Interviews

Krasner Takes Nothing for Granted in DA Fight

BY JON MARKS – THE JEWISH EXPONENT

Larry Krasner doesn’t believe the fact that he’s never prosecuted a case in his 30-year career is a negative, or something that would prevent him from doing a good job as Philadelphia’s next district attorney.

In fact, considering the way things have gone in that office of late, culminating with former DA Seth Williams stepping down, pleading guilty to charges of accepting a bribe and receiving a five-year prison term, it might be a positive.

“In some ways, I feel it’s like the person who twice crashed your car coming back to you asking for your keys,” said Krasner, who’s spent his career as a defense attorney. “When you say, ‘Why should I give you my keys?’ they say, ‘Because I’m an experienced driver.’ So to those who say I’ve never been a prosecutor, that’s correct. It’s also true that the prosecutors we’ve had and those trained in the current culture of the DA’s office have been part of problems we’re trying to fix. This DA’s office has considerable problems and gets a bad report card.”

Full article at jewishexponent.com

Five questions with the Philly DA candidates

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER AND DAILY NEWS EDITORIAL BOARDS

On Nov. 7, Philadelphia will elect a new district attorney. The issues facing the DA’s Office — civil forfeiture, violent crime and guns, the role of the office in the opioid crisis, ethics and political corruption, and the influence of outside organizations — are, perhaps now more than ever, at the heart of Philadelphia public discourse. Our Editorial Boards sat down with both candidates last week to discuss these issues and others in preparation to make an endorsement.

Larry Krasner, el candidato demócrata a la Fiscalía de Filadelfia

POR EDWIN LÓPEZ MOYA – AL DÍA

El candidato demócrata a la Fiscalía Distrital de Filadelfia habló con AL DÍA News sobre sus planes y metas si resulta elegido en las elecciones generales del próximo 7 de noviembre.

Falta exactamente un mes para que Filadelfia acuda a las urnas con el fin de elegir a nueve jueces de la Corte de Primera Instancia del Condado (Court of Common Pleas), dos para la Corte Municipal, un controlador y un fiscal distrital. 

Uno de los cargos más taquilleros es precisamente el último, dada su notoriedad y porque no en pocos casos ha sido utilizado como trampolín para saltar a la arena política o — en el caso de Seth Williams — a la cárcel. 

Aunque es un outsider en el escenario político local, Larry Krasner se convirtió en el candidato demócrata a la Fiscalía luego de hacer una campaña progresista en la que prometió liderar una revolución al interior de una entidad temida y desprestigiada.

... Krasner habló con AL DÍA News sobre el giro que piensa darle a la Fiscalía si llega a ser elegido; algo que muchos dan por sentado dada la afiliación política de la ciudad.

Artículo entero en AL DÍA
or English version

On the Issues: Who Will be Philadelphia's Next District Attorney?

ONE STEP AWAY

One Step Away is Philadelphia’s first newspaper produced by those without homes for those with homes, with a mission to create jobs and advocate for social change.

A team of One Step Away vendors had the opportunity to sit down with both candidates running for the office ofDistrict Attorney (D.A.) of Philadelphia. In this spring's primary, progressive civil rights and criminal defense attorney, Larry Krasner, won in a hotly contested race for the Democratic nomination, in which he united a diverse coalition of organizations and helped mobilize a historically high voter turnout. Beth Grossman — who served as an Assistant District Attorney for over 20 years under Lynne Abraham and Seth Williams, and has managed the Dangerous Drug Offender Unit and the Public Nuisance Task Force — ran uncontested in the Republican primary.

Philadelphia's next Chief Prosecutor will inherit a crowded prison system, an opioid crisis growing in severity, and an office seeking to regain public trust after former District Attorney Seth Williams was outed on corruption charges.  One Step Away vendors Eric, Tammy, Randall, and Jeff created a list of questions on some of the issues that matter most to us.

What made you decide to run, and what's the first positive change you would make?

Larry Krasner: I decided to run because I looked at the candidates and I did not see hope for real change. I have been in the system — meaning in court four to five days a week, visiting people in jails for thirty years, dealing with people who have every sort of difficulty in life, including mental illness, addition, [and] homelessness; and I feel like real change is absolutely necessary.

So, what would be the first thing I'd do? I would recruit the right people to be prosecutors and fill any openings that may exist. In terms of my policies, I'm very adamant about stopping the pursuit of the death penalty, about ending mass incarceration, about changing civil asset forfeiture so they stop taking grandma's house for what grandkid did or did not do. I'm also adamant about ending cash bail and having a different bail system because I believe cash bail essentially becomes prison for poor people. And then changing a lot of procedures that have resulted in innocent people ending up in jail and guilty people going free.

Selected answers on generocity.org

Read the rest of the cover story by finding a street vendor in a yellow vest, or by visiting Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 N Broad St, 10am – 1pm Mon, Wed or Fri. 

Discussion on Women, Poverty & Incarceration (video)

(Video by Eric Gjertsen of Payday)

Mothers, other caregivers, and all women are hit hard by poverty, mass incarceration and cutbacks. A group met on September 28th at the new Crossroads Women’s Center in Germantown to discuss issues related to women, poverty and incarceration with district attorney candidate Larry Krasner.

In this series of six videos, you will hear stories from women and men who have been deeply affected by the criminal justice system and hear them question Larry about his plans for reform should he be elected Philadelphia's next DA.

Watch all six videos in the playlist above or on YouTube:

1. Introduction by Theresa Shoatz; Larry Krasner's opening statement
2. Patricia Vickers, Human Rights Coalition: Incarceration of women heads of family
3. Pat Albright, Global Women's Strike: Criminalization for survival and crimes of poverty
4. Carolyn Hill, Women of Color in the GWS: Loss of custody of children
5. Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture, Justice 4 Tyree Carroll: Police and electoral corruption
6. Comments and questions from the floor, including:
    Prosecution of prostitution  
    Reviewing questionable convictions
    Opening up old cases with new evidence (PCRA) 
    Women lifers
    Fraud, bias and perjury in Family Court
    Prosecutorial misconduct
    Advocacy and support for victims of crime
    Reopening cases tainted by police corruption
    Adopting out of children by DHS
    Holding judges accountable
    Trauma training for law enforcement personnel
    First thing to do to make a difference as DA
    Protecting Philadelphia as a sanctuary city
    The prison-industrial complex; excessive sentencing
    How to support the campaign; closing statement

The event was hosted by Global Women’s Strike, the Human Rights Coalition, and Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike. Co-sponsors included Every Mother is a Working Mother NetworkPaydayNational Welfare and Caregivers Working Group. Larry thanks all of these groups and all of those who attended.

The Story Behind America’s Mass Incarceration Experiment

CITED

In the late 1960s, criminologists like Todd Clear predicted America would soon start closing its prisons. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

Today on the show, Dan Denvir from The Dig and Katherine Beckett from the University of Washington Center for Human Rights join Sam to tell the story of mass incarceration in America. We talk to Rutgers criminologist Todd Clear on what we’ve learned from this “grand social experiment,” poet Reginald Dwayne Betts about redemption and violent crime, and Larry Krasner, a progressive lawyer who has shaken up a DA’s race in Philadelphia [at 46:14].

Show page on CITED, with bibliography

Philadelphia Bar Association forum (video)

Krasner: "What we've seen has been a radical experiment in over-prosecution, over-incarceration and systemic racism...we are not safer, and it is not just."

The two candidates for Philadelphia district attorney, Beth Grossman and Larry Krasner, presented their cases at a Community Forum hosted by the Philadelphia Bar Association on Tuesday, Sept. 26, the first of several times they will meet during the fall 2017 general election campaign.

The event was introduced by Chancellor Deborah R. Gross. The moderator was Charles Gibbs, president of the Barristers' Association of Philadelphia.

(58 minutes)