Delaware’s Attorney General (AG) is our state’s only elected law enforcement official and the most powerful person in the criminal justice system. As top prosecutor, the AG’s job is to seek justice in criminal cases, work to prevent crime and serve as a leader in the diverse communities he or she represents.
The Attorney General is in charge of all other state prosecutors. The AG sets the policies that dictate which crimes to prosecute, whether someone will be charged with a crime, and who gets a second chance through diversion or treatment programs. They also have tremendous influence over legislation.
Electing an Attorney General who is committed to criminal justice reform is the only way that we can make significant progress towards reducing mass incarceration and challenging racial bias in the criminal justice system. We must elect a reform-minded AG and then hold them accountable for change. Your vote counts! #VoteSmartJusticeDE.
The culture of maximum punishment was created and sustained in part because of the identity of those targeted. African Americans are 22 percent of the population in Delaware, but they are 51 percent of prisoners. Ending the era of mass incarceration means dismantling the tough-on-crime approach and racial bias that has come to define criminal justice. Delaware chose mass incarceration. Delaware must now make a different choice. Each day that a person spends in prison unnecessarily is a social, fiscal and moral failing of our policy. We must do better.
The Smart Justice platform is simple: We want to see candidates commit to overhaul of Delaware’s criminal justice system.
These candidates are asking for your vote for attorney general. They are all running in the primary election that will be held on September 6, 2018.
The winners of the Democratic and Republican primary elections will go on to challenge each other for the seat of Attorney General in the general election on November 6, 2018.
We sent each candidate a questionnaire to learn about their views on criminal justice reform and our Smart Justice platform. Each candidate responded to every question we asked.*
The chart below is a snapshot of their responses to our yes/no questions—you can read the full answer to each question by clicking on the “yes,” “no,” or “—” answers in the table.
(Hint for mobile users: turn your phone to the side to see the full table!)
*Peggy Marshall Thomas’s answers will be added to this chart when we receive her questionnaire responses.
|Do you believe Delaware incarcerates too many people?|
|Will you pledge to advocate for the elimination of the automatic issuance of warrants for failures to pay fines?|
|Will you pledge that you will advocate for the elimination of all mandatory minimum sentences?|
|Will you pledge to oppose efforts to bring back the death penalty in Delaware, and to instruct prosecutors not to seek the death penalty if it is reinstated?|
|Do you support substantially reducing the number of people detained pre-trial in Delaware?|
|Will you pledge to support changes in the law that eliminate or radically reduce the use of monetary payment as a condition of pretrial release?|
|Will you pledge to collect and publicize statistical information disaggregated by race and gender on charging decisions, plea bargaining and sentence recommendations, convictions, declinations and diversion program placements?|
|Will you pledge to require all Delaware prosecutors to share police reports and witness statements with defense attorneys at or before preliminary hearings?|
Click each link below to watch the forums and debates that the Attorney General Candidates have participated in to learn more about where they stand on issues across the board.
A fairer criminal justice system begins with our votes and our voices. Prosecutors might hold all the cards, but we are the ones who hold the power to change the system.
It’s time to elect an attorney general who is committed to making impactful change. It’s time to Vote Smart Justice in Delaware. Complete the form below to pledge your commitment to #VoteSmartJusticeDE!
The #VoteSmartJusticeDE Campaign is organized by a coalition of organizations and individuals who advocate for a criminal justice system that fosters public safety by reducing mass incarceration, recidivism and racial disparities. We use public education, community organizing and grass roots advocacy to challenge the system and create change that will have a significant impact for individuals, families and communities.
#VoteSmartJusticeDE is a nonpartisan education campaign funded by the ACLU of Delaware. The ACLU of Delaware does not endorse candidates.