A group of former Philadelphia prosecutors has written a letter warning that the election of attorney Larry Krasner as district attorney would be “dangerous to the city.”
The letter, addressed “Dear Philadelphia,” bears the name of 11 people and their former assignments with the DA’s office.They call Krasner “a radical candidate with no experience prosecuting crime” who’s spreading misinformation about the DA’s office.
“We can no longer stand by in silence as a candidate who is dangerous to the city gains a foothold thanks to money from a European billionaire,” the letter states.
Krasner’s campaign has benefited from a $1.45 million independent advertising and field campaign funded by billionaire George Soros.
In an interview with WHYY earlier this year, Krasner said prosecutors in the DA’s office tend to look at their cases “as a sports event.”
“That culture is that, ‘We’re going to charge the highest charge possible, we’re going to bring every case possible, and then — when we get a conviction on something — we’re going to try to get the longest sentence possible,'” Krasner said.
The letter says Krasner’s dead wrong, that prosecutors seek justice, not just convictions.
Assistant district attorneys “don’t get paid per conviction or promoted because they received harsher sentences. Some of the cases we are most proud of involve dismissing charges when there was an issue with the evidence or figuring out an alternative sentence for an addict,” the letter states.
The letter cites statistics showing the office charges fewer offenses than it used to, and uses 23 diversion programs to get low-level offenders into treatment rather than prison.
The letter also accuses Krasner of manipulative conduct as a defense attorney, but doesn’t cite specific cases.
Krasner, one of seven Democrats in the running, declined to respond personally to the letter.
Campaign spokesman Rich Garella said that Krasner has “admiration and respect for the vast majority of the DA’s office.”
“Some of the programs and reforms that have been done are going to be expanded and a lot of people who work there, I think will really appreciate the expansion of those programs,” Garella said.
The letter was printed as an op-ed piece on the website, The Philadelphia Citizen.
The primary election is Tuesday. Because registered Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans in the city, the winner of the Democratic primary is virtually assured victory in the November general election.