Krasner, Justice Reform Advocate, Wins Philly DA Race

Larry Krasner will succeed the convicted Seth Williams as Philadelphia’s District Attorney. With the backing of billionaire George Soros, he opposes the death penalty, cash bail, and mass incarceration.

Larry Krasner was elected Philadelphia district attorney on Tuesday, capping what calls a once-improbable campaign to be the city’s top prosecutor. He has signalled that he would bring significant, if not drastic, changes to the office. Republican Beth Grossman failed to convince enough voters that her 21 years as an assistant district attorney made her the better choice; Krasner won by a 3-1 ratio.

Krasner promised his election would herald “transformational change” in the city’s criminal justice system and a fairness “for a system that has systematically picked on black and brown people.” The son of a crime-fiction author and an evangelical Christian minister, Krasner grew up in St. Louis, graduated from Stanford Law School, and is married to Common Pleas Court Judge Lisa Rau. The 56-year-old was assailed from the start of his campaign by critics as unsuitable for the job as an attorney best known for taking on civil rights cases and suing the Philadelphia Police Department. It was for some of the same reasons that he drew support from activists demanding criminal justice reform from an office they deemed unfair. Krasner said Tuesday that “it’s time to end the death penalty…mass incarceration … cash bail …” Billionaire George Soros sank nearly $1.7 million into Krasner’s primary election campaign. He will succeed Seth Williams, who was sentenced to a five-year prison term for corruption.