Memphis Voters Dump Harsh D.A. in Favor of Criminal Justice Reformer
Memphis-area voters have booted out a Republican district attorney with a reputation for harsh tactics—which included getting a woman sentenced to prison for six years for registering to vote—in favor of a Democratic challenger promising reforms.
Amy Weirich, Republican district attorney for Shelby County, Tennessee, has been dumped by voters in favor of Democrat Steve Mulroy, who has promised to take a look at bail policies for the county and to start a conviction integrity unit to review prior cases for possible mistakes.
The election was Thursday, and as of noon Friday, Shelby County results have Mulroy firmly ahead, 76,280 votes to 59,364 votes. Mulroy, 58, is a law professor, former federal prosecutor, and a former civil rights lawyer for the Department of Justice under President Bill Clinton. His platform promises an emphasis on prioritizing violent offenses for prosecution and alternatives to prison for nonviolent offenses. He wants to avoid cash bail in cases where individual defendants aren’t flight risks or dangers to the community to avoid leaving them stuck in pretrial detention simply because they can’t pay. He also says he wants to increase spending on law enforcement and hire more police officers, and he endorses “red flag” laws to allow courts to take guns away from people deemed “dangerous.” (Read Reason‘s Jacob Sullum on the problems with such laws.)
Meanwhile, Weirich’s harsher methods and ethics have drawn criticism. In 2021, she prosecuted Pamela
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