Mr. W. Wedzinga

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10 november 2016

The criminal justice reform will continue on a state level

Most likely Donald Trump will undo many changes President Obama has made and with the help of the Senate and the Supreme Court prevent important criminal justice reforms at the federal level for the next four years. But it is a blessing in disguise that many reforms are constituted on a state and local level. The main disaster however is that death penalty won’t be abolished in all three states where it was on the ballot. Remember “The Central Park 5”? About 12% of prisoners in America are in federal prisons run by the executive branch, while the vast majority are in local jails and state prisons. In many ways, local district attorneys have a bigger impact on criminal justice and incarceration in their districts than the president does. And reformers had a very good night in DA races. Challengers pledging reform defeated tough-on-crime prosecutors in Houston, Tampa, and Birmingham, and won an open district attorney election in Denver. This is especially good news for Houston, whose DA Devon Anderson has increased arrests for low-level drug possession, defended seriously flawed death sentences, and once jailed a rape victim during the trial of her rapist. Those results continued a trend from […]