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Posted: 1/6/2005 9:15:18 PM EDT
Here is the story from the Daily news.


City firearms cases will go to gun court

By THERESA CONROY

conroyt@phillynews.com

Court and law-enforcement officials yesterday announced the creation of a special Gun Court to fight one of Philadelphia's most insidious crime problems.


"This is very smart prosecution, this is very tough crime and it's even smarter crime prevention," Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham said at a City Hall press conference.


The Gun Court will oversee all cases in which the most serious charge is a weapons offense classified as a Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act. Those felonies, commonly called VUFA charges, will be adjudicated in one courtroom - 701 at the Criminal Justice Center - by one judge, Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart.


Through intensive monitoring by special probation officers and intense education of defendants, court and law-enforcement officials said they hoped to loosen the grip guns have had on the city.


The court, part of the Blueprint for a Safer Philadelphia initiative, resulted from collaboration among state, federal and city officials.


"Knowing the First Judicial District... I expect this to be the number one in the country," said Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Sandra Newman.


About 400 cases will be moved to Gun Court when it opens Monday. The court's debut will be funded by $525,000 in state funds and a $280,000 grant from the Safe Neighborhood Initiative, said Deputy Court Administrator David Wasson. Common Pleas Judge James Fitzgerald said he hoped the program's success would keep grant money flowing in
Link Posted: 1/6/2005 9:54:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2005 9:55:46 PM EDT by clubsoda22]
If it were for people commiting crimes with guns as opposed to minor offences i would be all for it.

I love how the article once again portrays guns an animate objects that are the cause of crime as opposed to a tool.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:15:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:03:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mikepenn33:



+1, it IS for crimes comitted with ILLEGAL firearms....
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:53:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CT_AR:

Originally Posted By mikepenn33:



+1, it IS for crimes comitted with ILLEGAL firearms....



Yes...for Illegal firearms

They are also starting a new tracking program for illegal guns.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 11:38:48 AM EDT
Camden has started a program withn the Feds for aggresive prosecution of gun crimes. Guess where the Camden hoods will end up hiding. Any guess on Philly? There are so many laws on the books now but there are no laws against stupid, liberal, bleeding heart judges. How's about a stupid judge court for the law abiding citizen!
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 2:01:17 PM EDT
Seems like everyone is hiding in Chester.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 6:42:27 AM EDT
This court sounds like a good idea. Any plan that can educate wanna-be-criminals and remove "illegal" guns from the street is fine by me.

With this, I think "any" gun involved incident, no matter how small, will be referred to this new court
even if the circumstances surrounding the gun are justifiable. LE's gonna want to "CYA." More inconvienience for the "legal guns" but, when alls said and done, the benefits may out weigh the costs. I'm assuming the city did an ecconomic cost assesment.
From KYW, 40 cases were scheduled for today. ........................ please forgive the spelling errors..



Link Posted: 1/10/2005 10:13:42 AM EDT
I have an invite to one next week so I'm going to check it out. They have over 400 cases waiting so far.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 10:34:38 AM EDT
We have "gun courts" in New York. It seems like your likelihood of a fair trial in gun court is very small, and the penalties laden upon you once convicted are harsh to the tune of years -- that's 3 years and up -- in prison for a simple gun possession charge.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 10:39:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mikepenn33:
I have an invite to one next week so I'm going to check it out. They have over 400 cases waiting so far.



Good! I'd be interested to hear the 'degree of infraction the casses have. "Normal" gun crimes still go to the court of common pleas. I'm really hoping not to hear of any cases where sombody got 'pinched for having their jacket blow open and expose their carry weapon but, I know when the cops get called, things have a way of being blown out of porportion!

Link Posted: 1/10/2005 10:49:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 6:18:50 AM EDT by mikepenn33]
I believe the last time Philadelphia Police checked it was one percent of gun crimes were commited by someone who owned the gun legally.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 9:47:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mikepenn33:
Seems like everyone is hiding in Chester.



::Looks out window:: Yep, right over there.
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