Minority elected officials support DA Rollins
Many of Boston's elected officials of color took to Twitter yesterday to support Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins in her verbal battle with the Baker administration over her plans to not seek to prosecute people charged with certain low-level crimes:
Disruptive ideas will always meet resistance from established institutions. @DARollins was elected with a mandate to pursue bold, innovative ideas to fix our broken CJ system - I stand in solidarity w/ her in the effort to decriminalize poverty, mental illness, & substance use.
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) April 5, 2019
I stand with @DARollins in her push to rethink our criminal justice system with a data-driven, progressive approach. Read the full memo to understand the depth of analysis behind her policies: https://t.co/q4vIUZeqQx
— Michelle Wu (@wutrain) April 5, 2019
I fully support @DARollins . The Criminal Justice System is unequak. It has create a pipeline for the poor, emotionally not well and black and brown people to be shuffled into a broken and racist system of Mass Incarceration. She is qualified, intelligent & truly progressive.
— Rep. Liz Miranda (@lizforma) April 5, 2019
Goes w/o saying that I stand with @DARollins, but happy to see the outpouring of support for her from so many #MApoli colleagues! Since before she ran, I knew Rachael was the woman for this job b/c of her bold vision for #CJreform and reducing racial disparities in the system pic.twitter.com/9X4yPu1k4h
— Andrea J. Campbell (@CampbellforD4) April 5, 2019
Wonder what would’ve happened if Chief Turco had a conversation with @DARollins about his concerns instead of sending a letter to electeds and the press? #respectworks #courageisrespect DA’s overhaul plan draws criticism https://t.co/g7NtBFKosN
— Nika Elugardo (@NikaElugardo) April 5, 2019
The Boston Electeds of Color support @DARollins . Her progressive platform was clear during the election & 185,133 constituents decided DA Rollins best represents our values.She is now following thru w/ the reforms that she committed to implementing.https://t.co/2z12LnWpQf https://t.co/DPV5vYXcVP
— Russell E. Holmes (@VoteRussell) April 5, 2019
WBUR reports the ACLU, the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Lawyers for Civil Rights, the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery and the NAACP are also backing Rollins.
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M.G.L.C. 211 (4)
To Your Editor,
Your not very honest, its over but the summary hearing. The Complaint originated in this office on March 26, 2019 and entered the government via the (SJC) Which is not part of the Frame. The SJC is in the Declaration of Rights The rest was Ice cream on the cake.
The Jurisdiction used was the above statue and Articles 4,5,7, 11, and 18.
She is being removed by the People of The Commonwealth!
By The Clerk
Calm your liver
Nobody's removing her from office.
My neighborhood feels safer already.
The court system is already too lenient and by not even prosecuting she is not going to fix anything in my opinion.
Low level crimes can destroy a neighborhood and if cops know she isn't going to prosecute why on earth would they even bother to take my reporting of a crime with the seriousness it deserves,it breaks down law and order if you give people a pass and ANNOUNCE it ahead of time.
What she's saying
Is she's going to concentrate on the crimes that are really destroying your neighborhood, like drug dealing, rather than wasting limited resources prosecuting trespassers.
You chose the lowest of the crimes she will decline to prosecute
She has also said she will not waste resources on , shoplifting, larceny, disorderly conduct, threats, possession of alcohol for minors, possession of non-marijuana drugs, possession with intentto distribute, destruction of property, breaking and entering to escape cold or sleep, driving with a suspended license and several other low level crimes, some of them felonies.
Saying she won't waste resources on Trespassers is pure spin by someone who agrees with her philosophy, which is fine. I on the other hand do not agree with her philosophy and think her approach is going to backfire on her and cause Suffolk county more harm than good.
Adam is also limiting
Adam is also limiting comments that critique her.
We aren’t Republicans. We aren’t racist. We just don’t tolerate crime.
But you tolerated crime until last November, I guess ...
Because, you know, Dan Conley was cutting back on the same sort of prosecutions as Rollins.
Only he was more quiet about it. And more white.
This is headline news because She wanted it to be, Do you think if Dan Conley had decided to inform everyone on his decision to cut back on low level prosecutions there would be no push back because he is white?
Rachael Rollins' race has nothing to do with my opposition to her philosophy and if this was going on before and reported in in the media, I missed it.
You seem to reflexively assume racist motivations for almost everything .
So it's just the publicity that's the problem?
Do you really think someone who's about to commit, say, breaking and entering to escape cold/sleep, is really going to say "well I wouldn't have done this 6 months ago but I heard there's a new DA who might not prosecute so now I'm all for it?"
Not quite, new policy is more nuanced.
I understand nuance isnt popular these days, especially among comments left on news blogs but if anyone wants to see the actual policy, it is here. You can see a detailed explanation of crimes that are to be prosecuted under what circumstances in appendix C.
For example its not true that shoplifting would no longer be prosecuted. It would be but only under certain conditions and the reasoning is explained in the memo.
Appendix C starts on page 57.
Thanks for pointing out the nuance
And to add to that, Dan Conley was also cutting back on low-level prosecutions.
I think what people forget is
I think what people forget is that leaves the door open for prosecution on any crime that is on or off the list. Her staff just needs permission to move forward. The more traditionally method is to get active permission NOT to prosecute. She just turned the table around. If for some reason someone on her staff thought someone really needed to be put through the system they have every ability to make their case up the ladder and see if they can get signed off on it.
She also campaigned quite extensively on this very issue. So I really do not comprehend why it is suddenly a "thing". Voters and other candidates had two chances to change course and will have another two chances in the next cycle. That is how Democracy works.
There's one thing that gets me
It's the whole thing that she "campaigned quite extensively on this very issue." Yes, she mentioned criminal justice reform and avoiding keeping people in jail in the campaign trail, but this list of crimes that she would not prosecute came out after the primary. Had she released the list at the beginning of her campaign, she would not be DA right now. She knew the independent would be no challenge to her, so she released this in mid September to say that it was what she campaigned on. It is a very disingenuous claim on her part.
As others put it, she is basically continuing what Conley did, but now she can wear the mantle that it is a part of "her memo." Putting it in print could be her downfall if things go a certain way.
I'm not 100% sure but I'm pretty sure she had a list of crimes when she was running for office. She just put out a memo which kind of outlines how the office is actually going to do it. Pretty open and honest which is nice for a change.
Examples AND Clarification
Did she provide any context or examples? Half of this list may be ok, but some are very serious crimes...seems like she is trying to fix the result of one of the outcomes of poverty, when someone needs to focus on fixing the cause of the poverty problem.
She definitely has a theory
But laws are passed by our representatives and it's her job to prosecute them when the evidence is there or make plea agreements if it's a first offense but not to refuse to prosecute with a blanket decision. .if she wants some of the crimes she thinks shouldn't be prosecuted to be civil infractions she should have our representatives change them.
Petition to remove DA Rollins
We understand very clearly what she is saying, however the law is the law. She can go to the Legislature and seek change. There was Just a massive over haul of the criminal justice system last year, some additional tweaking will be done on recommendation of Justice Gants on career criminal definitions.
There are a lot of smart people in the Legislature, none mentioned anything like this in debate.
And somehow ...
Nobody objected when Dan Conley's office cut back on some of the same prosecutions Rollins is talking about.
Why is that?
But you've made your point. You don't really need to keep repeating it.
To The editor
I was Just informed you live in a safe neighborhood, this office (Suffolk) is in that neighborhood. Ask any of the store owners on Cummings and Hyde Park Ave how many times they have be robbed in the last 35 years.
Its the fabric of the neighborhood or the criminals that keep it safe.
Ooh, who ratted me out?
But thanks for alerting me that my neighborhood is part of the area covered by the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. I never would have known that - well, if I were a complete idiot and hadn't actually paid attention to the race and didn't have to make a tough decision about whom to vote for, etc., etc.
You seem to be under the impression that Rollins is planning to drop all prosecution of all crimes. Tell me where you read that she's planning on dropping prosecution of robbery and armed robbery cases.
I believe the concept you're struggling to name is the "broken windows" theory, which, yes, got some attention in New York after Bill Bratton left here for there. It doesn't really work.
To The editor
Its not the D.A. that's protecting you...... its some Irish guy and he's been there 40 years and raised more black kids than Rollins ever will......ask the cops you seem to know everything by the way I also live in the same area, you better take a look around the people can still walk around at night regardless of color etc.
You live in Roslindale?
And you think it's becoming unsafe and it's only Irish police officers who have kept it safe?
Have a nice day, sir.
We can't be the world leader
We can't be the world leader in putting people in prison AND too lenient.
The Transit Police also support her
Chief Green and the Transit Police unions endorsed and support Rachael's crusade.
Or so you would be led to
Or so you would be led to believe. The Transit Police had no idea they were going to back her. It was done without any notice whatsoever by a union board that has since been replaced.
Baker, Rollins talk
WBZ reports Baker hopes to "hit the reset button" on Monday with the new Suffolk County DA.
I’m glad to see these
I’m glad to see these politicians are supporting a policy that will turn their neighborhoods into bigger shitholes than they already are.
Do you live in Suffolk County?
Is this a particular concern of yours, that your particular neighborhood is returning to the shithole status from which it had slowly emerged? If so, which neighborhood is that, because I want to make sure I don't even drive through it to avoid those shit stains that are so annoying to get out at the car wash.
Once again, she’s just
Once again, she’s just formalizing what Dan Conley already did in practice. Funny we didn’t hear an outcry from the usual characters when Conley was declining to prosecute minor offenses....
Rollins list is a dangerous slippery slope but I still like her
The do not prosecute list is a dangerous slippery slope, but I still like Rollins. Although I think announcing her list publicly is a disaster, I admire her for regularly defending it on the radio with the likes of non-liberals Dan Rea and Howie Carr (she says her parents are Howie listeners). Charlie Baker is afraid to go on with Howie. I also like that she doesn't take orders from Baker. If Rollins can appear to be just extremist enough to win the Democrat nomination for governor, she could then tack back to the middle after the convention and would sail to a General Election win. After all, a vast number of the 1,000,000+ Trump voters in MA are eager to show Baker the door.
As for the slippery slope, B&E to escape the cold? What happens when a B&E man comes in and steals your money, then says he was going to use it to buy a coat? We've already seen what happens when an armed bank robber (two separate bank robberies) is allowed to plea to simple larceny. After being allowed to avoid the applicable charges, he showed his appreciation by murdering two physicians. With the recidivism rate, it's not if but when will some beneficiary of the Rollins list return to the streets to murder. She should get that speech ready. A better approach would have been to handle each crime on a case by case basis, not announcing a free pass in advance.
She had to make the list public to get elected.
Which was a good move, although not a lot of people knew that in most cases the Suffolk County's DA's office didn't go after those who committed their first offense on these crimes anyway. It's only making news now because Rollins made it public and looks to be assigning some sort of formula to the process.
And because racists (some who
And because racists (some who run state governments, some who comment on blogs) are calling her out for it. That too.
The discourse in this comment section
brings to mind the "illegal immigration" debate. The sentiment that immigrants are dangerous and deserve to be prosecuted for breaking the law is arguably the predominant factor in alienation and criminality amongst migrant populations. Similarly, prosecuting certain populations for possession and being lenient with white collar criminals only amplifies the disparities in wealth and living conditions, causes more friction between citizens and law enforcement, and forces nonviolent offenders into violent environments.
If you're afraid of low-level offenders, why don't you advocate for the kinds of resources that can alleviate the circumstances which lead to crime, rather than pretending that continuing to lock people away is the solution? Need I bring up the financial incentives for implementing treatment and support systems in place of imprisonment?
It's okay to be afraid, but I think it's time the people of Boston become willing to respond rather than to react.