The Blaze: The Governor, the Mayor, the Police Department, the Police Union and many more aren’t too happy about this Democrat’s reform ideas.
Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot has stolen some of the political oxygen in the city, and the state in general, with his new reform measures, even with all the national news going on. But that small theft wouldn’t be prosecuted by his office these days: They don’t do that anymore.
Creuzot, a Democrat, has angered local and state officials, and importantly police unions, with his decree that his office will no longer be prosecuting what he has non-technically referred to as “low-level” crimes. As a recent Dallas Morning News op-ed put it, “shook” the people tasked with law enforcement and government. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say he has them “shook.”
The new agenda for the new district attorney is, he says, aimed at ending “mass incarceration” and jail time for “technical” violations which aren’t a threat to public safety. That includes a lot drug offenses, and although his letter informing the county residents of his overall plan was only published a week ago, he’s already dismissed more than 1,000 drug possession cases since taking office this year.
“The changes that I promised will be a step forward in ending mass incarceration in Dallas County, and will make our community safer by ensuring that our limited resources are spent where they can do the most good,” said Creuzot in the letter. He also specifically covered the drug offenses he has already dismissed.
First-Offense Marijuana Although African Americans and people of other races use marijuana at similar rates, in Dallas County African Americans are three times more likely to be prosecuted for misdemeanor marijuana possession than are people of other races. After arrest, African Americans are assessed money bond at a higher rate for marijuana possession, and are assessed higher bond amounts than other races. African Americans are more likely to be convicted of marijuana possession once charged and are more likely to serve a jail sentence.1
The District Attorney must take action to end that disparity. To that end, I have declined prosecution on misdemeanor possession of marijuana cases for first-time offenders whose offenses do not occur in a drug-free zone, involve the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon, or involve evidence of delivery. After the first offense, people will be offered a program that, if successfully completed, will keep their record clear. I am also in the process of dismissing all pending misdemeanor marijuana cases filed before I took office, according to the new policy stated above. To date, I have dismissed over a thousand misdemeanor marijuana cases.
They will likewise decline prosecution on “State Jail Felony and 3rd Degree Felony Possession of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)” in first-offender cases matching the above listed criteria.
Also on the no-prosecution docket are some petty theft cases of less than $750, except in cases where the object was financial gain. more here