The Seattle Times Picked the Wrong Prosecutor

The Seattle Times Picked the Wrong Prosecutor

As longtime activists inside Seattle’s African American group, we strongly disagree with the Seattle Times Editorial Board’s endorsement of Jim Ferrell as the subsequent King County Prosecuting Attorney. We endorse Leesa Manion for the subsequent King County District Attorney.

First, Manion is extra certified than her opponent. She spent 27 consecutive years working in the King County District Attorney’s workplace first with Norm Maleng after which with Dan Satterberg. For the previous 15 years, Manion served as Satterberg’s chief of employees. In this capability, she oversaw a workforce of 600 workers and a price range of $80 million. During her tenure at the Prosecutor’s Office, most of her roles had been in positions of upper duty. In distinction, throughout the 16 years Ferrell labored in the similar King County workplace, he by no means rose above a lead lawyer in the workplace’s Domestic Violence Court Unit.

We consider it’s absurd for the editorial board to counsel that Ferrell is extra certified than Manion to run the DA’s workplace. Especially since Maleng and Satterberg turned to her repeatedly once they wanted a wise, insightful chief to assist them remedy complicated points or take over problematic models in the workplace.

Second, Manion is healthier certified than her opponent due to her expertise and data in creating a lot of the workplace’s cutting-edge felony regulation reform packages. of Times the editors wrote that Ferrell would give judges the discretion wanted to position folks in community-based options to incarceration in order that younger individuals are held extra accountable. Here they had been speaking particularly about juvenile diversion packages, which for a number of years have recommended and mentored tons of of black and different inner-city youth. Most of those youths had pending felony circumstances.

In a current debate, this subject of the best way to interact with younger folks in the authorized system was at the forefront. Mr. Ferrell questioned the effectiveness of King County’s strongest diversion program – Restorative Community Pathways (RCP). However, information reveals that RCP has a recidivism price of solely 8% in comparison with 22% for conventional felony prosecution with custody as a sanction.

Restorative justice and diversion packages like RCP deserve continued public assist. It is essential to acknowledge that over the previous 17 years community-based organizations serving high-risk youth have made an enormous distinction in creating actual hope and alternative for youth in our county.

We consider that our group should proceed to have a rehabilitative orientation towards felony authorized engagement with our youth. If elected, we worry that Ferrell’s penchant for punishment may have a detrimental impact on all younger folks, however will likely be significantly harmful for younger folks of shade. More younger folks incarcerated will not be the finest reply. We’ve been down that street earlier than.

The editors appear to have forgotten when King County Juvenile Hall was woefully overcrowded because of a harsh concentrating on of our youth. At the finish of 1999, the detention middle was often housing greater than 220 kids per day. Currently, this quantity has decreased to a mean of 15 younger folks per day.

Programs like Community Pathways have labored and helped steer many younger folks away from crime and into faculty, abilities growth, group service and jobs. These sorts of packages have been praised by youth growth professionals round the nation, and lots of have been held in excessive regard by mayors and different politicians in these different main cities over the previous 20 years.

For adults in King County, 2010 information present that “African Americans [were] incarcerated at a rate more than 7 times that of whites and 17 times that of Asian/Pacific Islander populations. Native Americans were also incarcerated at a higher rate—almost three times the rate of whites and six times the rate of the Asian/Pacific Islander population. Both African Americans and Native Americans were incarcerated at a higher than average rate in King County and in prisons nationwide.” Racial disparities in arrests, convictions and incarcerations inside King County comply with the nationwide development. Even with this disparity, we’ve seen a decline in disproportionality and we wish to proceed to see these disparities lower.

Finally, we assist Manio as a result of she has the proper ideological stability towards equity. Yes, we agree, people who find themselves rightfully discovered responsible of breaking the regulation needs to be held accountable. However, we additionally consider in supportive packages that can maintain them accountable, but additionally present rehabilitative companies to assist them turn out to be higher residents and re-engage in our communities. Accountability, rehabilitation and restorative justice aren’t mutually unique. Manion understands this. We can create safer communities and rehabilitate folks at the similar time.

We are significantly offended by the editorial board’s trivial reference and potential canine whistle to voters. of Times writes that if work “was chosen by politicians as an alternative of voters, [Manion] he would most certainly rise to the prime put up.” They then reference the current political appointments of the interim Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, the Seattle Police Chief, and the King County Sheriff. All three of those individuals are well-qualified, 100% ready for his or her positions, and are additionally folks of shade—identical to Leesa Mansion.

The implications of the editorial board had been insulting they usually implied that these three black leaders weren’t certified. We suppose that Seattle Times Ferrell’s outdated and unfounded logic and ideological considering on crime will lead King County to an old style punitive orientation that our group refuses to just accept.

We have discovered from the previous and have higher concepts. Nationally and domestically, we’ve known as for equity and fairness in the felony authorized enviornment – and we is not going to tolerate a return to the good outdated days – similar to racially motivated messaging to voters, or a tough-on-crime punishment orientation .

We can and should do higher. At this historic crossroads, we should elect the energetic and fair-minded Leesa Manion as our subsequent King County District Attorney. She has the abilities {and professional} expertise to proceed the disproportionate remedy of race in the juvenile and felony justice programs. Together we are going to proceed to work for true racial equality and justice in Martin Luther King Jr. County.

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