From the American Civil Liberties Union
America’s locally elected prosecutors wield enormous and, all too often, unaccountable power. They have the authority to reinforce mass incarceration and racial disparities in the criminal legal system or combat these injustices. Across the country, voters are beginning to recognize the extent of this power, and they want them to use it for good.
Nearly 90 percent of Americans want an elected prosecutor who will prioritize reducing incarceration and racial disparities in the criminal legal system. And we’re starting to see that impact at the ballot box. In recent years, voters in cities like St. Louis, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas have all elected prosecutors who ran on platforms of reforming the criminal justice system so that fewer people go to jails and prisons. But change takes time, in large part because the vast majority of Americans represented by one of America’s 2,400 elected prosecutors have no way of knowing if their prosecutor shares their priorities.
We want to change that. That’s why we today released a report, “Unlocking the Black Box: How the Prosecutorial Transparency Act Will Empower Communities and Help End Mass Incarceration,” which provides a roadmap for how states can bring their local prosecutors to the table to ensure they’re transparent and accountable to their communities.
Get the full article here.