After a year of racial violence in Durham, Satana Deberry is running for the district attorney position. Deberry campaigned as a criminal justice reformer, promising to make the criminal justice system fairer for communities of color. Her town hall at St. Joseph’s AME Church, held following the violent death of an unarmed black man, came as a shock. While there were many questions, Satana Deberry did not shy away from answering any of them.
In Durham, Satana Deberry has won the Democratic primary for district attorney. She is unopposed in the general election in November. Deberry’s record as a prosecutor is impressive. She has worked to keep children out of the criminal justice system and expunged more than 3,000 charges against teenagers. By doing so, she removes barriers to employment and education. Expunging cases also allows the families to move forward with their lives. In addition, she has fought to review untested sexual assault evidence kits that have been used to prosecute teenagers.
As the new district attorney of Durham, she’s committed to reforming the criminal justice system. Her office uses a broader definition of domestic violence than does the state and recognizes victims by their gender identities. One unit she has dedicated to this cause is a special victims unit that works to protect the rights of LGBT people. Deberry’s office also takes on cases involving targeted victims based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. In a way, she hopes to bring humanity into the system.
Her top priorities as district attorney
While many DAs focus on reducing the number of violent crimes, Bridgett has a different agenda for her office. The district attorney has long been committed to protecting children and families from abuse. While in the office, she has obtained multiple life sentences for child abusers and formed a Family Violence Unit to prosecute offenders who harm the most vulnerable victims, including domestic violence victims. In addition, the DA firmly believes that a strong, healthy family is vital to decreasing criminal behavior.
Price, who served as a deputy district attorney under O’Malley from 2001 to 2005, ran for office in part because of her out-of-touch approach to public policy. She attended the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, and graduated in 2001, ranking among the top 15% of her class. Her record as a district attorney is impressive, but she still has much-unfinished business. In addition to her work as a district attorney, she also mentors students and serves on several boards.