Jill Paperno on criminal justice reform
When gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin campaigned in Fairport, an incident occurred that was initially described as a "violent attack with a knife." The reality was more complicated; an inebriated and confused veteran had approached Zeldin while holding a plastic cat-shaped keychain, sometimes used as a tool for self-defense. The man was wrestled to the ground; he was charged locally in a way that required immediate release.
Zeldin condemned the system for letting the man go free while charges are pending; critics have said that the Monroe County District Attorney's office, which has close ties to Zeldin, could have pursued more serious charges that would have mandated bail. Our guest discusses how charges work; the current debate about criminal justice reform; and the need for vibrant public defense. In studio:
- Jill Paperno, civil rights litigator for the Empire Justice Center, and former Monroe County Public Defender