Republicans slam Biden's pro-police reform judicial nominee: HER policies are said to have increased crime

Republicans slam Biden’s pro-police reform judicial nominee: HER policies are said to have increased crime

Joe Biden’s nominee for a life seat in a New York court on Wednesday was attacked by Republican senators for being soft on crime because she works to free the wrongfully convicted.

Nina Morrison, 52, is currently Senior Judicial Counsel at the New York-based Innocence Project, which works to rehabilitate wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reform the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.

Morrison was appointed United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

She was one of four people who appeared Wednesday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but several of the 11 Republicans on the committee appeared to have ignored Morrison’s three fellow nominees and focused their attention on her.

Nina Morrison was one of four judicial candidates to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Nina Morrison was one of four judicial candidates to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Morrison and three others appeared before senators on Wednesday for confirmation.

Morrison and three others appeared before senators on Wednesday for confirmation.

Ted Cruz, a Texas senator, accused Morrison of promoting crime mitigation and appeared to be baffled by her work to free people who had been wrongfully convicted.

“All your records are deeply disturbing,” Cruz told Morrison.

“Across the country, Americans are horrified by the skyrocketing crime rate, skyrocketing homicide rates, burglary and auto theft.

“All of this is a direct result of the policies you have been promoting all your life.”

Cruz asked Morrison, who was an adviser to the transition team for progressive Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in 2017, if she thinks the city is safer with Krasner in charge.

“I don’t consider myself an expert on crime statistics,” she said.

“You don’t have a view,” Cruz interrupted.

“Of course I can talk about the cases I worked on in Philadelphia,” she said.

Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas, told Morrison, “Americans are horrified by the skyrocketing crime rate, the skyrocketing homicide rate, the skyrocketing burglary, the skyrocketing auto theft.  All of this is a direct result of the policies you have been promoting all your life.”

Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas, told Morrison, “Americans are horrified by the skyrocketing crime rate, the skyrocketing homicide rate, the skyrocketing burglary, the skyrocketing auto theft. All of this is a direct result of the policies you have been promoting all your life.”

Republicans slam Biden's pro-police reform judicial nominee: HER policies are said to have increased crime

Cruz continued, “Why do you keep advising radical DAs who release violent criminals and cause the homicide rate to skyrocket?

“Do you care that innocent people are killed because of the policies you are pursuing?”

Morrison tried to explain that her job was about reevaluating previous convictions, not about formulating policy for new ones.

She also later noted that her work was highly praised in Cruz’s home state.

“Senator Cruz’s home state of Texas passed legislation on behalf of one of my former clients to make it easier for wrongly accused individuals to access exculpatory evidence because of proven misconduct in this case,” she said. .

“It was passed unanimously by the predominantly Republican legislature.”

Cruz later tweeted, “Progressive DAs and Judges are allowing crime to run rampant.

“The murder rate is skyrocketing. Is it progressive?

Josh Hawley, a Missouri senator, told Morrison that he plans to oppose her nomination along with any other Biden administration nominees who are “soft on crime.”

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley said Morrison was

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley said Morrison was “soft on crime.”

Republicans slam Biden's pro-police reform judicial nominee: HER policies are said to have increased crime

“I will oppose you and anyone else the administration sends to us who does not understand the need for the rule of law,” he said.

Hawley tried to link Morrison to the district attorney’s decision in his state’s second-largest city, St. Louis, to release people arrested during the city’s violent 2020 protests over the killing of George Floyd.

Morrison once wrote an article praising Kim Gardner for her work in overturning the conviction of an innocent detainee for murder.

“In the midst of the riots that rocked the city of St. Louis, police were shot at, rioters threw rocks, gasoline and frozen water bottles, firefighters were attacked, innocent civilians were attacked,” he said.

‘[Gardner] said it was the police’s fault.

“Is this the approach that you support and consider appropriate for prosecutors?”

Morrison said her article, which mentions Gardner, was specifically about a wrongfully convicted man, and indicated that Republicans in Hawley State supported reopening the case.

He later called it “criminal” and tweeted that he would also oppose any progressive candidate Biden nominates to the Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated by outgoing Justice Steven Breyer.

“Another day, another criminal judge appointed by Joe Biden,” Hawley tweeted.

“If Biden appoints such a judge in #SCOTUS, expect a fight.”

And Tom Cotton, a senator from Arkansas, referred to one of her clients, Ledella Lee, who was executed in Arkansas in 2017 for the 1993 murder of 26-year-old Debra Reese and had previously been convicted of two rapes. accusations.

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton said he would not confirm Biden's candidacy until the Justice Department agrees to represent a group of US marshals who are being sued in Portland, Oregon, for their actions during the anti-George Floyd protests.

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton said he would not confirm Biden’s candidacy until the Justice Department agrees to represent a group of US marshals who are being sued in Portland, Oregon, for their actions during the anti-George Floyd protests.

Republicans slam Biden's pro-police reform judicial nominee: HER policies are said to have increased crime

But four years after his execution, another person’s DNA was found on the murder weapon.

“One of Mr. Li’s lawyers later admitted that he suffered from serious drug and alcohol problems and did not provide Mr. Li with the protection he was constitutionally entitled to,” Morrison said.

“Some of the results were inconclusive, but what is remarkable is that male DNA was found on the murder weapon, which was not Mr. Lee’s.”

Cotton dismissed the DNA evidence, adding, “He was convicted on the basis of witness testimony and possession of Ms. Reese’s stolen property.”

Morrison responded, “The witness identification you cited is actually the single leading proven cause of wrongful convictions.”

Earlier this month, Cotton announced that he would refuse to support any judicial candidates after the Justice Department failed to respond to his demand for answers about the lack of assistance to U.S. marshals who are being sued over their defense of the Portland federal courthouse in 2020. year during the George Floyd case. protests.

The Justice Department has yet to decide whether to represent marshals.

Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, was outraged by the behavior of the Republicans and singled out Cotton.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced Morrison and praised her work in exonerating the wrongfully convicted.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced Morrison and praised her work in exonerating the wrongfully convicted.

Republicans slam Biden's pro-police reform judicial nominee: HER policies are said to have increased crime

“Republican Senator Tom Cotton is trying to stop us from confirming Justice Department candidates,” he said.

“These cheap guerrilla games make Americans less safe.

“But make no mistake: he will lose this dangerous fight and we will confirm these candidates.”

Schumer, the New York senator, had earlier introduced Morrison, praising her accomplishments in his state.

“I’m honored to introduce Nina Morrison @JudiciaryDems,” he said.

“On my recommendation, she was nominated by @POTUS for the position of District Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

“Not from a major corporate firm, she has dedicated her career to the @Innocence project, representing people wrongly convicted of crimes.”

At the hearing, Morrison was supported by Democratic Senator from Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse.

He asked Morrison, poking fun at his fellow Republicans, “Does toughness on crimes include convicting the innocent?”

“No, Senator,” she replied. ‘Is not.’

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