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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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.
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."
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.
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