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Denver District Attorney Candidate Forum

Posted: February 3, 2016 at 3:40 pm by , in Breaking News, Featured

Excerpts from a recent forum featuring four of the candidates seeking election to the position of Denver District Attorney. It was organized by the Denver Justice Project and it took place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

We hear from all four candidates: Beth McCann, Michael CarriganKenneth Boyd and Helen Morgan.

The candidates were asked about issues like structural racism in the Denver justice system, diversion programs for drug dependent adults and those with mental illness, reforming Denver’s monetary bond system and whether they would support a conviction review unit to review convictions but also to review cases of alleged police misconduct and police brutality.

The candidates opening statements:

Order of speakers: Helen Morgan, Kenneth Boyd, Michael Carrigan and Beth McCann

 

The candidates were asked about about the possibility of introducing a conviction review panel in Denver to review cases where people who have been convicted maintain their innocence. A similar panel was introduced in Brooklyn in 2014 and has exonerated 17 people in 2 years.

Order of speakers: Beth McCann, Michael Carrigan, Kenneth Boyd, Helen Morgan

 

The candidates were asked if they would support diversion programs for drug dependent adults and those suffering from mental health programs, that provide access to community based services before arrest or trial.

Order of speakers: Beth McCann. Followed by Michael Carrigan, then Kenneth Boyd finally Helen Morgan.

 

The candidates were asked to read Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow prior to the forum. They were asked how they would deal with institutional racism in Denver law enforcement.

Order of speakers: Helen Morgan, Kenneth Boyd, Michael Carrigan and Beth McCann

 

50% of those being held in Denver Jails are waiting trial and have not been convicted on a trial. A large proportion of them are being held on a bond of less than $1000. This process disproportionately  impacts the poor.

The candidates were asked how they would reform Denver’s monetary bond system.

Order of speakers: Helen Morgan, Kenneth Boyd, Michael Carrigan and Beth McCann

 

They were asked about police killings and what they would do to address what has been called a culture of violence that has been allowed to go unchecked in Denver law enforcement.

Order of speakers: Michael Carrigan, Beth McCann, Helen Morgan and Kenneth Boyd.

 

image: KGNU