The last case I tried as State Prosecutor involved the shooting of a five-year-old girl in Wilmington. On a summer evening in 2013, this young girl walked outside her home to bring inside her scooter when shooting erupted between rival drug dealers. The young girl luckily survived but will face a lifetime of surgeries because the bullet hit an artery in her leg and shattered her growth plate. I successfully prosecuted the man responsible for that shooting and he is sitting behind bars at this moment.
I am running for Attorney General because no child should have to fear walking out their front door. In an inspiring way, the children of our nation have spoken persuasively and demanded action from the adults of this country to stop gun violence. I admire their resolve and determination. As Attorney General, I will stand in support of these children and will be fully committed to using my office’s resources to reduce gun violence throughout our state.
As Attorney General, I will:
- Advocate for common-sense solutions to gun violence. To begin to address the gun violence that plagues many communities in our state, we need to remove weapons of war from our streets by banning all assault weapons and bump stocks. No one piece of legislation will put a halt to all gun violence in our state but we have an opportunity to implement measures that will protect all Delawareans. I will work closely with groups like Moms Demand Action and the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence to advocate for common-sense solutions to protect our children from gun violence.
- Prosecute violent gun offenders. Over my career, I have prosecuted hundreds of violent gun offenders. As Attorney General, I will fight to ensure that individuals who perpetuate violence on our streets are put behind bars. Make no mistake about it, gun crimes disproportionately impact our poorest communities. Striking the right balance between faithful enforcement of violent crime and proportionate prosecution is not easy, and if anyone tells you it is, they have never been a prosecutor. My experience should provide Delaware citizens with confidence that my judgment can be trusted to lead an office of dedicated lawyers and professionals who are committed to pursuing justice for victims and offenders.
- Expand the Crime Strategies Unit. This unit consists of a proactive weekly walk with prosecutors, Wilmington Police, Wilmington officials and public health officials who can spot issues and provide wrap-around services to those who need them. By getting out into the communities, we are able to strengthen relationships while addressing underlying causes of crime like vacant properties. In order to create safe communities, we need a level of trust and communication between the Department of Justice, local law enforcement, and residents. During my time with Attorney General Biden, we saw the work of Crime Strategies Unit significantly reduce incidents of violent crime. As Attorney General, I will expand the Crime Strategies Unit by properly staffing and funding it to engage communities in all three of our counties. We will work with social service agencies to directly provide help to communities.
- Improve the services we provide for the children of our state when they first interact with the criminal justice system. Frederick Douglass wrote that it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. The moment when a child first interacts with the court system is a crucial opportunity to change that child’s life for the better. We need to take advantage of that and wrap all necessary services around that child, so they never decide to commit a crime or pick up a gun again. The first thing that should be done is a clinical needs assessment that focuses on addressing the underlying causes of the conduct. By appropriately intervening and providing the right services we can get these children back on track—in school—and prevent them from committing crime and entering the adult criminal justice system. I will ensure that our juvenile prosecution unit understands and adheres to principles of proportionality, rehabilitation, and holistic services.
- Provide immediate services to victims of violence and to witnesses to violence. Victims of gun violence and witnesses to gun violence need services immediately, not long after the fact. I have seen first-hand the trauma that violence inflicts on our residents. As Attorney General, I will work with social service agencies to provide immediate assistance in the aftermath of violence to those in need.
As a Deputy Attorney General, as State Prosecutor, a criminal defense lawyer, and as a mother, I have worked tirelessly to address gun violence in our communities. Under the leadership of Attorney General Beau Biden, we developed the Crime Strategies Unit to move prosecutors out from behind their desks and into our communities most at risk of violent crime. As State Prosecutor, I helped strengthen gun laws involving violent offenders to remove dangerous weapons from our streets.
As Deputy Attorney General, I crafted legislation with Attorney General Biden to keep firearms out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves or to others. I have spent most of my career seeking justice for victims of crime.
But I also know that tougher gun laws won’t solve everything—we also must invest in the places struggling with crime and violence. That means that we must step up to help those traumatized by gun violence with needed services immediately after a shooting.