PHILADELPHIA, May 31, 2017 — In what became a nationally publicized primary race, private defense attorney Larry Krasner is now the Democratic nominee in Philadelphia’s District Attorney race. Krasner went from being a virtual unknown to piling up an 18 point lead over his closest competitor after snagging a 1.45 million dollar contribution from George Soros.
The news of the controversial multi-billionaire’s infusion of cash into the race came on the heels of the city’s last DA, Seth Williams, being indicted for accepting bribes from big money donors to assist them with their legal woes.
In a volatile city plagued by a drug epidemic and one of the highest violent crime rates in the entire nation, Krasner has filed over 75 lawsuits against the police and represented groups associated with riots and unrest such as #Black Lives Matter and #Occupy Wall Street.
Here are some issues Philadelphia’s voters should consider before allowing outside influences like the deep-pocketed Soros to dominate the vital debate over the best way to keep their families and communities safe.
- Philadelphia has a violent crime rate that is 227% higher than the Pennsylvania average and 176% higher than the national average. While the Krasner camp is quick to highlight all the civil rights cases where they represented political and religious groups, they don’t seem to talk much about representing thousands accused of rape, murder and offenses against children, such as the possession of child pornography. The Krasner & Long Law website boasts of handling over 20,000 cases where someone was accused of some manner of sexual offense.
While every American has a Constitutional right to skilled representation, the realities of living in a city plagued by violent crime force us to consider a DA’s ability to balance victim’s rights with the right to a fair trial. Krasner has never worked as a prosecutor, and has no experience from this other vantage point.
- DA candidates backed by high-profile donors like George Soros may create a situation in which many, including victims, could lose.
Says Susan D. Settenbrino,
“The office of the District Attorney is very powerful. A political DA can reward their [sic] friends and supporters by dismissing complaints and refusing to investigate and prosecute even criminal behavior under the guise of prosecutorial discretion. This office can be run in a brazen political manner and never suffer any consequences whatsoever, because there’s no meaningful oversight and/or accountability. Therefore, the DA should not be beholden to any person, group, or agenda in appearance or reality.”
Settenbrino, an attorney, former appellate trial prosecutor, assistant professor, radio host, is also the author of “Unchecked Power Guide.”
Sacramento, California attorney, author and victim advocate Alexis Moore offers voters the following advice:
“Look for a candidate that does not have the big money donors, those that can buy their treatment in the system and protect their particular sphere of influence. Look for those that are seeking the office to represent the people at large not offer particular preference or favor to their campaign donors/contributors.”
Moore founded a national nonprofit supporting victims of violent crime called, “Survivors In Action”. She has had extensive experience with DA’s and City Attorneys offices across the nation as an advocate for victims of abuse including stalking, rape, domestic violence, and cyber abuse.
- Philadelphia’s drug problem is of an epidemic proportion and it may be related to its status as as sanctuary city. According to the DEA’s 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary – an annual report on transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) and the illegal drugs they distribute – Philadelphia is worse off than other major cities.
Mexican TCOs are the most significant drug trafficking organizations operating in the U.S. today, serving as the principal suppliers of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and marijuana. The DEA report showed Mexican TCOs displaying increased interest in the establishment of distribution hubs in northeastern cities like Philadelphia. They speculate these violent drug rings are trying to bypass the southeastern US due to increased pressure from law enforcement in that region.
Similarly in Boston, another “sanctuary city,” The Daily Caller reported
“An analysis of arrest data for Class A drug trafficking — selling heroin, morphine and synthetic opioids — revealed the majority of individuals arrested in 2016 in Boston were not U.S. citizens.”
If Krasner is elected Philadelphia’s next DA, it’s highly unlikely he will challenge Mayor Kenney’s executive order discouraging cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) while also protecting illegal foreign felons from deportation.
According to Krasner’s platform as outlined on his campaign website, he claims
“As District Attorney, he will work to maintain Philadelphia as a ‘sanctuary city’” and “oppose renewal of ICE’s access to the PARS database, a city police database used by ICE to identify ‘deportable’ immigrants.”
What Philadelphia’s law-abiding, community members must remember is that the causes of violent crime and drug abuse are complex. They have been linked to the collapse of the traditional family, poor education, socioeconomic and other cultural issues. Solutions to these problems are long-term in nature and improvements will only occur very slowly and only by endorsing a return to family values, the implementation of long-overdue education reforms and the bolstering of local and national economies.
While Americans and Philadelphians alike work toward these long term goals, we must still ensure the safety of children and the communities in which they live and attend school. Philadelphia is dealing with one of the most vicious drug and violent crime epidemics in the country, and so in the most pragmatic sense, those enforcing the laws must still be focused on the immediate removal of convicted violent criminals and illegal drug cartels from the streets. Such aims do not seem to square with Krasner’s platform.