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Krasner Impeachment Effort Based Partly On Criticized Study

Pennsylvania legislators seeking to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner released a report whose findings cite a widely criticized study written by a former Republican district attorney. The interim report, which reads as a bill of particulars against Krasner, was issued without an expected official recommendation to impeach the progressive district attorney, reports The Intercept. The study, peer-reviewed and published in August by the journal Criminology & Public Policy, claimed that Krasner’s policy of “de-prosecution” was associated with a statistically significant increase in murders in Philadelphia, compared to the rates recorded under his predecessors. The study, by Thomas Hogan, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute who served two terms as a tough-on-crime prosecutor in Chester County, Pa., prompted criticisms among social scientists who said the quantitative methodology of the study was undermined by its flaws.

“People who are serious about solving and preventing crime should look at serious and accurate research, not politically motivated documents like Hogan’s,” said Jessica Brand, a spokesperson for Krasner who leads the Wren Collective, a firm that advises reform-minded prosecutors. “People’s lives, after all, are at stake.” Krasner says the city "cut felony and misdemeanor sentencings by 70 percent from 2015-19, so it should come as no surprise that this de-prosecution tactic had an effect on homicides. I encourage you to read the complete article and responses." A Pennsylvania House vote on whether to impeach Krasner will likely take place this week. Hogan’s study formed almost the entire basis of what the committee outlined as one of four negative effects of Krasner’s policies on Philadelphia. Scholars were quick to criticize the study and claimed that it had methodological issues and factual errors, including Hogan’s decision to count individual homicides rather than per capita homicide rates. In September, a group of scholars submitted an article to the same journal outlining what they described as “fatal flaws” in Hogan’s study and warning against its use to inform criminal justice policy. The journal rejected the paper. Hogan said the critique itself was based on flawed methodology.


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