Wednesday, February 9, 2022

How The D.A.'s Office Under Larry Krasner Went From Grade B To F

By Ralph Cipriano

On the campaign trail in 2017 and during his first year in office, Larry Krasner did a lot of bragging about how he was going to reform the Philly D.A.'s office.

Big Boast No. 1 -- Krasner claimed that by not charging non-violent offenders for petty offenses such as drug possession, retail theft and prostitution, Krasner and his assistant district attorneys would be free to concentrate on prosecuting the relatively small percentage of violent offenders who commit the majority of serous crimes.

Big Boast No. 2 -- Krasner claimed that while seeking "true justice for everyone" his soft-on-crime policies did not result in a spike in crime.

Big Boast No. 3 -- Krasner bragged that by personally recruiting an "incredibly bright group of new prosecutors," he would upgrade what he described as a "Grade-B District Attorney's Office."

Big Boast No. 4 -- Krasner promised that in contrast to his predecessors in office, he would hold bad cops accountable for misconduct and corruption. 

Well, after four years in office, the results are in on Krasner's proposed reforms of the D.A.'s office. And how'd he do?

When it comes to delivering on all four big boasts, the end result on Larry Krasner's report card as D.A. is four big Fs.

Big Boast No. 1 -- Going After Violent Offenders

Let's start with Krasner's plan to charge fewer cases so that he and his progressive ADAs would be free to concentrate on prosecuting the small percentage of violent offenders who commit the majority of serious crimes.

"We know that 6% of the criminals commit about 60% of the serious crime and we have to go after them," Krasner told WHYY radio host Marty Moss-Coane on June 28, 2018, nearly six months after he had taken office as Philly's new reform D.A.

"But if we're spending all of our time over-incarcerating, over charging, over-supervising people who don't require that level [of supervision], then it's much harder for us to actually be good at getting at the people we need to pursue," Krasner told Moss-Coane, referring to that 6% of criminals who commit the majority of serious crimes.

Well, the D.A.'s office under Krasner certainly ended up charging fewer cases. 

In 2014, under former D.A. Seth Williams, the D.A.'s office charged a total of 43,228 cases. 

But by 2021 under D.A. Larry Krasner, the total of all cases charged by the D.A.'s office had fallen by 47%, all the way down to 22,867 cases.

So the reform prosecutors in Krasner's office were literally doing nearly half the workload that the D.A.'s office used to do under former D.A. Seth Williams.

But did that drastic reduction in caseloads result in Krasner's progressive A.D.A.'s being more effective at prosecuting crime?

Nope. When it came to prosecuting crime, Krasner's progressive prosecutors turned out to be less effective than their predecessors. 

In 2014 under Seth Williams, the conviction rate in the D.A.'s office for all crimes was 50.7%.

By 2021 under Larry Krasner, the conviction rate in the D.A.'s office for all crimes had fallen all the way down to 22.6%

By the way, all of the above figures were taken from the D.A.'s own "Public Data Dashboard." So the D.A. who's been stonewalling Big Trial for 2 1/2 years, and who didn't respond to a request for comment on this story, can't quibble with the figures. 

Now, let's take a look at the prosecution of violent offenses, which are defined as: homicides, attempted murder, non-fatal shootings, rape, robbery with a deadly weapon, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, assault, sexual assaults, arson, carjacking and other violent crimes.

The majority of these crimes are committed by that relatively small percentage of repeat offenders that Krasner told Moss-Coane he planned to "go after."

When Moss-Coane asked Krasner if this was a manageable job, the D.A. replied, "It is something that certainly can be a lot more manageable."

But under the progressive administration of D.A. Krasner, that's not how it turned out.

In 2014, the D.A.'s office under Seth Williams prosecuted a total of 10,190 violent offenses.

But by 2021, the D.A.'s office under Larry Krasner had prosecuted a total of 6,491 violent offenses, a 36% decrease.

Did that reduced caseload, however, result in Krasner's progressive prosecutors being more effective at prosecuting violent crime?

Once again, the answer is no.

Once again, it turned out that Krasner's progressive prosecutors were less effective at prosecuting violent crime.

In 2014 under former D.A. Seth Williams, the conviction rate for prosecuting violent crime was 41.0%.

By 2021 under Progressive Larry Krasner, the conviction rate for prosecuting violent crimes had fallen to just 24.1%.

So here's the bottom line for Krasner's "reforms" regarding the pursuit of that relatively small percentage of violent offenders who commit the majority of serious crimes.

For prosecutors, it meant drastically reduced caseloads; for accused criminals, it meant drastically reduced conviction rates. 

The end result -- more dangerous criminals were out on the street, free to commit more crimes.

Way to go Larry!

Big Boast No. 2 -- No spike in crime?

Let's move on to Krasner's claim that while his progressive prosecutors were pursuing "true justice for everyone," his soft-on-crime policies did not result in a spike in crime.

In the Moss-Coane interview, Krasner stated that his progressive "reforms" of the criminal justice system included "a whole lot of people who have gotten out of jail." He also mentioned that the sentences that the D.A. was recommending for those convicted of crime "are getting much shorter under this administration."

Besides letting lots of people out of jail, Krasner's office routinely gives out lenient sentences for most offenses, including gun crimes, that are well below state sentencing guidelines.

But after his first six months in office, Krasner told Moss-Coane that his soft-on-crime policies had not resulted in a spike in violent crime, and then he expressed optimism that this trend would continue.

"So what we certainly can say, which is true, is that these policies have not caused a crime spike and there is good reason to think that the ways that we are trying to go, which is to focus on the serious stuff and stop wasting our time prosecuting marijuana possession, is certainly not making things worse and arguably is making it better," Krasner told Moss-Coane.

As recently as at a Dec. 6th press conference last year that made Krasner a national laughing stock, the D.A. was still claiming that after four years of his progressive leadership, there was still no spike in crime in Philadelphia.

“We don’t have a crisis of lawlessness, we don’t have a crisis of crime, we don’t have a crisis of violence," Krasner famously declared at his disaster of a press conference.  “It’s important that we don’t let this become mushy and bleed into the notion that there is some kind of big spike in crime.”

But after four years of D.A. Krasner's progressive reforms, has there been a big spike in crime?

Regarding the most serious crimes, you betcha!

Under D.A. Krasner, the number of homicides committed in Philadelphia has gone from 315 murders in 2017, the year before Krasner took office, all the way up to an all-time record of 562 murders last year.

Over a four year period, that amounts to a 78.4% spike in murders under Larry Krasner. 

Meanwhile, the amount of non-fatal shootings in 2017, the year before Krasner took office, was 1,028.

By 2021, the number of non-fatal shootings under reform prosecutor Krasner had risen to 1,846.

That amounts to a 79.5% spike in non-fatal shootings under Larry Krasner.

Big Boast No. 3 -- Upgrading That Grade B D.A.'s Office

In a debate on the campaign trail, Krasner said that the D.A.'s office "is not an A-list D.A.'s office."

And candidate Krasner claimed he could do better. Why?

"We are focused on talent," candidate Krasner said.

At the debate, candidate Krasner trashed the D.A.'s office again by saying that one judge alone told him he had 12 jury trials in his courtroom over the summer, and the result was 12 not-guilty verdicts.

"That should tell you something; it should tell you something about the level of performance . . . about the level of training, about how well that office is doing," Krasner said. "When you have acquittal rates like that something has gone wrong."

Keep in mind that the year Krasner said this, 2017, the number of violent crime cases in the D.A.'s office that were either dismissed or withdrawn, sent to diversion programs, or the defendants were either found not guilty or were acquitted, amounted to 58.9% of the violent crime cases. 

And that in 2021, the number of violent crime cases in the D.A.'s office under Krasner that were either dismissed or withdrawn, sent to diversion programs, or the defendants were either found not guilty or were acquitted, had risen to 75.8%.

When he first took office back in January 2018, one of Krasner's first official acts was to immediately fire 31 senior prosecutors.

"The coach get to pick the team," Krasner declared.

The novice D.A., who himself had never even prosecuted a traffic stop, wound up replacing the most senior prosecutors in his office with a combination of social justice warriors, former public defenders and woke progressives fresh out of law school. 

But to hear Krasner talk, the amateur prosecutor was always the smartest guy in the room.

In a April 24, 2018 City Council hearing, when Krasner was seeking a $5 million boost in his annual budget, he described the D.A.'s office as "outdated" and a "Grade-B District Attorney's Office."

In a Sept. 18, 2018 recruiting trip at the University of Penn that was covered by the Daily Pennsylvanian, Krasner bragged that he wanted to do for prosecution "what Steve Jobs did to the cell phone." 

How was he going to do that? By transforming the DA's office into a "progressive prosecutor's office," Krasner was quoted as saying. "Like nothing you've ever seen before."

From 2018 until 2020, before the pandemic hit, Krasner went on a nationwide barnstorming tour bankrolled by campaign donors, in search of new talent, visiting 49 cities in 28 months.

On the road, Krasner recruited and lectured at laws schools that included Yale University in New Haven; Georgetown University in Washington D.C.; the John Jay College, Columbia Law School, NYU Law School and Fordham University, all in New York City; the Northwestern Law School in Chicago; the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis; the University of Texas Law School in Austin; the North Carolina Central Law School and Duke University in Durham; the Berkley Law School in Berkley; and the USC and UCLA Law Schools in L.A.

He came back to Philadelphia with a bunch of rookie prosecutors who were not only "incredibly bright," according to Krasner, but also incredibly diverse. 

More than half were women; more than half were minorities. And 2% of his new hires, Krasner claimed, "identify as non-binary." 

Together, Krasner claimed, he and his new breed of progressive prosecutors would lead a national reform movement that Krasner bragged would seek "true justice for everyone."

Why did he think he could pull this off? Because, he said, he had "personally recruited" his new breed of progressive prosecutors.

"Having personally recruited and reconnected with these new ADAs, I know a number of them once believed that working as a prosecutor meant becoming part of the problem of mass incarceration," Krasner said in September 2019.

"I'm hopeful that the work we at the DAO are doing to seek true justice for everyone and strengthen communities previously wrecked by mass incarceration will inspire more reform-minded attorneys to consider careers in criminal prosecution and join this fast-growing national movement to change the system from within," Krasner said.

So how did it work out when Coach Krasner, who was focused on talent, got to pick his own team?

Krasner has personally recruited and hired four annual classes of new prosecutors totaling 181 lawyers. 

As of Nov. 3, 2021, out of the first three classes of new hires, 61 of the 181 lawyers that Krasner personally recruited, or 33.7%, have already left the office. 

Additionally, 37 of those 181 new lawyers that Krasner hired straight out of law school, or 17.1%, flunked the bar exam, including 13 of Krasner's most recent hires last year.  

On Dec. 7, 2021, The Legal Intelligencer, using Right-to-Know requests, found that an exodus of 133 lawyers and staff members had departed Krasner's office in less than a year, between Jan. 1, 2021 and Nov. 3, 2021.

In the story, reporter Aleeza Furman described how disillusioned some of Krasner's new hires were by what they experienced first-hand at the D.A.'s office during Larry Krasner's revolution:

Some ex-ADAs who spoke to The Legal said they were overwhelmed by the caseload and the lack of guidance on the cases they handled. Several said they joined the office to take part in District Attorney Larry Krasner’s new, progressive vision, but that actually working under the administration proved to be a grueling experience.

“I would cry in court multiple times. I cried to my supervisors,” said Virginia Hansen, who left her ADA position Oct. 18, less than a year after assuming the role. “One of my colleagues would go to the bathroom in the middle of court so that she could throw up."

". . . We had no idea what we were doing. Really just fumbling around in the dark with these really important cases,” [Hansen] said.

The exodus from the D.A.'s office continues under Krasner. Since Nov. 3, 2021, Big Trial has documented, another 14 attorneys have quit the D.A.'s office.

On top of his recruiting problems, some of the people Krasner put in charge of major units in his office were not exactly bright lights.

For example, on Feb. 10, 2021, Big Trial reported that Krasner had appointed Assistant District Attorney Chesley Lightsey as interim supervisor of the D.A.'s Homicide and Non-Fatal Shooting Unit, and Assistant District Attorney Sherrell Dandy as Lightsey's top assistant.

As Big Trial reported, Lightsey and Dandy were a couple of lightweights who, according to knowledgeable sources, had tried a total of approximately 18 homicide jury trials between them. 

In addition, the two ADAs who headed the homicide unit had an embarrassing history of courtroom blunders that are well-known in Philadelphia's tight-knit legal community. Blunders that included mixing up key evidence at trial like the murder weapon, calling the wrong witnesses, and misidentifying robbery and kidnapping suspects.

Those gaffes resulted in dangerous defendants walking, defendants who subsequently went on to commit more crimes. Lightsey has since been transferred to another post, chief of the juvenile unit. 

Let's face it folks; in Larry Krasner's D.A. office, it's amateur hour. As veteran criminal defense lawyer Chuck Peruto told Big Trial last February, "I haven't lost a jury trial since Larry Krasner took office."

Peruto, who ran against Krasner as a Republican last November and lost big time, said last year that he had tried a dozen cases since Krasner took office, including two murder trials, and he won them all. 

"This is a joke," Peruto said about the level of competence in Krasner's D.A.'s office. "You don't even get the thrill of victory that you used to get if you win, because if you don't win, you stink." 

Peruto's candid words help explain why Krasner, as the commanding officer of F Troop, has consistently failed to live up to his Big Boast No. 4.

Big Boast No. 4 --- Holding Bad Cops Accountable

What about Krasner's plans to hold police officers accountable? Surely the former criminal defense lawyer who famously sued the Philadelphia Police Department 75 times would be up to fulfilling that campaign promise, right?

In October of 2017, candidate Krasner was asked at a debate whether the city needed to hire a special prosecutor to go after rogue cops, because most prosecutors in the D.A.'s office were too used to working side-by-side with cops to hold them accountable.

At the debate, which can still be seen on youtube, candidate Krasner puffed up his chest and basically said, well, with an expert around like me when it comes to going after bad cops, who needs a special prosecutor?

"As someone who's tried a lot of homicides, is very familiar with ballistics, knows an awful lot about civil rights, and has been involved in litigation involving police officers for 25 years, I bring quite a bit of expertise to the field," Krasner boasted. 

Well, how has Krasner's expertise at going after bad cops worked out?

In the past four years, Krasner has indicted a total of 52 cops for allegedly committing felony crimes.

And so far, Krasner is still looking for his first felony conviction.

Some 25 of those cops that Krasner targeted with felony indictments have already gone through the criminal justice system. And, court records show, nobody got more than a slap on the wrist, as in a conviction for a misdemeanor or a summary offense.

Here are the results of a baker's dozen of Krasner's felony cases against cops:

-- Former Police Officer James Yeager was fired after he got caught on a cell phone video slamming a handcuffed, 21-year-old man twice on the ground and then lifting him in the air and slamming his head into the side of an above-ground swimming pool, critically injuring the suspect.

Krasner's office arrested Yeager on March 1, 2018, and charged him with aggravated assault, official oppression, possession of an instrument of crime and simple assault. But when the case went to court, Yeager entered a negotiated plea to two counts of harassment, a summary offense, and was sentenced to 90 days probation. The D.A.'s office dropped all the other charges.

-- SEPTA Police Officers Septa P/O’s David Simcox and Johnathan Lanciano were both fired after they were accused of beating a drunken man on the platform of the Frankford El train station. Simcox, who broke the drunken man's nose with one punch, was charged by the D.A.'s office with with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, and filing a false report. Lanciano was charged by the D.A.'s office with simple assault, harassment, reckless endangerment and filing a false report.

But at a preliminary hearing on Aug. 20, 2018, Municipal Court Judge James DeLeon, who watched surveillance video of the incident, concluded that the officers' accuser threw the first punch. The judge also decided that the officers' actions were justified in removing the drunken man from the platform, because moments earlier, he had been seen down on the railroad tracks trying to retrieve his glasses. 

Another problem --- at the preliminary hearing, ADA Tracy Tripp failed to subpoena the victim and had to call him from the courtroom. 

-- Philadelphia Police Officers Matthew Walsh and Marvin Jones were both fired after they were accused of conducting an illegal stop and search. The D.A.'s office charged the two cops with tampering with a public record, obstruction of the law, official oppression, false imprisonment and conspiracy. 

But at a preliminary hearing on Nov. 19, 2018, Judge Thomas Gehret dismissed the charges because of a lack of evidence.

-- Philadelphia homicide Detective Nathaniel Williams was charged by the D.A.'s office in November 2019 with falsifying statements and tampering with evidence, saying he lied to police commanders about looking up information on a law enforcement database about a woman for the benefit of his cousin. But at a Sept. 18, 2020 preliminary hearing, Judge Municipal Court Judge William Meehan tossed the case because he said prosecutors lacked sufficient evidence.

-- Philadelphia Police Officer Charles Myers was fired after he was arrested in November of 2019 and charged by the D.A.'s office with perjury and tampering with evidence. But at a Sept. 18, 2020 preliminary hearing, Judge Municipal Court Judge William Meehan tossed the case because he said that prosecutors lacked sufficient evidence.

-- Philadelphia Police Officer Bryan Turner was fired after the D.A.'s office charged him with attempted theft, obstructing justice and official oppression for allegedly falsifying arrest paperwork to give credit – and potential overtime pay – to a fellow cop who didn't participate in the arrests.

But after a five-day trial that ended on June 4, 2019, a jury found Turner not guilty on all the charges after Turner's lawyer argued that what the D.A.'s office thought were alleged crimes were actually clerical mistakes.

-- Philadelphia Police Officer Novice Sloan was fired after the D.A. accused him of raping a woman at the end of a date, allegedly after he drugged her and then filmed a sexual assault. The D.A.'s office charged Sloan with first-degree rape, sexual assault, and indecent assault; his bail for the alleged rape was originally set at $1 million. 

But at a Jan. 16, 2020 preliminary hearing, Municipal Court Judge Karen Y. Simmons dismissed the case, because of a lack of evidence.

-- Philadelphia Police Officer Arnold Grisson was fired after the D.A.'s office charged him with a domestic violence incident after Grisson walked in on his estranged wife, a Philadelphia cop, and her supervisor, in Grisson’s home. Grisson's wife had filed an expired protection order against him.

On Nov. 22, 2021, Grisson entered a negotiated guilty plea to possession of an instrument of crime and resisting arrest, and was sentenced to two years probation.

-- Philadelphia Police Officer Mishel Molina-Mejia was fired after she was accused of assaulting her child’s father, throwing a glass at him, biting him, striking him in the face, and crashing her car into his car. The D.A.'s office charged her with assault, harassment, stalking, and criminal mischief.

On Nov. 23 2021, she was granted admission into Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, or ARD, and given one year's probation. 

-- Police Officer James Coolen, who was assigned to the narcotics field unit, was arrested and charged with using a 2018 Porsche he confiscated during an investigation to drive his stepdaughter to a picture shoot at her school prom.

Coolen, who resigned, was charged by the D.A.'s office with unauthorized use of an automobile and misapplication of entrusted property, both second-class misdemeanors. On Jan. 16, 2020, he entered an negotiated guilty plea to unauthorized use of an automobile and was sentenced to one year's probation.

-- Police Officer Emmanuel Folly, who was fired and arrested in 2017 after nude pictures and a sexually explicit video featuring under age girls were found on his computer. The District Attorney's office charged him with possessing and disseminating child porn, two second-class felonies.

But at a Jan. 12, 2022 trial, Folly was found not guilty by Judge Charles Ehrlich, after the judge ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove that the defendant had downloaded the child porn. 

With a record of futility like that in more than a dozen cases, to quote candidate Krasner: "That should tell you something, it should tell you something about the level of performance . . . about the level of training, about how well that office is doing. When you have acquittal rates like that something has gone wrong."


Krasner's inability to convict cops drew criticism at a community forum hosted last month by a visibly nervous-looking state Senator Anthony Hardy Williams. 

At the forum, which is posted online, Ikey Raw, a community activist who bills himself as the "Man of the People," went after Krasner in a way that no alleged journalist in this town has done.

"I voted for you one time, you played me," Ikey Raw told Krasner. "At the end of the day, name a police officer who's been held accountable by Larry Krasner."

In response to that direct challenge, Krasner gave a speech that dodged the question.

Ikey Raw persisted, saying, "No police officers have been held accountable by Larry Krasner. No police officers have been convicted by Larry Kraner."

That made Krasner angry.

"In terms of police accountability, there is no D.A. in the history of the city who has held more police accountable," Krasner declared.

Cornered by Ikey Raw, Krasner had to go all the way back to 2018, his first year in office, to dredge up the only conviction in his crusade against cops. It came after Police Officer Kevin Klein who, according to D.A. Krasner, was driving drunk when he crashed into another driver's car, pulled a gun on the other driver.

What Krasner didn't mention about the DUI conviction was that Klein was arrested in 2017, and that his case was investigated under a previous administration, that of interim D.A. Kelley Hodge, at a time when prosecutors in the D.A.'s office apparently knew what they were doing.

On Aug. 16, 2018, Klein was found guilty of three misdemeanors -- simple assault, driving under the influence, and getting into an accident. He was sentenced to jail for a minimum of 72 hours to six months, plus a maximum of six months probation. 

Krasner's critic was unimpressed.

"Ikey Raw does not care about a drunk cop," Raw posted in capital letters on the video. 

Yes Ikey, people are catching on. When it comes to his performance in office -- cue Lionel Richie -- Larry Krasner is once, twice, thrice, four times a failure.


  1. Ikey Raw speaks the truth!! Ralph you guys could have a great Podcast! He calls out all the shady Black Politicians!!!

  2. The Myers case was a joke from the beginning. The defendant's lawyer was one of larry's friends thats why it was prosecuted. Only problem was larry didnt know the FBI was there with Myers when the alleged act happened. Such a joke, didnt even make it past a pre-lim

  3. Every village has an idiot, and everyone knows that Philadelphia has several contenders. I declare the winner to be the moron known as Uncle Larry.

  4. Impeach Larry Krasner and remove him from office and the practice of law!

  5. After reading Big Boast #3; there is no wonder the Director Of Human Resources position for the DAs office is posted on Glassdoor. Its like advertising for the Captain of the Titanic

  6. Ralph - that is an awesome piece of work and it must have taken you a long time and many cups of coffee to compile it. Honest and caring Philadelphians and daily commuters thank you!

    I sincerely hope that some of the news media outlets are digesting the information on this blog as background stories that they my choose to present.

    Also, let's hope that some of the jurists who might be involved in a hopefully forthcoming Krasner impeachment action have been 'reading the mail', so to speak.

    Again - THANKS!

    Joe Burch

    1. The sad truth is Philadelphia’s District Attorney is a domestic terrorist. If something doesn’t give, these idiots will no doubt vote him in as Mayor of this city.

  7. D.A. Krasner sure does occupy a lot of space in your head, Ralphie! (Now, go ahead and delete my comment!)

    1. Looks like Larry is going to lose another one against the police. He is such a good DA that he made mention on the Fox News channel as one of the worst Soros backed DA's. Sorry you wasted your vote for him.

    2. Krasner et all's victims are also taking up a lot of space in graveyards around the city.

    3. (Now, go ahead and delete my comment!)
      Ummm This is isn't the Inquirer, funded by The Gerald Lenfest Institute of Journalism and Child Sex Abuse Cover Ups...

  8. In response to all of the facts presented above, this is your response?


  9. Don't be surprised if asshole Krasner files charges against the 2 cops that shot back and killed the 12yo last night. It's being reported that the punk was hit in the back. There are pictures circulating of him and another critter with guns in their waistband. This fine upstanding youth is wearing an ankle bracelet so I wonder what his rap sheet looks like? The PC stated that we failed him. No lady his parents failed him. Thankfully no cops were killed.

    1. His 'parents; failed him? More like his grandma, auntie or momma.

  10. An interesting side to this Episode, is that the Father, TJ Sr., an incarcerated career felon, who knocked up the bitch who had this "critter" at the age of 16, has hired a Krasner Ally, to sue the Police for wasting this 12 year old POS.

    As more " illegals" and career criminals are supported and brought in, We will have our Insurrection unfold with greater intensity and shootouts will continue to be the Favorite Spectator Sport on the Cities Playgrounds.

  11. Ralph we miss u!!!!

  12. Where is was Mommy when IJ went out with a stolen pistol with his 17 year old friend? What kind of a mother would leave her Rugrat to roam the city unattended?

    And Outlaw in firing the cop for killing TJ before he killed anybody else, remarked how we failed the 12 year old kid without saying about his shooting up the undercover car and she mentioned how she couldn't go to sleep!

    Time to dump her along with Krasner and Kelly!


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