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The Appeal @theappeal
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Criminal justice reform is on the ballot. Tonight we will be tweeting the results of key races for Governor, prosecutor, and sheriffs, plus ballot initiatives across the country. Follow @TheAppeal.
Your essential criminal justice guide to election night. From sheriffs to bail to marijuana, and more—here's what you need to know.… by @Taniel
14 states are holding 18 referendums on measures relevant to criminal justice and law enforcement practices. The outcome of these votes could have tangible, far-reaching effects on the way justice is meted out.… via @TheAppeal newsletter
Democrat J.B. Pritzker wins the Illinois governor’s race. Pritzker campaigned strongly on marijuana legalization.
Florida voters have approved Amendment 4, automatically restoring voting rights in the state for people previously convicted of felonies. The victory means more than 1 million people will regain the right to vote.… by @germanrlopez
In Florida, Chad Chronister has been re-elected as sheriff of Hillsborough County. While Chronister’s cooperation with ICE has drawn protests, local leaders from both parties rallied around him. Read @Taniel's previous coverage of Chronister.…
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf wins re-election. Now the state’s moratorium on executions will continue for at least four more years.
Rachel Rollins wins the Suffolk County DA race. She is the first woman of color to serve as a DA in Massachusetts. “Women’s perspectives matter. People of color’s perspectives matter. It’s important that we’re going to have a different voice at the table.”…
In Massachusetts, Black and Brown residents make up approximately 17% of the overall population but account for approximately 50% of those currently incarcerated. The new Suffolk County DA, Rachel Rollins, campaigned on reducing these racial disparities.
With Rachel Rollins winning the Suffolk County district attorney race she will be bringing reform to charging practices in Boston. Rollins plans to decline to prosecute several low-level offenses. See the list here:…
Amendment 11 passed in Florida. This amends Florida’s Constitution so sentencing reforms can apply retroactively—the state's Constitution previously barred retroactive application.…
Nashville passes Amendment 1, which creates a police oversight board with subpoena power to investigate and make recommendations on police misconduct claims.…
Bexar County, Texas, goes from tough-on-crime to Joe Gonzales who has promised to reform bail, roll back the death penalty, and stop criminalizing poverty.
Until tonight, Louisiana was one of two states that did not require a unanimous jury to convict someone of a felony. Tonight, voters put an end to that practice. Oregon is now the only state in America that permits non-unanimous juries.… by @germanrlopez
After victory in Louisiana, Oregon is now the only state using non-unanimous juries to convict people in felony cases. As in Louisiana, Oregon’s practice is rooted in its own rich history of white supremacy.… by @georgejoseph94
Kate Brown will remain Governor of Oregon. That means the moratorium she imposed on executions will remain in place for at least four more years.
In Dallas, TX, John Creuzot will be the next DA. Here’s what he said about criminal trespass—a significant driver of the county jail population: “They can arrest them all they want, but we aren’t going to prosecute. It’s not going to do any good to put a homeless person in jail."
Gavin Newsom is the next governor of California. He has supported legalizing marijuana, reforming three strikes laws, keeping more juveniles out of adult court, reclassifying some felony drug possession offenses to misdemeanors. He’s also a vocal opponent of capital punishment.
Jared Polis, elected Governor in Colorado, “If the legislature sends me a bill to repeal the death penalty, I will sign it.”
In Pitt County, North Carolina, newly elected-DA Faris Dixon (D) has promised to start a conviction integrity unit, expand diversion for drug offenses, and provide improved educational services to juveniles caught in the criminal justice system.
Gerald Baker will be the next Sheriff in Wake County, North Carolina. Baker will end the 287g agreement, which deputizes local deputies to enforce federal immigration law. Baker said: “I know that we are all humans who deserve wonderful lives and I want to support that.”
In North Carolina, advocates said that Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison was unfit for a fifth term. Under his leadership, Black residents consistently bore the brunt of aggressive policing and his office cooperated with ICE. He was voted out tonight.…
Michigan votes to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Individuals will now be permitted to possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.…
For the first time, a Chicago judge lost his seat for being too "tough on crime." Voters rejected Cook County Judge Matthew Coghlan for a new term. In the last 28 years, no Cook County judge has lost a retention election (an election with no challengers).…
A longstanding practice has enabled Alabama sheriffs to personally pocket money leftover from jail food funds. Morgan and Cullman counties have voted to bar their sheriffs from pocketing jail food funds. Read @Taniel's previous coverage of this issue.…
"While [Alabama] sheriffs have skimmed from the jail food fund, prisoners across the state have reported their food is inadequate, spoiled, and contaminated with insect or rodent droppings."… by @laurenk_gill
Marsy’s Law, a controversial effort to define crime victims’ rights through amendments to state constitutions, won in six states on election night. Florida’s version of the law defines “victim” so broadly that it could apply to corporations.…
Jefferson County, Alabama, elects its first Black sheriff and district attorney. Danny Carr is the county’s new district attorney and Mark Pettway is the new sheriff.…
Washington voters passed an initiative that changes the state's law on the use of deadly force by the police. The previous law led to no officer being convicted of wrongfully killing someone in the line of duty in more than 30 years.… by @Mike_Faulk
16 sheriffs from rural counties in Oregon supported a measure to repeal the state's sanctuary law. And the group leading the repeal effort has been listed as a hate group by @splcenter. But last night voters blocked the repeal.… by @Mike_Faulk
A Massachusetts district attorney tries to crown Paul Caccaviello as his successor. But today Caccaviello concedes that Andrea Harrington, a progressive challenger, won the Berkshire County DA race. Harrington has said she "was very inspired by Krasner."…
Yesterday was not quite the blue wave that Democrats had hoped for, but when it comes to criminal justice, there was a lot to celebrate.… via @TheAppeal newsletter
Voters in Michigan approved a ballot measure to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Missouri and Utah endorsed medical marijuana laws. And voters in North Dakota rejected a measure to legalize recreational marijuana use.…
19 Black women ran for judge in Houston and won. “Adding 19 women of color to judicial seats builds a bench that's more reflective of the population it serves, which, as with all elected offices, is a good thing.”…
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