Anthony Kyriakakis

Member since: Saturday, 29 December 2018
Last Visit: Never
First Name
Last Name
Campaign Cycle
Common Pleas
Sitting Judge
(267) 422-2701
Email Address
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Ballot Position
Button #
Bar Association Rating
Highly Recommended
Philadelphia Democratic Party, 1st Ward, 2nd Ward, 5th Ward, 8th Ward, 9th Ward, 18th Ward, 27th Ward, 30th Ward
Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, Teamsters Joint Council 53, AFSCME DC 47, Philadelphia Firefighters & Paramedics Union Local #22, Philadelphia Metal Trades Council, Sprinkler Fitters Local 692, Plumbers Local 690, Laborers' District Council
Progressive Groups
Second Generation, Liberty City LGBT Democrats, National Organization of Women (NOW), Americans For Democratic Action (ADA)
Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity
Public Officials
Ed Rendell
News Papers
What has been the general nature of your practice?
Over the past 18 years, I have worked as a civil litigator, federal prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, and adjunct law professor, teaching on sentencing and criminal justice issues.
Why do you consider yourself qualified to be judge?
I am proud to be one of the few judicial candidates this year to have received the Philadelphia Bar Association's top rating of "Highly Recommended." I think part of what qualifies me as a judge is the breadth of my experience. I have seen our justice system from a variety of angles, and I think that would help me be fair and impartial. I also think that my past commitment to improving our system further qualifies me as a judge. I have been a volunteer for President Obama's Clemency Project, working to identify non-violent offenders for early release. I have testified before the PA Sentencing Commission against a risk assessment tool for fear that it would exacerbate racial bias in our justice system. And I have taught 9 semester-long courses at Temple Law and Penn Law on sentencing and a variety of criminal justice issues, including the problem of disparities in treatment across race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. As a judge, I would commit myself to continuing to work to improve our justice system.
What is it about our criminal justice system that inspires you?
I am inspired by the wisdom of the writers of our Constitution, who understood the importance of safeguarding the rights of the accused and imposing a burden that the prosecution always be required to prove guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. I am also inspired by all of those individuals who work in our criminal justice system and strive towards those ideals of impartial justice and due process for all.
What about our current criminal justice system do you believe needs to be reformed?
There are many areas of our criminal justice system that need desperate reform, a fact that has been recognized on a bipartisan basis both locally and nationally. For starters, we need to address the fact that the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and that Philadelphia has the highest incarceration rate among major U.S. cities. In many cases, our communities, as well as individual offenders, would be better served by sending non-violent offenders in for treatment rather than into a prison. We must work to ensure that criminal defendants are not denied pretrial release simply because they cannot afford cash bail. I personally believe that legislatures also need to reform statutes with mandatory minimums so that offenders are not punished disproportionately to their levels of culpability. We need greater checks against the misuse of prosecutorial power, as well as against the ineffective assistance of defense counsel. In short, we need to always be vigilant about protecting the rights of the accused as well as of crime victims, so that justice is done in each and every case.
As a judge, what would your sentencing philosophy be?
The traditional purposes of incarceration have historically been incapacitation, retribution, deterrence, and rehabilitation. In my view, all defendants should be treated as individuals on a case-by-case basis, and the purposes of punishment should vary depending upon the circumstances of the offense, and the history and characteristics of the offender. For example, a period of incarceration may have a greater deterrent effect in some cases, and it may have a greater chance to result in rehabilitation in others. I personally believe that we currently incarcerate too high a rate of criminal defendants in the United States, and an even higher rate specifically in Pennsylvania. As a judge, I would seek to promote the use of alternatives to incarceration in appropriate cases, including through diversion programs that provide treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night thinking about a case and wishing you had handled something differently? If so, please describe one situation.
I think all good attorneys regularly reflect upon how they could have handled parts of a case differently. In my view, that is one of the most important ways in which a lawyer learns and improves his or her advocacy skills. One specific area where this has happened to me is with respect to cross-examination. There is often a temptation to ask more questions of a hostile witness than is necessary or effective. In fact, very successful cross-examinations can quickly transform into unsuccessful ones simply because an attorney cannot resist asking another couple of unnecessary questions. Over time, I learned that the best attorneys are those that have faith and trust in the wisdom of the jury to evaluate the evidence, including with respect to the credibility of a witness.
Who are your role models and why?
My parents will always be my greatest role models. With little more than a suitcase, they immigrated to our country based on their belief in the promise of America and its values. They worked tirelessly to build and support their local community, and to give greater opportunities to the next generation. They worked hard and sacrificed a great deal so that I could be the first in our family to attend college. With their support and scholarships, I was able to attend Yale University and then Harvard Law School before beginning my legal career. None of my career would have been possible without my parents' support. And from them, I learned the importance of treating every person with kindness, dignity, and respect—values that I would bring with me into the courtroom.
What is your favorite book, movie, or tv show of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
I have become a big Game of Thrones fan, and the new episodes starting this spring might become my most regular breaks from the campaign trail! But I won't have time to rest for long, because, like winter, May 21st is Coming! I hope you'll consider supporting me with your vote on that date!
Name a song that you were obsessed with as a teenager.
"Jump" by Kris Kross (it's still catchy!)
What is you favorite number?
4 (April = birth-month of my wife & kids)
Hits: 1409

As Anthony Kyriakakis campaigns for Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge, he brings the wisdom of the ancient Greeks with him. “I was interested in the ideals of justice that were described by our ancient Greek philosophers,” says Kyriakakis, a Greek American. “I seek to serve as a judge because of...

Created: 08 May 2019
Hits: 1206

This is the coffee can of destiny. It helps decide who runs the city. Every local primary election, Philadelphia candidates pick a number from the Horn & Hardart can to determine where they appear on the ballot. Pull the right number and enjoy a boost in votes; pull the wrong number and face a...

Created: 17 March 2019