Dear Tiffany Cabán:
As you may know, I am an advocate for victims of violent and hateful crimes, especially here in Queens. Unfortunately, acts of violence and hate crimes are too frequent. For many residents of Queens, the District Attorney’s most sacred duty is to deliver justice for victims.
Included in this definition of justice is sentencing perpetrators of violent and hateful crimes to jail time when appropriate.
You have run your campaign on a platform of being a “decarceral” District Attorney and implementing “restorative justice.” Although the implementation of restorative justice is a noble pursuit and should be applied in certain types of cases, in crimes involving violence and hate it seems misplaced. We need clarity on how your “decarceral” and “restorative justice” policies apply to cases involving violence and hate.
In the interest of providing this clarity, please answer the following questions:
What does “restorative justice” actually look like in the context of hate crimes? What will it require of the defendant and victim?
Can you please clarify when you think jail time is appropriate in the context of hate
crimes prosecutions? Is jail time on the table for crimes of assault?
Often times hate crimes manifest as criminal mischief, namely the destruction of
property, destruction of religious artifacts, and vandalizing properties and houses of worship. How will you handle the prosecution of criminal mischief? Is jail time on the table for the crime of criminal mischief?
What if a victim does not want to participate in a “restorative justice” process with the perpetrator of violence or hate crime? What will you do then?
I look forward to understanding your policies and positions better and working together to make Queens a safer place for all.
Ali Najmi, Esq.