A Manhattan district attorney candidate has sworn to provide alternatives for all crimes, including rape and murder, as well as not prosecuting low-level offenses, according to an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
Tahanie Aboushi is currently running as a progressive under the Democratic ticket, with plans of altering prosecutorial powers for certain crimes, including a range of misdemeanors and specific felonies, the WSJ reported. Aboushi’s campaign has vowed to hold prosecutors to a higher standard and cut district office budgets by at least 50%.
Aboushi told the WSJ that she would provide an alternative-to-incarceration program “in every case” with no exceptions, including for crimes such as gunpoint robbery, rape, and even murder. She has received a bevy of celebrity endorsements, including from Rashida Tlaib, Shaun King, and Bernie Sanders as a result of her progressive policies.
Aboushi still hasn’t made it out of her primary, however, and if she doesn’t make it past the seven other candidates, her fallback is to run on the Working Families Party ticket, the WSJ reported.
My family’s experience—and that of too many others—makes one thing clear:
Mass incarceration is a policy failure. It doesn’t keep us safe. It undermines stability & success at every level.
New Yorkers need a new direction, and that’s exactly why I’m running for #ManhattanDA.
— Tahanie Aboushi (@TahanieNYC) June 15, 2021
Her inspiration for running, according to the campaign website, is from her father’s experience with the justice system.
Ahmad Aboushi was found guilty on 17 counts for being involved in the hijacking of tractor trailers and the distribution of stolen cigarettes in 1999, court documents show, the WSJ reported. After failing to overturn his 1999 conviction in an appeals court, he was reportedly released from prison.
Aboushi told the WSJ that she blamed prosecutors for wrecking her childhood and wrongfully imprisoning her father. “I never doubted his innocence,” she said.
This emboldened Aboushi to not just become an attorney, but also “make sure that we are focused on justice, not on revenge punishment or convicting at all costs.”