Interactive Graphics: The Power and Prejudice of DAs on Drugs

    District attorneys are the most powerful players in the criminal justice system. But most people still don’t know who they are or what they do. Filter has conducted a first-of-its-kind investigation into where DAs representing the 50 most populous counties in the US stand on drug policy.

    Our focus is on four issues: marijuana legalization, drug-induced homicide charges, mandatory minimum drug sentences, and criminal-justice approaches for addiction including drug courts and diversion programs. Spoiler: These elected prosecutors are largely out of step with the people to whom they’re responsible.

    You can read the full report by investigator Rory Fleming here. And check out the graphics below (updated to reflect the outcomes of the November 6 elections).

    DAs on Drugs

    filter

    The information presented here, representing the 50 most populous counties in the US, was compiled by Filter through interviews and research. You can read our report about the project here.

    DAs on Drugs

    filter

    The information presented here, representing the 50 most populous counties in the US, was compiled by Filter through interviews and research. You can read our report about the project here.

    Supports marijuana legalization?

    • No
    • Did not support pre state legalization
    • Yes
    • Cite-and-release
    • Decriminalization

    Has used drug-induced homicide charges?

    • Not found
    • Open to charging
    • Yes
    • Yes, for doctors
    • No

    Supports mandatory minimum sentences for drugs?

    • Yes
    • Uses without criticism
    • Uses with criticism
    • No
    • N/A

    Diversion programs or drug court?

    • Not found
    • LEAD Program
    • CLEAR Program
    • Drug court model

    DAs on Drugs

    filter

    The information presented here, representing the 50 most populous counties in the US, was compiled by Filter through interviews and research. You can read our report about the project here.

    wdt_ID County, State District Attorney * Up For (Re-)Election Supports marijuana legalization? Has used drug-induced homicide charges? Supports mandatory minimum sentences for drugs? Diversion programs or drug court?
    1 Los Angeles, CA Jackie Lacey (NP) x 2020 Did not support pre-state legalization Yes, for doctors N/A Drug court model
    2 Cook, IL Kimberly M. Foxx (D) - 2020 Decriminalization Yes N/A Drug court model
    3 Harris, TX Kim Ogg (D) x 2020 Decriminalization Not found N/A Drug court model
    4 Maricopa, AZ Bill Montgomery (R) - 2020 No Not found Yes Drug court model
    5 San Diego, CA Summer Stephan (NP) ✓ 2022 Did not support pre-state legalization Yes N/A Drug court model
    7 Orange, CA Todd Spitzer (NP) - 2022 Did not support pre-state legalization Not found N/A Not found
    8 Miami-Dade, FL Katherine Fernandez Rundle (D) - 2020 Cite-and-release Open to charging Uses without criticism Drug court model
    9 Kings, NY Eric Gonzalez (D) ✓ 2021 Decriminalization Not found Uses with criticism CLEAR program
    11 Dallas, TX John Creuzot (D) - 2022 Cite-and-release Not found N/A Drug court model
    12 Queens, NY Richard A. Brown (D) - 2019 No Yes, for doctors Yes Drug court model

    [* “✓”=responded to survey, “x”=refused, “-” = no response]

    You are welcome to embed these graphics to your website via iframe; html code is available here.


    The artwork is by Sarah Etten. It depicts: Mike Freeman (Hennepin, MN); Nico LaHood (Bexar, TX); Madeline Singas (Nassau, NY); Amy Weirich (Shelby, TN); Katherine Fernandez Rundle (Miami-Dade, FL); and Ron O’Brien (Franklin, Ohio).

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