No one should be sent back to prison for a “technical” violation of the terms of probation and parole, a bipartisan group of over 50 current and former District Attorneys and state Attorneys General declared Thursday as part of a statement calling for a fundamental transformation of community supervision in the U.S.
Los Angeles County District Attorney-elect George Gascón promised swift changes in criminal justice policies, vowing to stop trying juveniles as adults and prevent prosecutors from seeking the death penalty.
“I cannot remember a single time when I saw this kind of turnover,” said Pete Skandalakis, who heads the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia. Overall, 15 of the state’s 49 judicial circuits will have new prosecutors.
As worries about election-related unrest mount, attention focuses on prosecutors whose decisions over which charges to file and which prosecutions to pursue will be crucial in the days ahead. Two former prosecutors offer strategies to avoid “politicizing” the prosecutorial power while protecting public safety.
The Chicago Justice Project sued Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, charging that her office has not fully disclosed data on seven years of felony prosecutions. The project sought the information under the state Freedom of Information Act.
The large number of Americans behind bars may be in part a consequence of prosecutors’ determination to level charges for offenses that in other circumstances might not have merited punishment, according to a forthcoming paper in the Southern California Law Review.