Capital Commentary is the weekly current-affairs publication of CPJ, written to encourage the pursuit of public justice.

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This Week’s Capital Commentary

Harold Dean Trulear

Article Summary: 

While a presidential vote carries significant weight, our system of checks and balances requires close and discerning attention to a variety of “down ballot” electoral contests that impact the quality of life in America. Among the pressing issues impacted by this down ballot voting is that of criminal justice reform.

In this article, Harold Dean Trulear describes the various public offices that are connected to our criminal justice system and are potentially up for election this fall. He discusses some of the ways these offices can have dehumanizing cultures in their approach to individuals who have committed crimes, leading to incarceration experiences that worsen the human spirit.

Trulear argues that the failure to vote, particularly in local and state elections, plays into a system developing without the watchful eyes of its citizenry. 

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