Shelby County District Attorney race candidates participate in forum

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 10:49 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A face-off for the Shelby County District Attorney’s office, the stakes are high as voters consider candidates in this critical race.

Dozens of Shelby County residents filled St. Andrew AME Church for the forum held by the Black Clergy Collaborative of Memphis.

They answered several submitted questions from attendees involving many important national and local issues.

Incumbent District Attorney General Amy Weirich and challenger University of Memphis Professor Steve Mulroy answered questions from juvenile crime to prosecuting cases of abortion.

“This issue quite frankly is still very much turbulent and a moving target,” said District Attorney Amy Weirich. “When the dust settles and we see where we are. We will handle this issue as we do everything else with facts, with evidence, with the law and always always always coupled with justice and coupled with mercy.”

“I don’t think the criminal justice system should be used on issues of reproductive choice,” said Steve Mulroy. “As a result, I think those types of prosecutions should be extremely low priority.”

When it comes to reducing juvenile crime, both candidates have different ideas on how it should be done.

“We have victims of these crimes that deserve to have their day in court and deserve to have justice and to be fought for,” said. Weirich. “If we stopped prosecuting juveniles, just think of the havoc that could be reaped.”

Weirich says the District Attorney’s office has the same policies for prosecuting juveniles as they do for adults. She says they use facts, evidence, and the law.

“There’s no difference you make those decisions in adult court versus juvenile court,” said Mulroy. “Of course that’s wrong.”

One question audience members were passionate about, is Shelby County safer now than it was 8 years ago?

Both disagree on who or what is to blame for violent crime.

“The last bit of 2021, we saw a decrease in violent crime and going into this first quarter of 2022, a decrease in violent crime,” said Weirich. “The problem is too many guns on the street in the hands of those who want to victimize people.”

“I don’t blame any one person for all of that,” said Mulroy. “What I’m saying is we shouldn’t deny it. We shouldn’t pretend that it doesn’t exist. We should acknowledge that what we’re doing ain’t been working and we need change.”

One thing both candidates agreed on, is reforming the county’s cash bail system. Attendees spoke with Action News 5 and said this forum helped them decide who they’ll vote for in August.

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