Don’t believe what anybody tells you about “progressive prosecutors.” It’s not the new wave. It should be. Hell, it can be, but it isn’t yet. Of the more than 2,400 elected prosecutors across the country, we’d be lucky to identify a few dozen true reformers out of the whole lot. That tribe is so exceptionally small that I can pretty much name them all without a Google search.
Democrat and Republican alike, America’s prosecutors are still overwhelmingly conservative. North to South, from coast to coast, they all tend to buy into the same old law-and-order malarkey. So, when the chief law enforcement officer for an entire state starts to color outside the lines — shaking the trees and announcing bold reforms — best believe it stands out.
That’s what’s happening in Delaware.
Last fall, the people of Delaware elected Kathleen Jennings to be attorney general. The Democratic primary was a four-way race between reform candidates, and some contenders doubted whether Jennings, a career prosecutor, was likely to follow through on her promises. But on February 15, just over six weeks after assuming office, Jennings sent out one of the most revolutionary internal memos on criminal justice reform ever issued by a state attorney general in modern American history. As an advocate for reform myself, reading something like this is so out of the ordinary that when I first got it, I wondered if it was even real.
I need you to read and share this memo. It’s six pages of brilliance. Now