Lynne Abraham

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Lynne Abraham
Lynne Abraham.jpg
Lynne Abraham
23rd District Attorney of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
In office
May 15, 1991[1] – January 4, 2010
Preceded by Ron Castille
Succeeded by Seth Williams
Personal details
Born (1941-01-31) January 31, 1941 (age 73)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Frank Ford (deceased)
Residence Philadelphia

Lynne M. Abraham (born January 31, 1941)[citation needed] is an American attorney who served as the District Attorney of the City of Philadelphia from May 1991 to January 2010. She was the first woman to serve as Philadelphia's district attorney. Abraham won election to that position four times. As district attorney, she oversaw the largest such office in Pennsylvania. The office prosecutes approximately 75,000 cases every year and is the largest appellate litigator in the Commonwealth. Abraham oversaw a professional staff of 300 assistant district attorneys and 275 support staff.

Early life[edit]

Lynne Abraham was born and raised in Philadelphia and educated in its public schools. She studied at Temple University for her undergraduate degree and also received her Juris Doctor from Temple University Beasley School of Law. She was married to Frank Ford until his death in March 2009.

Career[edit]

Abraham is a former assistant district attorney. She served as a legislative consultant for the city council of Philadelphia, where she assisted council in conducting investigations, drafted legislation, testified at public hearings, met with citizens' groups and revised portions of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter.[citation needed] She served as the head of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority during the administration of Mayor Frank Rizzo. She was elected Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court in 1977, then was elected to the Court of Common Pleas in 1980, where she presided over criminal trials until she became district attorney in 1991.

District Attorney[edit]

Abraham was elected by her fellow judges to take over as district attorney in 1991 when then-DA Ron Castille, now on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, stepped down from the post in order to run for mayor. As an incumbent, Abraham was elected to a four-year term in 1993. She was re-elected three more times; in 1997 (defeating challengers Jack McMahon and Leon Williams), 2001 (defeating challengers Alexander Talmadge and Leon Williams) and 2005 (defeating challenger Seth Williams, who would succeed her as District Attorney five years later).

Abraham held the office of district attorney longer than anyone in Philadelphia history. She earned the nicknames "Deadliest DA" and "Queen of Death" for the high rate at which her office sought the death penalty in past decades.[2][3]

In the 2004 presidential election, she served as one of Pennsylvania's electors, casting her ballot for John Kerry.[4] In the 2008 election, she cast her electoral ballot for Barack Obama.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "At Her Swearing-In, Abraham Vows Community-Outreach Work". The Philadelphia Inquirer. May 16, 1991. Retrieved November 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ Betsey Piette, "Why Philly D.A. Abraham is called 'Queen of Death'", in Workers' World, May 17, 2001
  3. ^ Rosenberg, Tina "The Deadliest DA" in The New York Times, July 16, 1995
  4. ^ "2004 Presidential Election". The United States Electoral College. United States National Archives. Retrieved February 28, 2009. 
  5. ^ Philadelphia Daily News, Clout column, Nov. 7, 2008: "Nutter, Abraham headed for college in Dec."

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Ron Castille
District Attorney of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1991–2010
Succeeded by
Seth Williams