What to Know
- The Chester County DA was apparently responding to a speech by Krasner, in which the Philly DA slighted the state DA's association.
- It's the first time since 2008 that a district attorney in the state left the Pennsylvania District Attorney's Association.
- A spokesman for Krasner said the DA invites Hogan to debate criminal justice policy in public.
A district attorney in suburban Philadelphia called out the city's district attorney, Larry Krasner, on Friday for acting "like he cares more about criminals than their victims" in an apparent retort to a speech Krasner gave earlier in the day.
Chester County DA Thomas Hogan also side-swiped the entire city in a message posted on Facebook, warning "counties outside of Philadelphia" not to let "this blight spread, unless you want to end up like today's Philadelphia, riddled with violence and lawlessness."
Hogan's incendiary post apparently came as a response to a speech by Krasner in which the progressive former defense attorney-turned-prosecutor told an audience he was taking his office out of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys' Association.
Krasner, who took office in January with no experience as a prosecutor, said in a speech at the University of Pennsylvania that the PDAA represents "the voice of the past," according to a story posted to Philly.com.
He was apparently referring to longheld criminal justice policies in Pennsylvania that has led to a large increase in the state's prison population in recent decades.
"They have been claiming that Philadelphia supports this absolute nonsense, this throwback set of policies, and we do not," Krasner said at an "Innovation in Prosecution" conference, Philly.com reported.
Richard Long, executive director of the PDAA, it's the first time since 2008 that a district attorney in the state left the association. At that time, the DA in Montour County left over an issue he too had with the association, Long said.
But that DA eventually returned. Until now, all 67 county DAs were members, along with another 1,100 prosecutors in district attorney's offices across the state.
"We are disappointed, but not surprised. Since his election, Mr. Krasner has made it very clear that he would rather use the PDAA as a political strawman than engage Pennsylvania’s 66 other District Attorneys of both parties in a productive conversation," Long said in an email. "He would rather distort our positions than meaningfully engage to further the interests of justice. When given the opportunity to raise his issues and present his ideas, he sat silent."
Krasner has bucked many traditional institutions in his short tenure as chief prosecutor of the fifth-largest city in the country, including the Philadelphia Police Department's Fraternal Order of Police union and the very institution that he now leads.
"To the good citizens of Philadelphia and the hardworking members of Philly PD — Courage! You have a District Attorney who acts like he cares more about criminals than their victims. But rest assured, there are places in Pennsylvania where we protect victims, punish criminals fairly, and respect our police," Hogan said in the Facebook post. "Chester County is one of those places. And I can tell that the folks from Philly agree, because they keep moving here to work and raise families in safety."
A spokesman for Krasner said the DA invites Hogan to debate criminal justice policy in public any time.
"We just have a very different philosophy and so it was the right decision at this time," Krasner's spokesman, Ben Waxman, said of leaving the PDAA.