For the People A Story of Justice and Power

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 04/20/2021
  • Publisher: One World

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Philadelphia’s progressive District Attorney offers an inspiring vision for transforming our criminal justice system from inside, based on lessons from a life’s work as an advocate for the accused.
Larry Krasner spent thirty years learning about America’s carceral system as a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia, working to get some kind of justice for his clients in a broken system in the era of mass incarceration, before deciding that the way to truly transform the system was to get inside of it. So he launched an unlikely campaign to become the District Attorney of Philadelphia, a city known for its long line of notorious “tough on crime” DAs. When Krasner announced his candidacy, surrounded by the activists and community organizers he’d worked with for years, the president of the Philadelphia police union described it as “hilarious.” Despite the odds, Krasner laid out a simple case for radical reform and won the November general election by a margin of nearly 50%—he was able to enter the halls of power and begin the work of dismantling mass incarceration from the inside.
This is not just a story about Krasner’s remarkable life as a defense lawyer and his powerful, grassroots campaign, but the bigger story of how power and injustice conspire together to create a carceral state unprecedented in the world. Readers follow Krasner through the streets and courtrooms and election precincts of one American city to see how our system of injustice was built—and how we might dismantle it.
In the tradition of powerful critiques of the criminal justice system from Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy to Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, For the People makes the powerful case that transforming criminal justice is the most important civil rights movement of our time and can only be done if we’re willing to fight for the power to make a change.

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