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The Conn. ACLU Has 17 Questions For Chief State's Attorney Candidates


With the search underway for a new chief state’s attorney, the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut is calling on the candidates to answer some tough questions.

The ACLU’s Smart Justice Campaign released its new survey Tuesday. It’s 17 questions that ask for clear “yes” or “no” answers on issues centering on racial justice and decarceration. The topics include police accountability, open deadly force investigations, and mandatory minimum sentences. 

ACLU executive director David McGuire said the questions cover a range of the chief state’s attorney’s duties.

“We want real answers,” McGuire said. “We don’t want political maybes or if this happens ... We want people to commit one way or the other. The other piece that’s important is, as we know who the finalists are, if they have not filled out this survey, we’re going to make that known and we’re going to encourage them to do so. Refusing to answer these questions -- that is also a very important and significant decision that I think the public should know about.”

The search process has been opened up to the public for the first time. McGuire said it’s a rare opportunity for residents to have a direct role in determining the direction of their criminal justice system. He said he feels that the Criminal Justice Commission, which is conducting the search, seems to be taking the process seriously.

The ACLU will publish the applicants’ responses on its website in 2020.

Interviews for chief state’s attorney will be made public at the Legislative Office Building with a public comment period. That date has yet to be determined.

Lori Connecticut Public's Morning Edition host.

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