[THREAD] I went to law school to be a prosecutor. I was attracted to the job because the prosecutor’s duty is to “do justice.” This is the commonly and dearly held belief in the profession. Doing justice means just what it says. Sometimes it means convicting, sometimes (1/18)
It means dismissing. I was inspired by @adamjohnfoss and his work around restorative justice. In his @TEDTalks he discusses being able to put a defendant on a plan instead of taking him to trial for theft. Defendant was a young kid. Due to Adam’s redirect as the (2/18)
Prosecutor, the kid repaid all the damage done and ultimately went on to become a doctor. He would never have been able to go to medical school with a felony on his record. This type of justice was what I was interested in as a legal intern in the DA’s office. (3/18)
I worked for two different DAs in OK, urban and rural. Truthfully loved everyone I worked with and for. They taught me the law. I will always appreciate them for that. But, what I came to realize is it’s impossible to “do justice” in OKs justice system. (4/18)
The system has been written and architected to be unjust and to foster unjust results. One of the main reasons for this is sentence enhancements for any prior felony. Another maxim I heard routinely was “we just follow the law.” The idea that they may not like the law (5/18)
But they will follow it. DAs often paint themselves as removed from the law-making process and project an air that their duty is to follow the letter of the law. The whole system hinges on this idea - this is how we decide to charge crimes and apply discretion. (6/18)
The problem is that this idea is false. In OK there is no more powerful lawmaking body than the DA’s Council (DAC). This body runs the OK DA’s Association (ODAA) who lobbies on their behalf for law changes. This body has never lobbied for reform. They have used their (7/18)
Power and influence to fight reform every step of the way, even lobbying to repeal voter-led change in 2016. They use taxpayer funds to fight the changes the very same taxpayers voted for. This is how “doing justice” is applied OK. (8/18)
The DAC and the ODAA have lobbied to add felonies, make more crimes violent, lengthen sentence ranges, and effectively make the harshest justice system in the world even harsher. They do not lobby for alternatives to prison nor do they put forward any change that would (9/18)
Reduce OK’s incarceration crisis. When a task force in 2016 recommended restricting the use of sentence enhancements they put a bill forward to accomplish this. This is essentially the policy in State Question 805 (10/18)
The ODAA fought it and killed it in committee. FOUR TIMES. Running 805 as a bill would have allowed different crimes to be excluded and compromises to be made. Instead it’s been killed so many times there is no hope of passing this policy legislatively. (11/18)
Doing justice means creating a just system. It means letting the people create a just system. It means not fighting just reforms. Doing justice is not restricted only to the courtroom. Seeing how our elected DAs actively thwart the creation of a just system ultimately (12/18)
Pushed me out of choosing prosecution as a profession. I believe creating a just system that does not routinely dole out life sentences for low level crimes is the most just work I can ever or will ever do. (13/18)
Voting Yes on 805 means doing justice. We are eliminating enhancements on nonviolent crimes which reflects the enhancements systems in other states and brings OK’s sentencing into the modern age. (14/18)
To continue to participate and architect a system that perpetuates cycles of harm on citizens of color and low income communities is not doing justice. It is immoral and cruel. (15/18)
To fight against modest reforms and fear monger their own constituents is in violation of the oath violates their duties as public servants. They swore to utter no falsehoods. They pledged to do justice. (16/18)
We as citizens have the ability to do what our leaders and public servants refuse to do. We can vote to correct decades of overcriminalization and government overreach that has destroyed our state. (17/18)
If our prosecutors refuse to do justice, then we the people will do it for them. (18/18) #yeson805 #massincarceration #criminaljustice #justicereformok

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