May 25, 2021

Larry Krasner spent 30 years learning about mass incarceration as a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia, working to get some kind of justice for his clients before deciding that the way to truly transform the broken system was to get inside of it. So he launched an unlikely campaign to become the district attorney of Philadelphia, a city with one of the highest incarceration rates in the country due to its long line of notoriously “tough on crime” DAs. Despite long odds and derisive opposition from the police union and other forces of the status quo, Krasner laid out a simple case for radical reform and won the November general election by a margin of nearly 50 percentage points.

For the People is not just a story about Krasner’s remarkable early life as a defense lawyer and his powerful, grassroots campaign; it’s also a larger exploration of how power and injustice conspired to create a carceral state unprecedented in the world. In this virtual book talk, Krasner offers an inspiring vision of how people can take back power to reform criminal justice.

Krasner joined in conversation with Angela J. Davis, distinguished professor of law at American University Washington College of Law and an expert in criminal law and procedure whose focus is prosecutorial power and racism in the criminal justice system. 

This event was produced in partnership with the Brennan Center for Justice.

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Angela Davis

Larry Krasner