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LAS Calls on DA-Elect Katz to Fulfill Campaign Promises on Key Criminal Justice Reforms

In a letter sent to Queens District Attorney-Elect Melinda Katz, The Legal Aid Society urges Katz, upon taking office on January 1, 2020, to entirely abolish cash bail; establish a conviction review unit; fully implement discovery reform; decline to prosecute low-level crimes that are disproportionately enforced against New Yorkers of color, including marijuana possession and fare evasion; support efforts to ban Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from making arrests in our around courthouses; decline to prosecute victims of human tracking; and support other needed measures to reverse the punitive approach to law enforcement that the Brown/Ryan Administration employed for decades, needlessly ensnaring Black and Latinx New Yorkers, reports Patch NYC.

“The Queens District Attorney’s office has long held the title of the most punitive in New York City, and the need for reform is critical,” said Tina Luongo, Attorney-In-Charge of the Criminal Defense Practice at The Legal Aid Society. “This is an opportunity for you, as a progressive prosecutor, to redress the prosecutorial mistakes of the past that have exacerbated inequality in the borough, and to create an enduring positive impact on the lives of Queens residents.”