The Power to Decline to Prosecute & Plea Bargain Compassionately
How will you prioritize decarceration in your charging decisions. How will you consider harsh consequences like loss of employment, housing, educational opportunity and the right to remain in the United States as a legal resident when deciding how to prosecute someone? What is your strategy for reducing the overrepresentation of people of color in the criminal legal system? How will you handle the cases of people who are struggling with addiction or mental illness?
The Power to Reduce Pretrial Detention
What will do you to ensure that no one is detained pre-trial only because they are poor? When considering whether to request bail, will you consider the consequences of detention to the person and their family, including the impact of the loss of a caretaker or breadwinner?
The Power to Promote Truth
Will you assure that witness statements, police reports and other evidence is provided to the defense early, and automatically? Will you turn over all such evidence before an accused is required to decide about a guilty plea? What will you do to make sure your staff does not withhold evidence? What will you do to review wrongful convictions? How will you reduce the likelihood of wrongful convictions of innocent people? Will you turn over the disciplinary records and any other reports of misconduct by the arresting officers to the defense? Will you conduct swift and thorough investigations of the evidence?
The Power to Heal
Will you consider incarceration as the last resort in plea bargaining? Will you create a wide range of options for people who have mental illness, abuse drugs, or have serious trauma in their past? Will you consider special options for women, young people, those with mental health issues, and other vulnerable populations? How will you supervise your staff to guarantee that they are using incarceration only as a last resort? To the extent you continue to seek prison sentences, what will you do to ensure jails and prisons provide education and skills so members of your community can successfully re-join society?