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Newell: AOC's pick for DA in Queens threatens to turn crime-fighting upside-down

Tiffany Cabán bringing progressive, socialist bent to criminal justice reform

Newell Normand
June 26, 2019 - 4:58 pm

Liberals recognize the prosecutorial discretion that district attorneys and attorneys general have in this country, which is why they're going after these positions in their quest to change the criminal justice system. And those same criminal justice warriors who want to decriminalize drugs, sex work, and other social ills are probably popping champagne tonight.

Tiffany Cabán is the new Democratic candidate for District Attorney in Queens, NY, and like her compatriot and supporter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cabán is the surprise winner in a primary election in a dark blue district and is unlikely to draw a serious Republican challenger, making her victory in the general a pretty solid bet.

Why is this important? Ms Cabán says the following: "Defense lawyers recognize that their client is more than the harm they cause to their victim." 

This is the mindset Cabán brings to the prosecutorial arm of government. Where is the realization that the victim may be less than they once were because of the violence heaped upon them by the perpetrator? Why are we not looking at it through that lens?

What about the lost innocence of the victim? Does this translate into blame for the desire to have an aggressive prosecution? Is the victim heartless for not recognizing that their perpetrator is more than the harm that they cause? Do the victims now get ostracized?

Cabán has also said she is a "decarceral" prosecutor - she's not in favor of incarceration, and goes so far as to say that it's meaningless for the most part, even in violent crimes. She's opposed to the construction of new jails, wants to end cash bail, decriminalize sex work and put far fewer people in prison. In so many words, she's opposed to accountability.  

"Maybe I'm just too simplistic in my view," Newell says, "but the law is pretty clear. I can't engage in activity A, B, C or D. So when I go and do that, I violate the law and you're going to enforce the law - looking at it  through this social equity lens - that makes you a bad person. You're bad. Because we can't have accountability!"   

Listen to Newell's dissection of this radical re-interpretation of criminal justice below.

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