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A former civil rights attorney who sued the police over 75 times, Larry Krasner is now revolutionizing the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office with progressive, but polarizing reforms. Can he change the criminal justice system from the inside?
It’s fall 2017, and Larry Krasner is running for D.A. of Philadelphia, the most incarcerated big city in America. How will the city respond to Krasner’s bold promises to change the system, end mass incarceration, and hold police accountable?
Krasner and his team build a police misconduct database to recommend a list of officers to bar from testifying in court. Lisa Harvey, the supervisor of the juvenile unit, is optimistic that she can work with her new boss Bob Listenbee.
Krasner campaigned on a historic pledge to end capital punishment in Philadelphia. That vow is tested when the time comes to prosecute the murderers of beloved officer Robert Wilson III. Family members and the police union demand the death penalty.
LaTonya Myers is an upstanding citizen but on probation, she’s treated like a criminal. To give people like LaTonya a fair chance and to curb the number of people in jail because of probation violations, Krasner makes a proposal.
Krasner recommends new sentences for juveniles who were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The parents of Sultan Ahmad Jr., who was killed as a teenager, learn that their son’s killer is getting out soon.
Local cops are trying to blame Krasner for a spike in crime, but it’s not that simple. At a town hall, a frustrated Krasner calls the cops liars and walks out. When a key Councilmember considers pulling her support, Krasner rethinks his approach.
For the first time in 20 years, the Philadelphia D.A.’s office is charging an on-duty officer with murder after Ryan Pownall shot David Jones three times in the back. The FOP supports the officer and pledges to get him back on the force.
With some notable reforms in place, Krasner knows there’s more work to do. He passes the baton by recruiting law students to work in his office or join other progressive D.A. offices so the movement can continue in Philly and around the country.