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Many things wrong with DAG Jeff Rosen's screed against reform DAs & their policies to lower incarceration.

But this line gives away a basic misunderstandings. These DAs were not appointed. They were elected. AND ran on these platforms. AND were attacked. AND won anyway. [Thread]
DAs long used their power to amplify punitive laws, & make U.S. staggeringly incarcerative place it is. Idea was, that's how you win DA elections.

But that stopped. Organizers pressed the case that this was breaking (some) communities. People ran on that agenda. And they won.
Rosen claims his worry is DAs exceeding their authority. Well, reformers have long demanded reducing DA powers to shrink system! But that's not Rosen's issue.

His issue now is with democracy. It's that people are ELECTING DAs who ran on using discretion to shrink incarceration.
In Arlington, Dehghani-Tafti ran on not seeking the death penalty or prosecuting pot. Won.

In Fairfax, Descano ran on not charging some offenses as felonies. Won.

In Boston, Rollins ran on not prosecuting a set of offenses. Won.

In St. Louis, Bell ran against cash bail. Won.
They won in part because community activists organized to make the case that the system was excessively punitive, discriminatory, racist. E.g.: theappeal.org/politicalrepor…

These elections featured both a comprehensive case against the system. And specific policy commitments.
Should DAs have such vast control? Well: Where is Rosen's op-ed about shocking inequality in DA practices? About how a *handful* of DAs account for a lion share's of *nation's* death sentences or drug-induced homicide charges? Why is this only coming up after all this organizing?
For all these reasons, I find it so revealing that Rosen erased these elections (and with it all this organizing, diagnosis, commitments) in that sentence. Acting like there's some elite cabal especially dishonest given the towering establishment figures defeated in recent years.
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