Philadelphia

Some ADAs Worried About Krasner Philly DA Victory, but Krasner's Not Worried About Them

The criminal justice establishment doesn't realize how much credibility it's lost over the years.

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Reason

Before his victory in the Democratic primary last night, reform-minded district attorney candidate Larry Krasner had already earned the scorn of several former prosecutors (ADAs). Eleven of them wrote an open letter urging Philadelphians to vote against Krasner, filling their missive with political rhetoric like "alternative facts" and blaming a "European billionaire" (Soros) for Krasner's success.

Krasner, who won with nearly 40 percent of the vote in a 7-way race, said throughout the race that the reforms and focus on civil rights he was campaigning on are the same issues that informed his 30 year career in law.

Now, current prosecutors are coming out to criticize Krasner's candidacy, albeit anonymously. A number of them spoke with Philly.com—most were oblivious to the sentiments about the district attorney's office and the criminal justice system that helped propel Krasner to victory.

"I don't know whether to laugh or cry," one prosecutor said, according to Philly.com. "It's kind of hard to separate the person from what he said during the campaign. I don't think he has much goodwill in the office, given the tenor and tone of what he's been saying."

What has Krasner been saying? That too often the district attorney's office works to appear extremely tough on crime by seeking maximum penalties, that, as his campaign website said and the former ADA's who wrote the letter disputed, the DA's office was "driven by a win-at-any-cost culture that prioritizes high conviction rates and harsh sentencing over more effective approaches that are proven to reduce crime."

"His idea of justice is different than the vast majority of people's in the city," another ADA, described by Philly.com as "higher up in the chain of command," said. "We're in a city ravaged by gun violence and violent crime. When your platform is civil rights and resisting Trump, well, that's not the job of the prosecutor. Our job is to protect the city and keep people safe."

While Krasner has promised not to cooperate with the federal government under Donald Trump (a promise that makes sense given Attorney General Jeff Sessions' priorities so far), reforming the criminal justice sytem, not "resisting Trump," was the central tenet of his campaign.

And as for violent crime in Philadelphia, it is at the lowest level it has been in the city in decades, and that's according to police themselves.

"Everything we've seen from him during the campaign has been about how the DA's Office is unethical and prosecutes terrible cases, and only he can fix it," another anonymous prosecutor told Philly.com. "That's a pretty broad [criticism], and it isn't particularly morale-boosting."

The current district attorney, Seth Williams, was indicted on federal corruption charges in March but intends to serve out his term, which ends in January. And recently, the state's former attorney general, Kathleen Kane, elected in 2012, was also sentenced to up to two years in jail after being convicted of perjury and abuse of office charges.

Philadelphia residents are understandably skeptical about the integrity of their criminal justice system. Complaints from the criminal justice establishment about Krasner may be as effective as establishment complaints were against Trump.

Krasner responded to concerns from prosecutors after his victory last night, telling reporters that he respected everyone's right to an opinion.

"The bottom line is people are entitled to their opinion," Krasner said, "including people who left the district attorney's office a long time ago, people who actually never had any dealings with me at all, people who have pursued careers after leaving the district attorney's office that involve being paid to defend officers accused of corruption, they're entitled to their opinions.

Krasner added: "And so are the many many assistant district attorneys in the office who've personally come up to me to encourage me, to congratulate me, to give me information over the years, and so are the many judges who've come up to me to congratulate me and tell me that I will have their vote."

Krasner will face Republican Beth Grossman, a booster for asset forfeiture and former Democrat who served in the DA's office under Lynne Abraham, the "tough on crime" Democratic DA who served from 1991 to 2010.

NEXT: Is checking out visitors at home with gun behind your back 'disorderly conduct'?

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  1. 14-Year Veteran Undercover Cop Exposes Truth About The Drug War: “I Used To Believe I Was Doing Good”

    “When I went into policing I thought addicts had made the mistake of trying drugs and had no willpower to stop. Actually, problematic drug users ? or at least all the ones I knew ? were self medicating. Most of the heroin users I knew were self-medicating for childhood trauma, whether physical or sexual. As an undercover officer I spent a great deal of time getting to know these people.

    ***

    I have been saying that for over 12 years.

    What I’m looking for now is a Christian explanation for making war on abused children.

    1. And Jesus said unto them, “Law and Order uber Alles.”

    2. Agammamon 22:21 Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, bitchez.

  2. Our job is to protect the city and keep people safe.”

    Is that their job?

  3. And as for violent crime in Philadelphia, it is at the lowest level it has been in the city in decades, and that’s according to police themselves.

    Philadelphia has almost as many homicides as NYC – a city that is five and half times larger. I don’t think they should go around bragging yet.

    1. But as long as its Philadelphians killing other Philadelphians, is it really such a bad thing?

      These people threw iceballs at Santa for chrissakes.

      1. But as long as its Philadelphians killing other Philadelphians, is it really such a bad thing?

        I suppose for Philadelphians who would rather not be killed it might be.

        1. But, but, they live in Philadelphia.

      2. Hey, if you had Philly’s major sports teams, you’d be surly too. I don’t understand what’s the excuse for NY and Boston fans who have playoffs and championships every year but still act like assholes.

        1. NY has 2-3 teams per sport and every year at least one in each sport can’t get out of their own way. There’s always a reason to be miserable.

          Yankees: Stuck in neutral since 2009
          Mets: Luckless losers, had one or two good runs in 15 years
          Giants: Two random championships and a lot of underachieving
          Jets: Laughingstock since 1971
          Knicks: Trainwreck since Ewing left
          Nets: Dumpster fire since Kidd left
          Rangers: a decade of incompetence followed by a decade of futility
          Islanders: I have no idea how Garth Snow is still employed
          Devils: Bad for four of past seven years, mediocre for another two, and likely not to sniff the playoffs for the next two to three
          NYRB: Who cares about MLS, but soccer’s version of the Rangers: always the bridesmaid
          NYCFC: Expansion MLS? Who cares

          1. I dropped the Red Bulls like a hot potato when NYCFC came online. I can’t support a team from New Jersey.

            1. The one cool thing about NYCFC is the fact that you can get home plate luxury seats for a song because they’re not good seats for a soccer game. I had never before watched a game in such opulence.

              1. I haven’t been to Yankee Stadium. I have a feeling it will take even longer for me to get to the Bronx than to get to NJ.

              2. So buy the soccer tix & stay for the baseball.

    2. Philadelphia has almost as many homicides as NYC

      And even that’s only because Philadelphia gets to ignore all the murders in Camden. Camden and Philadelphia would be a single city anywhere else, but get separated due to the combination straddling a state border.

  4. The current district attorney, Seth Williams, was indicted on federal corruption charges in March but intends to serve out his term…

    He hasn’t done anything wrong, when looked at in comparison to any Filthacrapia politician. That they singled him out is the real injustice.

  5. If he was supported by Soros, I will have to root for whomever he is facing to defeat him.

    1. Well, we certainly know who registered democrat Krayewski is going to vote for, don’t we!

      Though as his friend pointed out to me on the other thread, Philly is already a one party democrat-controlled city anyway and this guy of course is going to win easily with probably 70 to 80 percent of the vote, so it kinds of makes you wonder why a “libertarian” really needs to go out and vote for him twice.

  6. If he’s really that bad – resign. If you won’t resign and publicly air your problems (instead of hiding, speaking anonymously, and hoping the new guy isn’t about to fire you) then I don’t think you have any legitimate criticism.

    I don’t really think they do either – they’re afraid they’ll be hauled up next time the use a ‘shortcut-to-justice’.

    Hint: They won’t. Reformers never accomplish anything until the public is so well behind reform that most of the state’s positions are filled with people who agree with you.

  7. The trouble w the choices being only soft or tough on “crime” is it’s like a video w only a brightness & no contrast control.

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