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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 5, 2021 12:34 PM
From: Representative Brian Sims and Rep. Summer Lee
To: All House members
Subject: Special Prosecutor in Police Deadly Force Cases
In the wake of numerous incidents across the country in which police officers were under investigation by district attorneys for the use of deadly force, public confidence in law enforcement accountability has diminished.  Though a close working relationship between district attorneys and police officers can be helpful in facilitating criminal justice, it may also create the appearance of a conflict of interest when a district attorney is called upon to investigate the actions of an officer.

In order to restore citizens’ confidence in our criminal justice system, my legislation will require the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor when an on-duty police officer is involved in an incident that may constitute criminal homicide as a result of the officer’s conduct.  Placing such investigations in the hands of a special prosecutor is not intended to question the impartiality of district attorneys, but is instead intended to introduce an outside perspective into the case.  

Our constituents must be able to trust in their government and judicial system.  Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to help bolster our citizens’ confidence in Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system.

Introduced as HB676