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In Philadelphia, a Progressive D.A. Tests the Power — and Learns the Limits — of His Office

 

This guy will ruin our country if allowed...

 

By Ben Austen/ New York Times

Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 15.49.46photo courtesy of Larry Krasner

By a show of hands, half of the 80 students in the packed lecture hall said they wanted to go into public-interest law or become public defenders. They held the same low opinion of prosecutors. They were committed to fighting against district attorneys. And they were Krasner’s target audience. The head of one of the country’s largest prosecutor’s offices was making the case that the most effective way to transform the criminal-justice system — to make it more just — was from a position of authority within that system.

“A progressive D.A. is not the same thing as a traditional D.A.,” he told the law students. “You might call me a prosecutor with com-passion. Or a public defender with pow-er.”

Krasner, 57, has salt-and-pepper hair, dark glasses and a mouth that is a thin horizontal line, even when he’s smiling. He looks often to be both unwaveringly self-assured and wryly amused, so at ease in a hunch-shouldered awkwardness that he seems almost debonair. “Despite the fact that I look like I used to hang out with George Bush in Skull and Bones,” he said in Chicago to laughter, “we had some food stamps when I was in high school.”

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