MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Changes are possibly coming to Shelby County’s criminal justice system after Steve Mulroy was elected the county’s next district attorney.
The University of Memphis law professor defeated current District Attorney Amy Weirich by more than 16,000 votes by campaigning on a progressive platform. He is set to be sworn in on Thursday, September 1.
Mulroy says his goal is to have a fair criminal justice system.
“That means no longer opposing post-division DNA testing, a conviction review unit, juvenile court reform, fixing our broken bail system, refocusing on violent crime,” Mulroy said. “Helping all of those who may be innocent.”
Mulroy, according to his campaign, wants to avoid cash bail when possible, so people won’t sit in jail because they can’t afford to get out. He wants to prioritize resources toward fighting violent, serious crime.
For juveniles, he opposes sending juveniles to adult court and wants to extend Juvenile Court’s jurisdiction until age 25.
And he wants to form a post-conviction review system to review cases for possible errors or wrongful convictions.
Mulroy is taking office at time when crime in on the rise across Shelby County. It’s an issue he says will be addressed but will take time.
“My problem is with Shelby County is our streets are not safe and our system isn’t fair. I can’t guarantee anytime in the next few months we’re gonna suddenly turn the corner on violent crime. That may be a long-term process,” Mulroy said.
It’s a process Mulroy says he willing to endure as months of campaigning come to an end.
“We will make Shelby County’s criminal justice system a model for reform for the nation,” Mulroy said.
Mulroy did credit Weirich for the work she has done.
He is set to be sworn into office Sept. 1.