Lynching in America continued from the 1920s up to 1980, according to Pima County Public Defender Joel Feinman.
Arizona incarcerates a higher percentage of the population than South Africa did during apartheid. “We are not the land of free and home of brave as long as that statistic is true,” said Pima County Public Defender Joel Feinman.
He spoke recently at a program on mass incarceration sponsored by the Arizona Ground Game (TAGG), a grass-roots Progressive organization that encourages active citizenship through neighborhood building.
“Mass incarceration is a long and ugly story, a bloody and racist tour of where we’ve been,” he said. “The good news is that mass incarceration is actually one of easiest political problems to solve.”
Part of the problem is the universal use of plea agreements to end criminal cases. In 2013, 97% of criminal cases in the federal system were resolved by plea bargains.
“The average sentence for federal narcotics defendants with a plea agreement is 5 years,” Feinman said. “For defendants who went to trial, the average sentence was 16 years — more than 3 times the years in prison because they chose to exercise their constitutional right under the 6th amendment to have a trial by jury.”
Plea bargains are an unfair contract, where the prosecutor (the Pima County Attorney) has all the bargaining power and the defendant has none. “The criminal justice system is more interested in moving cases along than dispensing justice,” he said. “As a result, you get the highest incarceration rate and the highest number of people in prison. The judge is not the most powerful person, not the jury, not our state representatives or congress people — it is your local prosecutor. They are by far the most powerful person in the criminal justice system.”
Posted in Activism, Civil Rights, Community, Crime, Drug Policy, Gun Policies, Justice, Larry Bodine, Law Enforcement
Tagged Barbara LaWall, Joel Feinman, mass incarceration, racism, Tamar Ralla Kreiswirth
On Friday July 29, 2016 Arizona Public Media (AZPM, PBS Channel 6) hosted a debate between 5 term Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall and her challenger political newcomer Joel Feinman, who worked for 8 years in the Public Defender’s office. Both candidates are Democrats, so this is a primary election race (August 30), to face off with Green candidate Cyndi Tuell in the General election.
Pima County Atty. Barbara LaWall
Watch the debate online here:
TUCSON CHAPTER PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS OF AMERICA AND PEOPLE DEMANDING ACTION
People Demanding Action (PDAction) Tucson, a 501 (c) 4 sister organization of Tucson Progressive Democrats of America is proud to announce the endorsements of:
- Joel Feinman for Pima County Attorney, http://joelfeinman.com/
- Bill Mundell for Arizona Corporation Commission
- Tom Chabin for Arizona Corporation Commission, http://www.tomchabin.com/newsroom/2016/6/23/chabin-mundell-outline-a-code-of-ethics-for-the-acc
Progressive Democrats of America-Tucson is proud to announce the endorsement of:
- Victoria Steele for AZ Congressional District 2, http://www.victoriasteeleforcongress.com/
Each of the candidates completed a questionnaire prepared by PDA Tucson. The responses were reviewed by PDA members and found to be in strong support of our progressive values. The completed questionnaires are available for review on request to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find more information about each of the candidates at their websites and you can contact them for information about scheduled house parties and/or candidates forums if you wish to meet them in person and become more familiar with their stance on issues.
Each of them needs our support in volunteer time and/or money. Each of them will move our County, State, and Country in a progressive direction.
An organizational meeting for People Demanding Action Arizona, a statewide organization, will take place on Saturday, July 16, 7:00 pm at Ermanos Craft Beer and Wine Bar, 220 N. 4th Avenue. Everyone is welcome to join the planning to move progressive issues forward in Arizona. The revolution continues.
Jenise Porter was recently chosen by the PDA Tucson Steering Committee to be the new Chapter Coordinator. I will remain an active member of the Steering Committee.
Posted in Carolyn Classen, Community, Elections, Tucson
Tagged Bill Mundell, Ermanos Craft Beer &Wine Bar, Jenise Porter, Joel Feinman, PDA Tucson, People Demanding Action Arizona, Phil Lopes, Progressive Democrats of America, Progressive Democrats of America - Tucson, Tom Chabin, Victoria Steele