Denver DA candidates talk police violence, race and wrongful conviction

Denver’s district attorney candidates will participate in a forum after the city’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and parade.

In the midst of the 60,000 people attending today’s Marade — Denver’s annual march and parade celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — the city’s district attorney’s candidates are also gearing up for a community forum that will take place this afternoon at the Trinity Methodist Church, at 1820 Broadway. Doors open at 12:30.

This year’s race has been particularly heated in the wake of current DA Mitch Morrissey’s ongoing refusal to prosecute police and law enforcement officers for on-duty excessive force and killings.

The string of cases includes the shooting deaths of 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez, Ryan Ronquillo and Paul Castaway, and sheriff’s deputies killing two black homeless street preachers, Marvin Booker and Michael Lee Marshall.

The office is also under scrutiny for defending the now vacated conviction of Clarence Moses-EL, who spent 28 years in prison for a rape all evidence — including another man’s confession — suggests he did not commit. Morrissey has not ruled out retrying the case.

The Colorado Independent held the first forum last fall, in which three of the candidates, Beth McCann, Michael Carrigan and Kenneth Boyd, participated. All four candidates, including Helen Morgan, will be present this afternoon.

The forum is sponsored by the Denver Justice Project, a coalition of social justice groups including Black Lives Matter 5280, Buried Seeds of Resistance, Survivors Organizing for Liberation, the Drug Policy Alliance, the ACLU of Denver, the National Lawyers Guild and others.

For more information about the forum, go here.


Photo credit: Walknboston, Creative Commons, Flickr