewhere in Philly's justice system, former City Representative Desiree Peterkin Bell is facing public corruption charges for use of the Mayor's Fund — more on that below. Plus, we also have news this morning on the Philadelphia Archdiocese's fund for sex abuse victims.

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— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn,

» READ MORE: When is killing ‘murder’? Philly DA Larry Krasner rethinks homicide prosecutions

District Attorney Larry Krasner has a different approach to prosecuting homicides than his predecessor.

In the past, Krasner said, "It was essentially 'How high a charge can we get away with?' " But his new approach — which isn't all too popular with victims' relatives — is to proceed on charges he thinks the evidence supports.

Krasner's "Do Not Call List" of tainted cops kept from testifying in court has also proved unpopular with certain groups. The Philadelphia Police officers' union is suing Mayor Kenney, Krasner, and Police Commissioner Richard Ross over it.

» READ MORE: Public corruption charges for former City Rep Desiree Peterkin Bell

Former City Representative Desiree Peterkin Bell is facing a half-dozen state felony corruption charges and stands accused of misusing nearly $250,000 in public money.

Peterkin Bell, a member of Mayor Michael Nutter's cabinet, would face up to 35 years in prison if found guilty of all charges.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Tuesday that Peterkin Bell used money from the Mayor's Fund, a nonprofit that has come under scrutiny in recent years, to "fund her own lavish lifestyle."

» READ MORE: Philadelphia Archdiocese opens claims process for sex abuse victims compensation fund

Earlier this month, several of Pennsylvania's Catholic archdioceses announced plans to financially compensate victims of clergy sex abuse whose claims are too old to be taken to court.

Tuesday the Archdiocese of Philadelphia opened its claims process and announced the compensation fund will not put a cap on payouts to victims.

Meanwhile, a conference of the nation's Catholic bishops has agreed they need to do something to increase accountability among their ranks. But so far, there's no consensus about what that should look like.

What you need to know today

  1. Final tallies in Burlington and Ocean Counties are expected today in the still-undeclared race in New Jersey's Third Congressional District where Democrat Andy Kim leads over Republican Tom MacArthur.

  2. Philadelphia is flush with cash. Like, $369 million worth. The administration plans to spend some of it on increasing city employee's minimum wage and affordable housing and might stow some in its empty rainy day fund.

  3. George Hopkins, the former director of Allentown's famed Cadets drum corps, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault. He was forced out of the Cadets in April after the Inquirer published accusations of nine women who said he had sexually harassed or assaulted them.

  4. In 2014, 22-year-old Nadia Malik was found dead in a car on a lonely side street in University City. Her cause of death is still unknown, but her family has been awarded a $10 million judgment against her boyfriend.

  5. A rare, polio-like condition marked by muscle weakness and paralysis in the limbs has struck 10 additional patients this year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday.

  6. Following a federal investigation into what's fueling the teen vaping epidemic, Juul Labs, one of the more popular makers of e-cigarettes, announced Tuesday that it would stop selling most of its flavored pods in stores.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Who can resist Philly's historic charm? Glad you didn't, @positivemag1.

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!

That’s Interesting

  1. Brace yourselves: wintry mix is coming. We could see everyone's least favorite form of precipitation in our region as soon as Thursday.

  2. Sadly the Flyers' six-game point streak is over. Last night they lost to the Florida Panthers at home after struggling to come alive until the third period.

  3. Virginia and New York will be splitting up Amazon's HQ2, the company announced Tuesday and some Philadelphians breathed a huge sigh of relief.

  4. Not in the mood for a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal? Plenty of local restaurants are planning holiday feasts, though you'll need a reservation.

  5. Ryan Harris needs a new home for his popular mentoring program, As I Plant This Seed. To raise the money he's camping out on a North Philadelphia traffic median without eating — and he's getting closer to his $30,000 goal.

  6. Jimmy Butler made his first appearance with the Sixers Tuesday at a press conference and he wasted no time getting down to business. He makes his game debut with the team tonight.


"Some supporters of Fair Workweek legislation have tried to demonize anyone who quibbles with specifics of the law. Instead of arguing, we'd prefer to work together to enact legislation that is fair for everyone." — Melissa Bova, vice president of Government Affairs for the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association, on the business community's support of Fair Workweek initiatives.
  1. Christopher "Flood the Drummer" Norris, an award-winning journalist and CEO of Techbook Online, writes that a productive meeting between Mayor Kenney and South Philadelphia residents was a glimmer of hope that the city can move the needle on poverty, and thus on gun violence.

  2. Congressional Republicans who won elections in suburban districts would do well to engage with LGBT groups like Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick did in Bucks County, writes Philly-based political consultant Albert Eisenberg.

What we’re reading

  1. WHYY has the story on a dark part of Pennsylvania's colonial history that will soon be told in comic book form by Lee Francis, an artist and member of the Tongva tribe.

  2. Forget historical markers — Baltimore Avenue wants to call attention to the origins of current local establishments. As PlanPhilly reports, they've come up with a creative plan to bring new signs to the street.

  3. Feel like Amazon HQ2 was a dodged bullet? You're probably not alone. Curbed reports the company's infiltration of Long Island City and Crystal City could disrupt their identities and brands.

  4. "The Haunting of 657 Boulevard," The Cut's account of New Jersey homeowners who mysteriously started receiving notes from "The Watcher" when they bought a new house, is as enthralling as any Netflix thriller.

  5. The Atlantic says that young people are having less sex. To find out what's causing this "sex recession," they investigated everything from hookup culture to helicopter parents.

Your Daily Dose of | Shifting Tides

After a few years of rough seas, the Independence Seaport Museum is turning the ship around with a new $5 million exhibit about the Delaware River.