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Cohen, who positions herself as a “very progressive prosecutor,” also seeks to implement greater oversight regarding conditions at Rikers. She would review all current Bronx cases that involve bail and vows to expedite any backlogged cases that have dragged on for years. She would also impanel a grand jury to investigate the conditions that led to a large number of deaths at Rikers last year.
“My goal is to reduce the footprint of the criminal justice system in the Bronx,” says Cohen. “And that means I will not support any of the policies that contributed to the death of Kalief Browder.”
“I decided to run because I simply grew tired of seeing the Bronx DA’s office failing to do what the community needs,” Cohen said in a phone interview. “We're behind on everything. We’re behind on reform, we’re behind on holding people accountable, we’re behind on taking care of victims. And there's a long history of mismanagement that makes all of these problems quite a bit worse.”
“The changes DA Clark is pushing for would simply cover up her office’s inability to meet the demands of New York’s discovery laws,” Tess Cohen said. She referenced Clark’s role as one of the presiding judges in the case of Kalief Browder, whose suicide after years spent on Rikers pretrial for a crime he didn’t commit spurred the 2019 reforms to bail, discovery and speedy trail laws.
“As the DA, I’m gonna make sure that I’m fair in my decision-making, whether it’s to charge and make sure that those charges are fair,” Cohen said. “Just because I can charge everything that’s in the penal law doesn’t mean that I have to. I’m going to be fair in the evidence that I present. I’m going to be fair and any plea bargaining that I do, I’m gonna make sure that I turn over all the evidence to make sure that I’m doing this job ethically.”
District attorneys in three New York boroughs are on the ballot this year. Here are the stakes - The Daily Kos
Cohen has further charged that Clark has lost the trust of residents thanks to several scandals, which Khurshid explains include "favoritism in promotions, accepting large donations from corrections officers that fall under her jurisdiction, bungling the prosecution of a Rikers Island physician’s assistant accused of multiple rapes, and retaliating against her own staffers who complained about working conditions."
Bronx DA Darcel Clark pushing change to 2019 discovery reform, despite uncomfortable history with Kalief Browder case - NY Daily News
“State legislators invoked Kalief’s name to pass these reforms. And Darcel Clark, now the DA in the Bronx, has come to repeal and take away these laws passed in my brother’s name,” Akeem Browder said Tuesday at City Hall.
He added, “These changes would mean more deaths on Rikers, more people to suffer, no speedy trial. I asked that the legislators use my brother’s name to stay true to what they believed before. My family is just beyond words for understanding how this came to be.”