Larry Krasner Elected Top Prosecutor in Philadelphia

The New York Times

… At 56, Mr. Krasner has never held public office and spent much of his career representing liberal activists in Philadelphia. As a private lawyer, he sued the Philadelphia Police Department 75 times, repeatedly accusing its officers of lying and using excessive force — a remarkable record for a man who will now have to work with the police as the city’s top law enforcement officer.

Though crime in Philadelphia has dropped significantly in recent months, the city still has one of the highest incarceration rates of any urban center in the country. Mr. Krasner made that issue a focal point of his campaign, promising to cut down on prosecutions of minor offenses, to divert drug addicts into treatment and to ignore, where appropriate, what he described as draconian sentencing guidelines.

Read more at nytimes.com

“Completely Unelectable” Progressive Larry Krasner Wins DA’s Race

Philadelphia magazine – Holly Otterbein

… When Krasner takes office in January, he won’t only be one of the most progressive politicians in Philly. He’s also be one of the most progressive DAs in the country. Maybe even the most progressive, in fact. Earlier this week, the Atlantic wrote that “Krasner wouldn’t be the first ‘reform-minded’ prosecutor to take office, a term used to describe the growing cohort of district and state’s attorneys vowing to overhaul cash bail, abolish the death penalty, and crack down on police corruption. But he would be the most progressive in this pool, a distinction that takes on extra weight at a time when the Justice Department is moving right.”

Read more at phillymag.com

The most progressive candidate in a generation is poised to run law enforcement in one of the US’s biggest cities

Business Insider – Harrison Jacobs

Civil rights attorney Larry Krasner has always been obsessed with what it takes to make change. At the age of 11, he got into a debate with his Sunday School teacher about whether it was right to break the law for the greater good. The two were arguing over the Civil Rights movement and protests over the Vietnam War — events that shaped his life and perspective.

Today, Krasner is running for district attorney of Philadelphia, a powerful position in a city with the highest rate of incarceration, the highest poverty rate, and the third highest violent crime rate of the US’s 10 most populated cities, though crime has dropped significantly in recent years.

At 56, he is pursuing elected office for the first time after a 30-year career defending radical activist groups like Black Lives Matter and Occupy Philadelphia. He’s also sued police for civil rights violations more than 75 times.

“I was born in ’61. So in ’68 when I’m watching TV … I’m seeing the Vietnam War and the protests and the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago,” Krasner told Business Insider.

“I remember all that and, even more importantly, I remember [Martin Luther] King. … It was a very visual time, and when you are a 7- or 8-year-old kid and you’re watching this happen … it’s compelling. The war was compelling. It was all compelling. And then, they were getting killed. [Robert F. Kennedy] was speaking out against the war. And then he is dead. And then King is dead, and he’s dead because of white supremacists.”

Krasner, well-dressed in a sharply cut blue suit, tinted horn-rimmed glasses, and a well-kempt head of silvery hair, doesn’t look the part of a political outsider.

With his raspy but measured speech, he could pass for a senator in a liberal state. But make no mistake, Krasner may be the most progressive candidate for such a major office in years. The center of his campaign platform is ending “mass incarceration,” the constellation of state and federal policies that have put more than 2 million Americans behind bars.

Read more at businessinsider.com