Moriarty began her career as a public defender in Hennepin County in 1990 and worked her way up to serve as the county’s first female Chief Public Defender for six years. One of her first cases went all the way to the US Supreme Court. Moriarty attended Macalester College and then the University of Minnesota Law School. “During my six years leading the second largest public law office in the state, an independent evaluation recognized it as one of the most effective offices in the country,” she said. “I’m proud to have the endorsement of the DFL, Keith Ellison, Scott Dibble, Jamie Long, Frank Hornstein, pro-choice groups, and over 50 legislators, mayors, city council and school board members across Hennepin County.”
What do you propose to manage public safety and rising crime rates?
My job will always be to keep everyone safe. I will focus our resources on prosecuting violent crime, especially gun violence. As Hennepin County Attorney, I need good police work to successfully prosecute those responsible for violent crime. I will partner with police to improve processes for effective prosecution.
How do you view child protection and support cases?
We need to protect children and we need to make sure caregivers have the resources they need to be successful. Parents should pay support for their children, and we also need to ensure that they aren’t punished in ways that result in losing the means to pay.
How will you address the public’s changing opinions on criminal justice reform?
I will make data and research-driven decisions and I believe in transparency, accountability, and accessibility. This means that the public will know our office’s policies and what the data shows. I will engage communities throughout the county to make sure that we are hearing and addressing their concerns.
How do you view the use of juvenile diversion and restorative justice programs?
We need to hold kids accountable for the crimes they commit to protect the community and also to help kids develop better decision-making and avoid reoffending. We can help prevent reoffense through structured risk and needs assessments, and interventions rooted in adolescent brain development, trauma-informed care, and restorative justice practices.
How will you address equity issues in prosecution?
My office will collect data on racial disparities in every part of the system to examine decision points and create policies through a racial equity lens. In particular, we need to monitor high-disparity touch points including traffic stops, “consent” searches, and arrests.
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