The American Civil Liberties Union is launching voter education and mobilization campaigns in up to two dozen cities across 10 states as part of its campaign to reduce jail and prison populations. Other advocates are also organizing around prosecutor elections, and social justice political action committees are spending big to elect reformers.
When police kill unarmed civilians, the path towards accountability begins with prosecutors. Elected to serve their communities as the chief law enforcement official, they have the means and mandate to confront the injustices that arise from systemic racism, writes the director of John Jay’s Institute for Innovation in Prosecution.
Progressive prosecutors and scientific pretrial release systems are reducing jail populations, say Jeremy Travis of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. New policies by newly elected Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner, including decriminalizing marijuana possession, were cited as examples.
Prosecutors are arguably the least understood players in the criminal justice system, and any reform effort must take them into account. But what do they think about their jobs? Here’s what one researcher found.
The decision is up to a judge, but Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner says that rapper Meek Mill may have been wrongfully convicted in 2008. Evidence has emerged that puts his conviction, and scores of others, in jeopardy.
After half of the Texas district attorneys seeking re-election were defeated in primaries last week, a board member of the National District Attorneys Association says, “Incumbency does not have the shield that it once did.” The question is how many of the winners are progressive reformers.
Defense lawyer Joe Gonzales defeated San Antonio District Attorney Nico LaHood in Tuesday’s primary election. The DA says he was the subject of “$1 million worth of lies,” citing contributions from a political action committee backed by George Soros. In McLennan County, District Attorney Abel Reyna, who was criticized for his handling of a gang shootout involving 180 bikers, also lost.
Working with funds from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, the American Civil Liberties Union is planning voter outreach campaigns in many areas. The Fraternal Order of Police disagrees with the drive’ goals.