Mass Incarceration

Will you commit to adopt a policy making the following offenses associated with poverty and health the lowest priority for prosecution:

     Failure to pay fees or fines Yes
     Driving on a suspended license Yes
     Consensual sex work Yes
     Shoplifting Yes
     Trespassing Yes
     Disorderly conduct Yes
     Obstructing of a passageway Yes
     Marijuana possession for personal use Yes
     Possession of other drugs besides marijuana for personal use Yes
     Seeking or providing an abortion (if it becomes illegal) Yes

Will you commit to issuing a fiscal impact report to the court in all cases where your office seeks a sentence of incarceration?           Yes

Will you commit to reducing the number of people sentenced to serve in jail or prison each year?     Yes

Do you commit to expanding the use of and eligibility for diversion courts and/or programs to address:

     Substance use disorder Yes
     Mental health Yes
     Juveniles Yes
     First-time offenders Yes
     Veterans Yes

Police Accountability

Shelby County Assistant District Attorneys work in close connection with law enforcement on a daily basis and rely on them to gather the evidence and testimony they need to successfully prosecute cases. This makes it hard for prosecutors to investigate and prosecute the same police officers in cases of police violence, when they may have an incentive to protect the police officers involved. Will you hold police accountable by committing to:

Require independent investigations in all cases where police kill or seriously injure civilians, or are accused of misconduct Yes
Create an independent unit that will focus exclusively on serious misconduct and that is staffed with prosecutors who do not work alongside local law enforcement on a regular basis No
Make investigation findings publicly available when deciding whether to charge an officer with a crime Yes

Will your office hold police accountable by maintaining a list of officers who are engaged in patterns of misconduct, including racial bias, excessive force, or dishonesty, and make the list available to defense counsel and the public?  Yes

Will you decline to rely on the reports of those officers on such a list, and to call those officers as witnesses in any criminal prosecutions?    Yes

DA Office Transparency and Accountability

Will you track & make public anonymized demographics such as race, gender, age, disability & socioeconomic status, including in charging decisions, bail recommendations, sentence type/length, plea bargains, diversion program placements, & convictions?     Yes

Will you commit to create a Conviction Integrity Unit to review innocence claims, due process violations, and excessive sentences?     Yes

Will you commit to releasing annual transparency reports, detailing how many times your office issued surveillance demands on companies or applied for warrants or other court orders to conduct electronic surveillance?       Yes

Will you disclose the type of investigation (e.g. drugs, assault, larceny, etc.) and the type of legal demand (e.g. subpoena, court order, warrant, wiretap order) your office sought in cases in which you sought surveillance demands?      Yes

Will you make public any MOUs or other agreements regarding your office’s partnerships with federal agencies to target specific communities or specific crimes, such as violent crime, drugs, etc. (ex. Immigration/ICE, Multi-Agency Gang Unit)?           Yes

Will you create a community advisory board within your first 100 days in office that meets monthly & represents impacted communities (immigrants, formerly incarcerated people, communities of color & LGBTQ people) to identify priorities for your office?         Yes

Do you commit to holding quarterly meetings, which are open to the public, to discuss community concerns?    Yes

Will you pledge to publish all office policies and protocols online?   Yes

Poverty Penalties and Cash Bail

Will you commit to seeking cash bail only as a last resort and after all less restrictive alternatives have been considered, as is currently required under Tennessee state law and the federal constitution?   Yes

Will you commit to creating a list of charges and other case factors for which your office will support pretrial release on recognizance?     Yes

Will you commit to reviewing cases and training your staff to ensure that individuals are not incarcerated pretrial solely because they are unable to afford bail?     Yes

Will you use your prosecutorial discretion to establish and enforce an office-wide policy to support all motions to waive court costs when the defendant has been found indigent?   Yes

Will you use your prosecutorial discretion to establish and enforce an office-wide policy to create opportunities for individuals to clear court debts?      Yes

Youth and Veteran Justice

Will you commit to reducing the number of juveniles transferred to adult court?        Yes

Will you commit to never seeking life without parole or equivalent sentences for juveniles?    Yes

Will you address the school-to-prison pipeline by establishing and enforcing office-wide policies to reduce the number of children referred to juvenile court for misdemeanors that occurred at school?         Yes


Will you commit to require that prosecutors turn over full discovery to the defense pre-indictment?         Yes

Death Penalty

Will you commit to never seeking the death penalty?      No

Racial Justice

Do you pledge to take steps to eliminate racial disparities caused by prosecutor conduct in filing charges, plea bargaining and sentencing?    Yes

In Tennessee, Black people are over 3X as likely as white people to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite using marijuana at similar rates. Will you decline to prosecute low level offenses that have significant racial disparities in arrest rates?     Yes

Will you commit to diversifying the staff of the DA's office?    Yes


Do you pledge to establish a written policy and training of staff about the unintended immigration-related consequences of prosecutorial decisions at all stages of a case?         Yes

Do you pledge to require staff to disclose immigration-related consequences to defendants during any plea negotiations?     Yes

Will you create a streamlined post-conviction procedure for non-citizens to limit immigration related consequences of a prior conviction, including access to pre-plea diversion programs?       Yes

Integrity in Plea Bargaining

Do you pledge to establish and enforce office-wide policies to minimize the coercive nature of plea bargaining, and to not threaten longer sentences if people refuse plea offers?      Yes


Would you support legislation to remove juvenile court fees and fines?      Yes

Would you support legislation to expand access to the ballot box for people with felony convictions by removing the requirement that court fees and fines be paid and child support be current before voting rights can be restored?      Yes

Candidate Questionnaire Comments

"I am reluctant to say I will 'never' prosecute a certain thing, for fear the state may take authority away from me. Also, as a general prudential matter, DAs should shy away from blanket 'never' and 'always' pronouncements, since each case should be judged on its facts. However, I am willing to say that I personally oppose the death penalty and LWOP for juveniles, and it would be hard for me to imagine circumstances warranting such a charge.

"Finally, I favor independent prosecutors for officer involved shootings, and a more vigorous use of our CLERB civilian oversight board for other accusations of police misconduct.  Because of that, I'm not convinced a dedicated unit inside the DA's office for police misconduct cases is really necessary, the way I am re a Conviction Review Unit.  I'm not opposed to it in principle; it's just a matter of smart use of resources."