Kendra McCrae

Member since: Saturday, 09 March 2019
Last Visit: Never
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Sitting Judge
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What has been the general nature of your practice?
Since opening my practice in 2016 I have specialized in plaintiff's personal injury and criminal defense work.
Why do you consider yourself qualified to be judge?
I am a single mother, a former foster parent and a practicing lawyer and litigator for the past 22 years. I was born and raised in the Wynnefield section of West Philadelphia. My father was a Presbyterian minister who struggled with substance abuse issues and left the home when I was 4 years old. My mother was a Philadelphia school teacher who raised my three older sisters and myself while going back to school to earn her Masters degree and Doctorate degree in special education. Education, employment and service have always been highly valued in our household.

Growing up I attended Masterman public school for 5th through 12th grade; Temple University for my undergraduate studies while majoring in criminal law and; Saint Louis University School of Law for my legal studies.

I worked as a prosecutor for the Philadelphia District Attorney for 14 years and tried hundreds of preliminary hearings, bench trials, misdemeanor trials and jury trials. The types of cases I handled included attempted murder, drug trafficking, aggravated assault, robbery, violations under the firearms act and sexual assault on children. This experience gave me substantial exposure to a wide array of factual situations, judicial processes and people from all walks of life. It also allowed me to become well versed in established rules of law, legal procedure and evidence and provided me with the ability to apply this knowledge to different factual situations.

For the past three years I have operated my own law firm with offices in the North Philadelphia section of the City. During this time, I have handled large and small drug trafficking cases, assault cases, robbery cases, gun cases and rape cases.

I believe that my professional experience of 22 years as a trial attorney and public servant as well as being a daughter of this City makes be more than qualified to be the next Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.
What is it about our criminal justice system that inspires you?
What inspires me the most about the criminal justice system is that it is intended to be fair and provide a level playing field for all involved. The intent is that when a dispute arises whether it be between individual citizens or the police and a citizen, there is a place to go with a presiding judge who has integrity, common sense and the ability to listen and then decide the case based solely and strictly on the evidence.
What about our current criminal justice system do you believe needs to be reformed?
Mass incarceration beginning with the cash bail system needs to be reformed. The practice of using money bail as a means of pre-trial detention for all offenders is a medieval tool which should only be reserved for the worst of the worst offenders. Cash bail disproportionately affects the poor and studies have shown that the specter of bail increases the likelihood of a conviction by 12% and of future recidivism by 9%.
As a judge, what would your sentencing philosophy be?
I would be guided by the Sentencing Guidelines and take into consideration any victim or community impact statements while attempting to aid the offender in his or her individual needs so as to reduce the likelihood of recidivism.
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 have tried so many cases, that I am sure I have awoken in the middle of the night midway through trial and thought of something I could have done differently. However, I am unable to recall a specific situation at this time.
Who are your role models and why?
My mother is and will always be my role model. She is strong, wise and smart. She raised my three older sisters and myself on her own during a time when single parenting had yet to become the norm. I will always cherish her wisdom and support.
What is your favorite book, movie, or tv show of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
"The Poseidon Adventure" which originally aired in December of 1972 is one of my all time favorite movies because it speaks so strongly to the individual will to survive and the need to leave no one behind.
Name a song that you were obsessed with as a teenager.
Thriller by the late and great Michael Jackson.
What is you favorite number?
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