Nashville, Tennessee. — When Republicans in Tennessee blocked policies to reduce low-level marijuana cases, Nashville’s supreme prosecutor decided on a solution. He didn’t accuse anyone of the crime.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, a Gwinnett County recruiter has vowed that no one will be punished for distributing food and water to voters in line. Tampa’s chief prosecutor has called a law that allows law enforcement agencies to detain protesters until court day is an “attack on our democracy.” The district attorney in Douglas County, Kansas, also promised not to enforce the new state law that would make it difficult for nonpartisan groups, neighbors and candidates to collect absentee votes and return them to voters.
Progressive prosecutors across the country are increasingly declaring they will not enforce state law backed by the GOP. It’s a strategy that addresses some of the most controversial new changes in recent years. Nearly complete abortion restrictions, voting restrictions, ban specific protests, laws targeting LGBTQ people, and mask requirements.
Elected law enforcement leaders do the right thing, especially for low-level nonviolent crimes, as they have increased support for changing systems that they believe rely heavily on trapping people. I say I am doing it now.
But there is politics involved here as well. These lawyers live in the dark blue district where their decision is popular among voters and they should be re-elected.
“The real limit to this is politics,” said Professor Jeffrey Bellin of the William & Mary Law School. “These prosecutors have to run for elections almost everywhere in the country. After all, its borders are popular.”
Prosecutors exercise wide discretion as to who will prosecute a crime and adjourn it based on factors including the strength of the individual case, the severity of the crime, and sometimes the prosecutor’s view of the constitutionality of the law. I can
In October last year, more than 70 prosecutors in the Blue District across the country repealed the state because “therapeutic decisions must be made, not criminalized,” even though they have a significant right to abortion. announced that it would not be prosecuted under the increasingly stringent law. Case Rowe v. Wade The case was erased or overturned.
And in June, more than 70 elected prosecutors and law enforcement leaders brought in doctors and parents who could face criminal penalties under state law banning certain treatments for transgender youth. I have signed a similar letter pledging not to prosecute.
“In our country, the perpetrators are individuals of different races, such as in interracial marriage, sitting together at the lunch counter, taking buses together, and using specific bathrooms and specific drinking fountains. I have a past that I have tried. Miriam Krinsky, executive director of Fair and Just Prosecution, said in the statement. “Often change starts on the ground and goes up.”
In Nashville, Glenn Funk has a habit of opposing laws passed by Republicans, and the people of his town “go to a criminal justice system that keeps us safe and imprisons people for no good reason. I really I want a common sense approach.” His position is approaching when the 2022 Nashville re-election bid comes up, and he looks forward to another eight years of challenge.
Funk this summer accused Republican Governor Bill Lee of suing teachers and school officials for mask obligations against a presidential order allowing parents to opt out of mask obligations. He said that he would not.
“We have no intention of prosecuting school officials or teachers to keep children safe,” Funk said.
He also refused to invoke a 2020 law that requires medical professionals to inform women undergoing drug-induced abortions that the procedure can be reversed. He considered the law “unconstitutional” and said that “the state should not use criminal law to control a woman’s body.”
This year, Tennessee passed the first law requiring notifications outside corporate public toilets to effectively indicate that transgender people may be inside. Funk also revealed that his office “does not encourage hatred” and does not force it.
Judges suspended bathroom sign and abortion cancellation policies across the state and blocked school mask opt-outs in three large counties.
Mr Funk said prosecutors need to use “levers of power” to provide “checks and balances for overshoots” by other government agencies.
“I think it’s also the responsibility of civil servants who don’t agree to stand up and say so,” Funk told the Associated Press. “People elected to public office remain silent in the face of societal debates that, despite the passage of unconstitutional legislation, may actually dehumanize most of our population. If so, if no one speaks up, that’s the impression. There is no other side to logic, it is not really an argument.”
Vermont attorneys do not charge possession of addiction drugs, including buprenorphine. Seattle County prosecutors have withheld minor personal drug possession charges, and Washtenaw County prosecutors in Michigan and several prosecutors in New York City have stopped prosecuting offenses unless a settlement is reached. .. In Philadelphia, the district attorney said it would not charge people who open and operate overdose prevention sites before they were blocked by a federal court.
In Florida, the 13th Judiciary Circuit State Attorney for the Tampa area, Andrew Warren, called a new state law an “attack on our democracy.” It strengthened punishments for crimes committed during riots or violent protests and was passed after protests triggered by the death of George Floyd. It is pending by a federal judge.
However, the discretion of the prosecution may pave the way for both, especially in the liability of COVID-19. In Pennsylvania, Republican York County Attorney Dave told police on Sunday not to file criminal charges related to the undercover order for schools across the state Governor Tom Wolf, and his office said. He said he would not prosecute the violation.
Elsewhere in Tennessee, conservative district attorney Craig Northcott of Coffee County, about 65 miles southeast of Nashville, said homosexuals should not be protected from domestic violence, such a law. Claims to be designed to protect the “sanctity of marriage”.
Republican lawmakers have expressed great dissatisfaction with the foul smell, but so far their attempts to detain him have been unsuccessful. John Lagan, who sponsored the Business Bathroom Signing Act, asked the state attorney general whether Funk’s refusal to enforce the Business Bathroom Act was the reason for his dismissal. The Republican attorney general in the office of Justice Herbert Slatley declined to weigh in because of the ongoing law proceedings.
And the governor hurt him on social media. “A District Attorney who knowingly ignores existing legislative law is a serious problem that threatens our judicial system and has dire consequences,” he tweeted.
Claudia Lauer of Philadelphia contributed to this report.
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