The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office will not prosecute citations pursuant to the Disease Prevention and Control Law regarding violations of state-mandated stay-at-home orders and closure orders of “non-essential businesses” according to a statement issued today.
The governor the latest extension of his order that non-life sustaining businesses remain closed on May 8, 2020. The Governor also granted waivers to numerous businesses, allowing those businesses to open while others of their kind remain under closure order. The District Attorney’s office said. “We find that the Governor’s continuously changing orders – and business waivers – have presented circumstances where criminal enforcement of the orders is difficult. Rapid changes in the definition of what constitutes criminal conduct renders the application of criminal sanctions insupportable. Accordingly, this office will not prosecute any alleged violations of the state-mandated orders issued in response to COVID-19, nor will it prosecute pursuant to directives of the Governor’s administration regarding the operation of “non-essential businesses.”
The office went on to say, ““The COVID-19 pandemic and administrative orders from our state officials have placed law-enforcement all across Pennsylvania in uncharted waters,” District Attorney Heather Adams said Sunday. “Our interpretation of existing law in balance with the constantly shifting definitions of what is and is not allowed, per these orders, brought us to this informed decision: we will not prosecute.”
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