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DA candidate Krasner faces fear and loathing

The Democrat must deal with criticism from police, Republicans, and prosecutors. Supporters say he deserves a chance.

Democratic District Attorney candidate Larry Krasner is endorsed by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez (left) former City Councilwoman Marian Tasco (second from right) and State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald (right) outside the DA's Office May 1, 2017.
Democratic District Attorney candidate Larry Krasner is endorsed by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez (left) former City Councilwoman Marian Tasco (second from right) and State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald (right) outside the DA's Office May 1, 2017.Read moreTOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

Silence backers' hate speech

The antipolice chants shouted by supporters of Democratic district attorney nominee Larry Krasner at his victory rally were despicable ("Blowback from GOP and police union," Thursday). There's no place - no excuse - in a civilized society for that kind of hate speech. I sincerely hope Mr. Krasner admonishes his supporters and urges them not to spew such hate in the future. Furthermore, our police officers aren't the enemy; they're our protectors and are deserving of our respect, not our contempt.

|Al Taubenberger, Republican at-large member, Philadelphia City Council,

No need to fear Krasner

Larry Krasner's primary win has brought out the worst of fearmongering: Crime will run rampant, police will have no support. History proves otherwise.

Lawyers who have practiced criminal defense have gone on to be successful, well-regarded, and highly effective prosecutors. Craig Watkins of Dallas is one example; he pioneered a conviction integrity unit that became a national model and still caught the "bad guys."

Insisting on playing by the rules and de-emphasizing incarceration does not put public safety at risk. Witness the New York Times report on May 18 that "more than 30 states . . . have already limited sentences, expanded alternatives to incarceration such as drug treatment, or otherwise reduced the reach and cost of the criminal justice system" while crime has stayed low.

Having a candidate who focuses on fairness and reform as much as incarceration does not justify cries that the sky is falling in.

|Jules Epstein, law professor, Temple University, Philadelphia

A progressive crime fighter

On the list of district attorney candidates in the Democratic primary, Larry Krasner's name stood out because he promised, based on his experience as a defense attorney, a more-progressive approach to the criminal justice system. He wants, for example, to slow down the rate of criminal incarcerations by decriminalizing drug use and generally making it easier for prison lifers to obtain a path to freedom. He is totally against the death penalty.

All this and more frustrates columnist and attorney Christine Flowers ("Voters ignore warnings of impending disaster," Thursday), who reminds the candidate that, should he win the general election, he is supposed to represent the victims, not the criminals. Flowers is rightfully concerned that his lenient approach to those charged with street crime will make her life and the lives of many commuters less safe and the work of police officers more dangerous.

We need to consider all of this when making a final choice for district attorney in the November election.

|Gloria C. Endres, Philadelphia,

A sense of hope, not doom

I do not believe "we are doomed" because pro-immigrants' rights candidate Larry Krasner won the Democratic nomination for district attorney. As an immigration lawyer, columnist Christine Flowers should support efforts to be careful in charging an immigrant with a minor crime that might result in devastating consequences for him or her. As a typical Trump supporter, she sees "impending disaster," where I see only hope in a more intelligent approach to drugs and mass incarceration. Let's give the man a chance.

|Richard Abraham, Havertown

Taking outsider's fight inside

Democratic district attorney nominee Larry Krasner's criticisms of the unjust culture among cops and prosecutors were not false, but I'd rather have this outsider fight that hard-hearted, corrupted culture from outside ("Larry Krasner wins primary for DA," Thursday). Inside, we need someone like former city and federal prosecutor Joe Khan, who can adjust to the populist pressures that challenge that culture, but not someone who'd bring chaos to government

(à la President Trump). But the vote didn't go my way Tuesday or last November.

I'm hoping Krasner will not be like the egotist in the White House and will adjust to becoming an insider and be the needed reformer, not the nihilist or anarchist.

|Don DeMarco, Philadelphia,

Money talks

The news coverage of Larry Krasner was all wrong. Instead of the headline, "Krasner Wins DA Race" (Wednesday), it should have read, "Soros Buys Election for Krasner."

|Nick D'Orazio, Philadelphia,

For sale: Access to power

Former Gov. Ed Rendell stated outright what no one else would ever admit: "No donor [to the Democratic National Convention] did this out of the kindness of their heart. They all wanted access. They got exactly what they donated for." ("DNC host committee bonus may be a double dip," May 13)

Money rules our election process, and those with money buy access to our elected officials. The abomination continues with George Soros' $1.45 million donation to Larry Krasner's campaign. Wake up, Americans. The wealthy are buying access to our politicians, both Democrats and Republicans. The loser in this game is our democratic process.

|Edward Buchanan, Glenside