PHOENIX — Julie Gunnigle, the Democratic nominee for Maricopa County Attorney, released the following statement regarding her opponent’s belated attempts at reform at the MCAO just weeks before voting begins:
“This week, my opponent announced some piecemeal ‘reforms’ to the way criminal justice is done in Maricopa County. While reforms are sorely needed at this mismanaged department, to announce changes three weeks before voting begins, despite being in office for an entire year, is a disingenuous mockery of substantive changes that would benefit victims, their families, and people of color subjected to a harsh system of justice that disproportionately affects them and works to criminalize those experiencing poverty.
Just last week, my opponent was covered in the Arizona Mirror claiming that her actions in the past year have moved beyond her predecessors. Yet announced ‘reforms’ pale in comparison to existing policies that still disproportionately impact far too many Arizonans of color. There are changes that our County Attorney can support that would lead to better outcomes for victims and taxpayers that my opponent has not embraced. My opponent does not support ending the use of Hannah-priors; she does not want use-of-force incidents investigated independently; she does not want to fully decriminalize the possession of cannabis; she does not want to commit to reevaluating the harshness of sentencing laws, guidelines, and practices such as loosening up our ‘truth-in-sentencing’ law or the practice of ‘charge-stacking’; and most of all she does not support ending cash bail.
At the start of her appointment, my opponent was quoted as being in a ‘listening-and-learning mode’ on criminal justice reform. Yet in spite of minor changes announced this week, the voters of Maricopa County have been listening to and learning about the current County Attorney’s supposed track record on criminal justice reform and they have been left with much to be desired.
I am proud to be running a grassroots, inclusive campaign working to uphold the values of all Arizonans. We will continue to fight for real criminal justice reform that is transparent and forceful and ensure that all individuals in our community are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. While my opponent seeks to use the issue of criminal justice reform as a political play, I plan to deliver actual reform to the Attorney’s Office from day one.”
Julie Gunnigle is the Democratic nominee for Maricopa County Attorney. As a former prosecutor and nonprofit executive, she understands the complexity of our criminal justice system. She is running to transform the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office into an institution that is tough, smart, and fair.