Rabb applauds judge’s decision to rule Spellman trial unconstitutional

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., released a statement on Judge Scott DiClaudio’s ruling that India Spellman’s 2010 murder trial was unconstitutional and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s decision to not retry Spellman, freeing her to go home.

“Ms. Spellman had years of her life stolen by a justice system that let corruption fester. It took a former homicide detective being tried for perjury in a similar case, along with the persistent efforts of the Spellman family — constituents of mine — for India to gain her long overdue freedom. It disturbs me to think of how many people could be stuck in a similar position due to our deeply flawed criminal legal system and law enforcement practices,” Rabb said. “It is a reminder how these injustices breed public distrust of institutions that were not designed to protect or serve members of our society’s most vulnerable communities.

“We must take action to see that the innocent are not wrongfully convicted, and if they are, that they are exonerated and properly compensated for the theft of their freedom by the state.”

Rabb has introduced groundbreaking legislation on exoneree compensation as improved by the collective input of many leaders in the exoneree community. Rabb said he will be reintroducing his bill in this legislative session and will seek have it be considered in the House Judiciary Committee this year.