Lost in the aftermath of the John Fetterman-Dr. Mehmet Oz debate in Pennsylvania on Tuesday — where the key takeaway was that Fetterman was clearly incapable of carrying out the duties of the office after a stroke he suffered in May — was that Fetterman should never have been considered capable in the first place.
Fetterman said “that I run on my record on crime.” His record, as Oz pointed out, is that Fetterman, currently the lieutenant governor, “has been trying to get as many murderers convicted and sentenced to life in prison, out of jail as possible” and is doing “it without the rest of the parole board agreeing.”
Fetterman is the head of the state’s Board of Pardons and has been pushing to get more convicted criminals back out on the street, including murderers; as The Federalist’s David Harsanyi notes, he was the sole vote to release a man convicted of first-degree murder for the slaying of a police officer’s 17-year-old son in 1989.
“I believe the perfect metaphor is ’The Shawshank Redemption,’” Fetterman said in an interview with news outlet Semafor on Tuesday. “That’s a touchstone that virtually everybody has seen, everybody understands.”
“I’ve asked people, ‘Would you want Morgan Freeman to die in prison or not?’ And I’ve never met anybody that says, ’Yeah, he should die in prison. I would have voted to have him die in prison.’”
All right, then. What about releasing Morgan Freeman and then sentencing him to live in a city where people are carrying around tourniquets because, hey, you never know when you’ll need one?
That’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s most populous city and home to progressive District Attorney Larry Krasner, a man who sometimes makes George Gascón look like Joe Friday. On Tuesday, NewsNation — the cable outlet that aired the Fetterman-Oz debate — did a report on the violence in Philadelphia, where, in one neighborhood, “almost every block has a memorial to a gunshot victim.”
Rosalind Pichardo, a community activist, toured the Kensington neighborhood with NewsNation’s reporters, pointing out some of those memorials.
“This kid — I watched this kid grow up,” Pichardo said. “He was shot dead on this corner. He was murdered March 12. Which is — my sister was killed March 15.”
Do you think Philadelphia will ever be restored?
Yes: 18% (5 Votes)
No: 82% (23 Votes)
At another: “He was shot and killed. That case is still unsolved, too.”
Things are bad enough that Pichardo used the tourniquet last week.
“Crime Is Constant”: Crime is so bad in Philadelphia that one woman constantly carries a tourniquet with her in case someone is attacked. pic.twitter.com/yRmGjrrhFy
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 28, 2022
“I was at the hair salon getting my hair done and there was a shooting,” Pichardo said. She added that the city seemed to be at a breaking point.
“It is not a Democrat or Republican issue,” Pichardo said. “It is a life issue.”
She’s not the only one who’s walking around scared, either.
“I walk with a taser in my hand because there have been several assaults in the beautiful park one block up,” said Marti Lieberman, who owns a mac and cheese joint in Philly. “It’s a free-for-all.”
When her business was attacked, she said the police weren’t much help.
“We had our windows smashed,” Lieberman said. “I stood right next to the police officer who — I knew his hands were tied. It was clear this gentleman was not mentally well. But at the end of the day I can’t worry about everyone’s mental state when we have a business to save after a thing like COVID.”
For retired police officer Mark Fusetti, things are bad enough that he’s crossing party lines and voting for Dr. Oz.
“I’m a registered Democrat too, so a lot of the people who follow me will be surprised by that,” Fusetti said. “But just [John] Fetterman’s stance on murder alone, where they should get their second chance — I know too many people who were victims of a homicide, their family destroyed.”
It’s worth noting NewsNation is hardly Fox News Jr.; the startup network is the new home of disgraced former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, after all. They can’t ignore the crime problem in Philadelphia for the same reason John Fetterman can’t run away from it: The numbers don’t lie, and they’re shockingly bad.
In September, Axios reported that robberies had more than doubled and homicides were slightly higher than the same time in 2021; last year set a record for homicides in the city with 562. (As of Oct. 27, the number of homicides was slightly lower than it was in 2021, according to city data. But Philly has already blown past the number of killings in the last pre-pandemic year, 2019; there have been 439 killings with over two months left in the year, whereas 2019 saw 356 homicides.)
“Robberies in which perpetrators used guns are up 60%,” Axios reported. “Property crimes are up more than 30%, with businesses getting hit hard as commercial burglaries have risen a staggering 50%.”
So yes, Mr. Fetterman, keep using that “Shawshank Redemption” metaphor. See how that works in a city where residents are living in a prison of unsafe neighborhoods and rampant violence.
Their only crime? Electing progressives like you and Larry Krasner.