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Politics

Election 2013: Brooklyn District Attorney candidates

Charles J. Hynes

Charles J. Hynes:

What made you decide to run?

Before I was elected, murder and other serious crimes were rampant.  I believed no matter how many (mostly young) men and women were sent to jail, the crime rates never decreased.

I understood that no prosecutor could “prison build” public safety. I have created innovative prevention programs to address the root causes of criminal behavior and recidivism, and hands-on powerful programs to lower our crime rate.

What issues will you focus on if elected?

My focus will be to continue to push the envelope with programs designed for the unique needs of adolescents and sex trafficking victims, and expanding the DA’s office to prosecute Medicare fraud.  I also plan to work to expand the Red Hook community court model into Brownsville and other under-served neighborhoods.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

Experience is what sets me apart.  I was fire commissioner, and for the NYS Commission of Investigations and served as a special state prosecutor for NYC’s criminal justice system.  I currently run a staff of 500 lawyers as DA of Kings County.  I have made a tangible difference by developing a comprehensive re-entry partnership that supports formerly incarcerated Brooklynites who returned to our communities without the resources necessary to avoid the cycle of crime and drugs.

I have learned that vigorous crime fighting and innovative programs are not mutually exclusive in combating crime.  It is heartening to read the recent comments of Attorney General Eric Holder and recognize that the role of the modern prosecutor that I envisioned and implemented during those six terms is now recognized as the national standard.

I am currently developing new programming to address the specific needs of Brooklyn at this critical time. As I implement these new programs, and listen to those members of the community who consistently enlighten me, I pledge to maintain and enhance the vision that has consistently driven my work as Kings County DA.

 

Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson:

What made you decide to run?

As a federal prosecutor and a lawyer in private practice, I made a career advocating for victims of crime and standing for justice for those who were wronged by the powerful.

The current DA has failed to address the concerns of the residents of Brooklyn. Rampant corruption, wrongful convictions and prosecutorial misconduct have tarnished the integrity of this office because of Joe Hynes’ failed leadership.

I recognize the changes that have happened in our community for the better, but more must be done. Our current DA has failed to meet the challenge of getting illegal guns off our streets and has sat silently while thousands of young men have been stopped, frisked and arrested for small possession of marijuana – destroying their futures. I believe it’s time for a change.

What issues will you focus on if elected?

If elected, I will address the need for police oversight and better handling of criminal cases so that there are no more wrongful convictions.

All staff in the DA’s office will be held accountable for any and all misconduct.

We will start the borough’s first labor bureau to protect hardworking people who have been victimized by employers. We will move forward with a technology agenda to address the realities of crime in the 21st century, including cybercrimes.

Additionally, I will make it priority to get guns off of the streets. The violent crime that cuts short the bright futures of young people in Brooklyn is an unacceptable toll.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

I put equal justice for all above everything else. While the current DA remains beholden to political interests, I will serve Brooklyn with integrity and fairness. We have had the same D.A. in office for over 20 years and for too long he has shrugged his shoulders in the face of injustice.

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