FJP Releases – Fair and Just Prosecution

“Missouri has purposefully instituted a policy that is…a denial of fundamental rights that harms individuals and, ultimately, community safety by eroding trust in the integrity of the system.”
– Wesley Bell, St Louis County Prosecuting Attorney

Elected Prosecutors File Amicus Brief Urging Appellate Court to Affirm Right to Counsel in Bail Hearings

Legal representation is a fundamental right afforded to every person who must go before a court of law to defend against criminal charges. Yet, in Galveston TX, people every day are denied the right to counsel at one of the most critical stages in the criminal process: the initial bail hearing that determines whether an individual is detained or set free prior to trial. That’s why 44 current and former local elected prosecutors and state attorneys general from across the country filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in support of a defendant’s right to counsel at these hearings. They argue that legal representation at critical stages in the justice process is essential to ensuring fairness. Further, they argue that failure to provide an attorney can result in uninformed decision making and serves to erode public trust in the integrity of the criminal justice process, which ultimately harms public safety. For more, read the press release[58] and brief[59].

“My vision for our system does not criminalize someone simply because they are poor, it creates fair access to resources across the board such that criminal cases can be determined based on facts, rather than access to wealth.”
– Dallas County, TX District Attorney John Creuzot

Elected Prosecutors Denounce Attorney General Barr’s Baseless Attacks Against Proven Criminal Justice Reforms

A growing number of elected prosecutors are committing to a new vision for the justice system that is grounded in evidence-based policies that lift people up while prioritizing cases that cause communities real harm. But while these bold leaders are embracing smarter justice approaches and turning away from failed past tough on crime policies, they are being met with opposition by some who want to maintain the status quo. That’s why 41 elected prosecutors came together to denounce Attorney General William Barr’s baseless attack on prosecutors whose reforms have proven to be effective in fortifying community trust and promoting public safety, fairness and accountability. In a joint statement, signatories correct the record on Barr’s false claims, caution against a return to past failed “tough on crime” approaches and call for a continued embrace of policies that make communities healthier, stronger and safer. For more, read the press release[60] and full statement[61].

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