Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Justice: Delayed, Dismissed, Denied

Justice: Delayed, Dismissed, Denied

For months, the Philadelphia criminal justice system has been undergoing a major overhaul.

For months, the Philadelphia criminal justice system has been undergoing a major overhaul. Read the four-part Inquirer investigative series that sparked the reforms - and all the follow-up developments.
Part 1
With Philadelphia's court system in disarray, cases crumble as witnesses fear reprisal and thousands of fugitives remain at large.
Kareem Johnson stood over Walter Smith and executed him. He fired so close that Smith's blood splashed up onto Johnson's Air Jordan baseball cap.
Part 2
Intimidation on the streets is changing the way trials are run. "People are frightened to death," the D.A. says.
Witness intimidation pervades the Philadelphia criminal courts, increasingly extracting a heavy toll in no-show witnesses, recanted testimony and collapsed cases.
Part 3
Tens of thousands of Philadelphia fugitives are on the streets, abetted by the city's deeply flawed program.
The robber had a gun in his hand and a smirk on his face. "Y'all gonna make me kill you," he said. "Where's the safe?"
Part 4
Just 23 years old, John Gassew has been arrested 44 times, mostly on charges of sticking a gun in people's faces and robbing them.
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Since this series ran
Phila. CRIME
06/30/2013
Homicides in Philadelphia in 2013 are at the lowest midyear total in nearly half a century, police figures show, putting the city in reach of a modern-day low at year's end.
Frightened witnesses
06/18/2012
Two men got serious prison time after being spotlighted in an Inquirer series on Philly courts.
Fugitives from Court
04/24/2012
Philadelphia should cap off its overhaul of its court system by creating indicting grand juries and trying fugitive defendants in absentia, a veteran former prosecutor said Monday. In a double-barreled presentation to a state Senate advisory panel, Walter M. Phillips Jr. said the moves would crack down on witness intimidation and send a strong signal encouraging defendants to show up for court.
A SYSTEM UNDER SCRUTINY - AND REFORM
Frightened witnesses
Fugitives from Court
Editorials/Op-ed pieces