RESOLUTION OF THE PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION IN SUPPORT OF PENNSYLVANIA SENATE BILL 400, PRINTER'S NO. 314, LEGISLATION CREATING A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE INCIDENTS RELATING TO CIVILIAN DEATHS INVOLVING POLICE OFFICERS

WHEREAS, there has been heightened public concern over incidents of deaths of civilians involving police officers; and

WHEREAS, there has been a loss of confidence in the criminal justice system following numerous incidents around the country of deaths caused by police officers or deaths of suspects in police custody; and

WHEREAS, it is in the interest of all parties concerned to maintain respect of law enforcement and law enforcement officers; and

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania Senate Bill 400, Printer's No. 314, would grant the Attorney General exclusive jurisdiction and would require the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute the conduct of a peace officer who, in his or her official capacity, is involved in an incident in which an individual has died under circumstances which may constitute the offense of criminal homicide as a result of the peace officer's conduct; and

WHEREAS, Senate Bill 400, Printer's No. 314 would require the special prosecutor, upon completion of the investigation, to file a report with the Attorney General which shall be made available to the public.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports Senate Bill 400, Printer's No. 314 or similar legislation calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute the conduct of a peace officer who, in his or her official capacity, is involved in an incident in which an individual has died under circumstances which may constitute the offense of criminal homicide as a result of the peace officer's conduct; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chancellor and/or the Chancellor's designee(s) are authorized to communicate the Philadelphia Bar Association's position on Senate Bill 400, Printer's No. 314 or any similar legislation to the Governor, the General Assembly, the media and the public and to take such other action as necessary to effectuate this Resolution.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: October 27, 2015