A Referendum on Criminal Justice Reform

1 minute read | November.16.2020

New Yorkers of different stripes came together this month to help elect Joe Biden president. Now that that is over, our focus will begin to turn to the key races in the next election. In New York City, the most important of those is the 2021 mayoral race, followed closely by the historic race for Manhattan district attorney.

The people of Manhattan will head to the polls next June to pick the Democratic nominee, which in heavily Democratic New York County is tantamount to election. The incumbent, Cy Vance, has not yet announced whether he will stand for re-election, but knowledgeable observers believe he will not.

Even before last summer's social unrest, and the well-publicized incidents of police force that we have seen in 2020, this was set to be a momentous race. The past five years have seen a strong national push by the progressive left to install self-styled progressive prosecutors as DAs or their equivalent, with the goal of reducing reliance on incarceration as a crime-control tool.