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Biden, it's time to add progressive prosecution to the national agenda

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22.08.2021

Millions of people have taken to the streets demanding an end to racial injustice and mass incarceration. Now it’s clear that they’re also taking to the polls. Just last month, a reform-minded candidate for district attorney who promised to stop prosecuting many low-level crimes in Manhattan took the lead in the primaries. New York City isn't alone. Voters across the country are giving the nod to prosecutors who are pushing for an end to mass incarceration over those with a more tough-on-crime agenda.

Despite these long overdue changes, some have been pushing back on reform by promoting an unfortunate and inaccurate narrative. As violent crime rates rose in some cities across the country, police union leaders and tough-on-crime officials, including then-U.S. Attorney General William Barr, falsely proclaimed it the fault of criminal-justice reform and laid blame at the feet of so-called progressive prosecutors. This misguided and partisan finger-pointing ignored the far more pertinent fact that the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the institutions responsible for promoting public safety and plunged countless Americans into desperation.

In turn, violent crime rose at similar rates in communities with and without reform prosecutors in charge.

Thankfully, voters saw through those false claims, and reform-minded prosecutors across the country won decisive victories, offering a powerful lesson: Communities are rejecting fear-based narratives for evidence-based solutions and flocking to the polls with a hunger for systemic........

© USA TODAY


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