PBS series looks at how Larry Krasner became Philly DA and pushed for progressive criminal justice reforms

“Philly D.A.” shows how civil rights attorney Larry Krasner became Philadelphia’s district attorney and tried to transform criminal justice. Credit: PBS/YouTube.

Remember how George Gascón snuck up on Jackie Lacey and won the race to become LA’s next district attorney? He’s just one in a wave of progressive prosecutors. Larry Krasner was an earlier adopter of this movement. Considered the underdog, Krasner won the race for Philadelphia district attorney in a landslide.

He said during his campaign: “We’re gonna stop spending money on stupid and start spending it on smart. Stupid is putting everybody you can find into jail. And smart is putting the money back into schools. It’s also putting into job training, putting it into economic development because people with jobs don’t commit crimes.” 

Krasner won with promises to end cash bail, rethink how to sentence juveniles, and hold police more accountable. He spent his career as a civil rights attorney, supporting Black Lives Matter and Occupy Philadelphia, and fighting the police and the prosecutors he now oversees. 

The Independent Lens documentary series “Philly D.A.” gives an inside look at the 2017 campaign of Krasner and his fight to reform Philadelphia.  

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