GCC Prosecutor Forum: Subodh Chandra
Chandra responds to questions asked at GCC prosecutor candidate forum
Chandra has worked as the Cleveland City Law Director and a federal prosecutor. He ran and lost in 2006 for Ohio Attorney General.
On ensuring juveniles not waive their right to counsel without consulting an attorney: It’s even more important that this right be committed to juveniles [than to adults] because juveniles lack the capacity to make the appropriate decisions at that time so the notion that we have a lesser standard for juveniles is beyond outrageous.
On overcharging: You’ve hit upon my very reason for running for this office … It will end. It must end. But it requires your next county prosecutor to not just be well intentioned but to come out of a culture where they don’t overcharge to turn the office around.
On racial disparity: One of the things that we need to do in addition to the other things is this is diversity in the office. I am the only person who will put this record out for you: when I started as Cleveland City Prosecutor, 0 percent minority assistant prosecutors. When I left, 55 percent, including bilingual prosecutors.
On diversion for adults and juveniles: The next prosecutor needs to be a leader in the cultural transformation of the office and also in engaging the judiciary to make sure that this trend works and we have an impact on people’s lives. It’s going to cost us a lot less and we’re going to have better outcomes.
Quotable: We deserve a prosecutor who understands that it’s time to move beyond the stale old rhetoric about who’s tough on crime and start talking about strategies to be smart on crime.
Closing: I will establish a conviction integrity unit* in that office just as the DA in Dallas has that will work directly with the Innocence Project to correct past injustices and catch the real perpetrators where DNA exonerates them.
*Editor's Note: This editor originally reported that Chandra said "a conviction integrity movement."