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Our votes counted: Eli Savit, Washtenaw County’s newly elected Prosecuting Attorney

In his first ten days of office, Eli Savit has made good on his campaign promises to accelerate justice. They include the following major directives.

On Martin Luther King day, he issued policy directive 2021-09 (tinyurl.com/Savit-Policy) that pretext traffic stops will no longer be tolerated. This is a practice that allows cars to be searched after an incidental traffic violation. This practice impacts people of color disproportionately and leads to documented acts of racial profiling. His office will “decline to charge contraband crimes that arise when there is significant reason to believe that those charges arose from a pretext stop.”
He issued policy directive 2021-08 which decriminalizes sex work per se, though continuing to prosecute adjacent crimes including assault, pimping, human trafficking, and sex acts involving the underage.
He issued policy directive 2021-07 (following the unanimous resolution of the Ann Arbor City Council), which precludes the prosecution of those who possess, grow, or use entheogenic plants (marijuana and mushrooms).
He issued policy directive 2021-02 which eliminates cash bail, a system which imposes pretrial incarceration on those defendants who cannot afford to pay and is at odds with the cornerstone of our justice system—presumption of innocence.
He issued policy directive 2021-01 which eliminates “zero tolerance policies,” which are absolutist and inflexible, failing to allow for the context in which misdeeds may occur, including poverty, substance abuse or mental health issues, or ignorance or genuine mistakes.

Those of us who support a fairer judicial system can applaud Prosecuting Attorney Eli Savit’s first acts in office. For more complete information, see his Facebook page: https://tinyurl.com/FB-Savit

www.washtenaw.org

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