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The case of Jamal Simmons marks the fourth time in six months that a prosecution connected to Philip Nordo, an ex-Philadelphia homicide detective fired in 2017, has either deteriorated or dissolved.

No one will say how many other cases that Nordo helped build may be at risk of collapse — or whether a long-running probe of his conduct, which has been largely secretive, might yield any charges. He lost his job for “knowingly and intentionally associating, fraternizing, or socializing” with people connected to criminal conduct, the Police Department said at the time.

Simmons’ case was handled by the DA’s Conviction Integrity Unit, which investigates innocence claims and has been expanded under District Attorney Larry Krasner. Its director, Patricia Cummings, declined to comment on Simmons’ case, as did Simmons’ attorney, George Newman.

Nordo did not respond to requests for comment, and his lawyer, Fortunato Perri Jr., declined to comment.

Hundreds of narcotics convictions in recent years have been overturned in city courts due to allegations of police misconduct. But if Krasner — who as a defense attorney frequently sued the police for alleged wrongdoing — were to authorize a systemic review of a homicide detective’s work, experts say, that would be unprecedented in Philadelphia.


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