Brooklyn DA candidates square off in debate
The Democratic Leaders for the 21st Century sponsored a debate between Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and his two opponents, Abe George and Kenneth Thompson, on Monday evening.
The debate topics ranged from gun control to wrongful convictions and the prosecution of marijuana possession.
“Abe George led the debate,” Aaron Rubin, George’s campaign manager, told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “Hynes dodged the issues, and Thompson was just going through the motions. “
At one point in the debate, George called Hynes out to be a “liar” about his office’s prosecution of cases involving small possessions of marijuana. Hynes’ replied that George was merely being “rude.”
“Abe was not rude — he was right,” said Rubin. “[Abe George] is running on a platform to treat small possession of marijuana cases as violations as opposed to a misdemeanor,” he continued. “Hynes twisted the truth when he said that his office gives out ACDs for minor marijuana possession.”
An ACD is an adjournment contemplating dismissal and is often offered for minor offenses where the charges against a defendant are ultimately dismissed so long as the defendant agrees to stay out of trouble for a proscribed amount of time. “The granting of an ACD for some marijuana possession charges is already codified in the law. Hynes is not doing anything above what the law already calls for,” Rubin noted.
Hynes’ campaign was satisfied with the DA’s performance. “We were happy with our performance and discussing the innovations Joe has brought to the office,” Hynes’ campaign spokesman George Arzt said in a statement. “We were disappointed by the pandering and wild charges of our opponents more befitting TV’s `Gong Show’ from the ’70’s than any serious debate on the issues confronting Brooklyn and its residents.”
“While my opponents are only interested in petty personal attacks, the people of Brooklyn will not be distracted from the issues that matter,” Thompson told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “Instead of bickering like children, we need to address real problems like rising gun violence, cyber crimes, wrongful convictions and prosecutorial misconduct.”
The primary for the Democratic nomination for Brooklyn DA will be held on Sept. 10, 2013.
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