February 13, 2019
Philadelphia’s polarizing district attorney, Larry Krasner, has stepped into the classroom.
Krasner, who might be the most talked-about D.A. in the country since he was elected in May 2017 and instituted sweeping changes to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, began teaching a course called “Prosecution and Defense in the 21st Century” in mid-January, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Keir Bradford-Grey, the chief defender of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, is co-teaching the course with Krasner.
The course is a joint offering to law students at Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Temple University.
“We’re fortunate to have national leaders in the criminal justice reform movement like Larry Krasner and Keir Bradford-Grey right here in Philadelphia,” Penn Law Dean Theodore Ruger said of the partnership. “I’m grateful they are willing to use their experience and expertise to educate the next generation of local law students."
Here’s how the course, which will primarily meet once a week at Drexel’s Kline Institute for Trial Advocacy in Center City, is described in Penn’s Course Finder:
“In the United States, the most incarcerated country in the world, criminal justice reform is arguably the most important civil rights and social justice issue of our time. Philadelphia’s Public Defender and District Attorney will co-teach a course on the future of criminal justice reform and what it requires of advocates on both sides as we move forward. Through this course students will learn how to meaningfully infuse policy into their advocacy and work on practical efforts to reverse the impact of mass incarceration.”
According to a Drexel release, classes will "cover a range of topics including: mass incarceration, charging decisions and bail, interviewing victims and defendants, participatory defense models and sentencing philosophies."
Ruger, who’s been at Penn for 15 years, told the Business Journal it’s the first time he remembers the three law schools collaborating on a class.
Krasner’s first 21 months as the city’s district attorney have been marked by a push for criminal justice reform, including the elimination of cash bail and a desire to overturn sentences of wrongfully accused prisoners.