When 001 plates of KD2PO4 (KD*P) are used in Pockels cells, strain induced refractive index variations result in beam depolarization and transmitted wavefront distortion. The depolarization is determined by the induced birefringence while the wavefront distortion is controlled by the average index shift. Here we show that the birefringence is determined by the shear stress in the xy-plane of the crystal while the average index shift depends only on the normal stresses. Furthermore, for depolarization losses of 0.1 to 1.0% and wavefront distortion of 0.1 to 1.0 (lambda) , the critical range of stress is 105 to 106 Pa. We also present measured depolarization loss and wavefront distortion profiles for 5, 16, and 27 cm, 95% deuterated, KD*P crystals. Using the analysis described above we show that the maximum internal stresses in these crystals are within the critical range, but that the area averaged stresses are substantially lower. We find that crystals from different locations along the length of a boule have similar strain birefringence and wavefront distortion profiles indicating that the growth conditions which generate the internal strain persist throughout much of the growth history of the boule. Finally, we discuss potential sources of strain in KD*P.