District Attorney Candidates Attend Recent Bedford Democratic Town Committee Meeting

Submitted by the Bedford Democratic Town Committee

The two Democrats running for Middlesex County District Attorney, incumbent DA Marian Ryan and challenger Donna Patalano headlined a well-attended Bedford Democratic Town Committee (DTC) meeting on Tuesday, August 21st. Bedord’s State Rep. Ken Gordon, a candidate for reelection on the September 4 ballot, was also present.

The district attorney (DA) is the chief prosecutor for the county and leads the office that is responsible for determining which criminal cases to pursue, which charges to bring in particular cases, and what sentencing to seek. The DA has a strong role in setting the overall tone for criminal justice in the county. Middlesex County’s DA is particularly significant because of the large size of the county. According to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Website: “We prosecute more than 39,000 cases a year in 12 district courts, 4 juvenile courts, and 2 superior courts.”

Marian Ryan

Incumbent District Attorney candiate Marian Ryan – Courtesy image (c) 2018 all rights reserved

Incumbent Marian Ryan spoke first, following a supportive statement from Rep. Ken Gordon who praised her for her leadership in countering opioids and scams and her overall visibility. Ms. Ryan called herself a “proven progressive prosecutor” and said that along with keeping the county safe, there were three main priorities for her: having a fair system that is also perceived as fair, promoting rehabilitation time as significantly as punishment time, and being proactive as opposed to reactive. She cited as a key success the restorative justice program which requires the accused to account for his or her crimes and engage in conversation with those that were affected by the crimes. Ms. Ryan was also proud of the 11.5% reduction in opioid deaths across the county in 2017, which she attributed partly to her leadership with local Opioid Task Forces. You can find out more about Marian Ryan at www.marianryan.org.

Donna Patalano

Challenger Donna Patalano is in her first campaign. She described her diverse experience ranging from the healthcare industry to her local zoning board, and her time as an attorney including two dozen appearances before the Supreme Judicial Court. Ms. Patalano is running because she feels the criminal justice system is broken, particularly with regards to the treatment of minorities and lower-income individuals, who are incarcerated at much higher rates than other citizens. She supports

restorative justice but feels that the benefits of it are not currently extended to those of all economic statuses. Ms. Patalano cited transparency as a clear distinction between her and her opponent, stating her belief that increased access to data while protecting privacy rights, will lead to more fairness in the justice system and a greater ability to determine the root causes of problems. You can learn more about Donna Patalano at www.donna4da.com.

Looking Ahead to Bedford Day

In other news, the DTC will once again be present at the Bedford Day Fair and Parade and welcomes all to visit us. We will have info about candidates, about progressive causes, and also on how to get involved with us. For more info about the BDTC, please visit www.bedfordmassdems.org or @BedfordMassDems on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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