Philadelphia is going to hell in a handbasket, and picking up speed.

The investigative series of articles currently appearing in The Inquirer only accentuates our plight. The most telling indication of a society about to founder is the inability of its authority, i.e., police and prosecutors, to protect its citizens ("Justice delayed, dismissed, denied," Sunday).

Sadly, that is the station that we occupy in Philadelphia. Hard-core criminals remaining free and granted multiple continuances because their lawyers have not yet been paid in full? Witness intimidation running rampant?

After reading the first installment, featuring Omar Cash - a society dreg and career criminal - I wanted to resign from the human race. Reading of his nonexistent regard for human life made my blood run cold. He doesn't need a reason to kill - he obviously enjoys it. He won't be rehabilitated either; he must be incarcerated before he kills again.

Those reckless individuals who permitted Cash to make a mockery of the judicial system and place the public at risk should be subjected to the harshest sanctions possible.

Stephen R. Schwartz