Vote Richard Aborn For Manhattan District Attorney

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[NYC Elections 2009: Black Star News Editorial Endorsement]

The candidate told The Black Star News that he wants to transform the District Attorney's office into something befitting of the 21st Century.

Richard Aborn likes to contrast his background with those of the two other major candidates in Tuesday's Primary race, towards replacing Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau, come November.

"Their vision is very much the status quo with some minor changes," he said, of his two opponents. "I will remain aggressive in fighting violent crimes; but I will also focus on preventing violent crimes."

He says he also has better managerial skills, having handled a large law firm. "I believe we are going to win," Aborn added. "We have the broadest and most diverse coalition of any of the candidates. Everybody is working very hard."

Whereas both Leslie Crocker Snyder and Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the other candidates, have spent many years "in and out of courtrooms" Aborn said he's the only one who has been a trial lawyer; a prosecutor; and, a defense lawyer.

"I think that my experience is far broader than my two opponents," he continued. "I think I have a history of taking big ideas and putting them into action."

And what are some of these big ideas?

[] Aborn wants to form a Special Task Force that would work with the various states that are the primary sources of the illegal weapons that flood the streets of New York City. He says the approach is similar to the "good job" that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has done working with officials in other Cities; his task force would work at the State level.

[] Aborn believes that the only way to tackle the disproportionately high percentage of incarceration of African American males is to direct added resources on steering young men away from a path leading to crime; by working with students in schools and introducing intervention programs there; and, by working with parent organizations.

"Right now, one out of three African American men will spend some portion of their life in prison; there are few things more fundamentally wrong than that and we have to address that," he said.

[] Aborn wants an "overhaul" of New York's juvenile crime system. He says New York and North Carolina are the only states that try as adults teenagers as young as 16, and 17, to 18.

[] Aborn also wants to create "peer courts," presided over by young people in cases of minor crimes.

[] Aborn also wants to focus on programs that would reduce recidivism.

"We are failing our kids," he said, noting that four out of five young people becoming ensnared in a "never ending cycle of re-arrest."

[] Aborn believes in legalization of marijuana; but not in decriminalization of other drugs.

[] Aborn wants to stop the police abuse of stopping-and-frisking young Black and Latino men. He called the abuse "walking while Black," and said he would demand that the data on the stop-and-frisk also be provided to the City Council and that the figures be audited to ensure that stops are "justified."

While fighting injustices such as unwarranted stop and frisk, Aborn says he will also focus on improving relations between police officers and the ethnic minority community.

[] Aborn also has plans to create a specialized office within the DA's office which will focus just on minimizing "the chances of wrongful convictions."

Aborn says those that have endorsed him include the family of Sean Bell; former New York City Police Commissioner, William Bratton; and, Rep. Jerry Nadler.

Aborn has presented an exciting and innovative vision for the D.A.'s office. We like what he said; and we will hold his feet to the fire if he wins.

We support him and endorse him when he faces the first test on Tuesday September 15, on primary election day. We hope New Yorkers feel the same way and support him in Tuesday.

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