September 9, 2009

“Meting out justice with sympathy”: The race for NY District Attorney

By Cynthia Alkon

Imagine a race for District Attorney where the lead candidates  talk about alternative ways to handle criminal cases, including problem solving courts, and are not simply competing to see who will be “tougher” on crime. This seems to be happening in New York City. The three contenders for District Attorney in next week’s Democratic primary reportedly agree that treatment programs can be better options than incarceration, at least in some cases. The Democratic primary will decide which of the three candidates will stand for the general election to replace the incumbent, Robert Morgenthau, who is stepping down after over thirty years in office. 

The NY Times reported today that “[l]ike her two opponents” one of the candidates, Leslie Crocker Snyder, “has made seeking treatment for nonviolent drug offenders a hallmark of her platform.”  Ms. Snyder “said she would promote the use of problem-solving courts, developed by the state’s Office of Court Administration to treat defendants. She pointed to integrated domestic violence courts, where a single judge handles all of a family’s legal issues, like divorce, custody and domestic violence proceedings. Ms. Snyder has also proposed opening a mental health court and veterans’ treatment court.”

The NY Times went on to report that “[a]lthough her platform may be similar to those of the other candidates, Ms. Snyder said, ‘The real question is, who can implement the vision?’”

The full article is available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/nyregion/09snyder.html

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Comments

  • Joe says:

    Wow, NY has had the same DA for 30 years? Think of all the change that’s happened, both good and bad, in the last 30 years. Maybe that position should be limited to a few terms.

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