(Brad Vest for The Daily Memphian)

With mere days left before the election, Steve Mulroy and his Democratic opponents for D.A. took part in a public forum and debate about criminal justice reform, hosted in part by Just City.

Amy Weirich, the Republican incumbent, was invited but did not attend.

The Daily Memphian’s Julia Baker reported: “‘We are number one in the state in Shelby County for prosecutorial misconduct and ethical violations, both by the office generally and by our incumbent … that leads to overturned convictions,’ Mulroy said.

‘We are number one in the state for the death penalty. We’re number one in the state per transfer of juvenile defendants to adult court, 95% of whom are African American. We are number one in the state for racially disproportionate outcomes throughout the entire system.’

Earlier in April, Mulroy said only about 30% of the employees in the DA’s office are people of color and 10% of the prosecutors in the DA’s office are Black. He reiterated these data points during Thursday’s debate.

Mulroy, a law professor and former civil rights lawyer, defense lawyer and prosecutor, also said the juvenile court was under federal monitoring for civil rights violations and that it ended only because President Donald Trump’s administration put an end to the oversight. 

Mulroy said he does not support truth in sentencing and that instead of prosecuting people for nonviolent crimes, the DA’s office should ‘refocus’ on violent crimes. 

‘We have to more robustly explore alternatives to regular incarceration for nonviolent offenses so that we can focus more on violent crime,’ Mulroy said. ‘I also think there are some innovative programs like the Memphis Allies program that Youth Villages is doing right now (that is) just beginning.‘”

You can read the full article here.