Dem in key senate race says there’s ‘great value’ in dismantling justice system, wants to eliminate cash bail



North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cheri Beasley is a strong proponent of “ending the cash bail system,” and during her time as a judge on the North Carolina Supreme Court, insisted that there is “great value in that premise” of dismantling the criminal justice system and restructuring it.

As outlined on Beasley’s campaign website, the Tar Heel State Democrat supports “ending some mandatory minimums and ending the cash bail system particularly for nonviolent offenders.”

Beasley, who was appointed to the state’s Supreme Court in 2012 and concluded her tenure in December 2020 as chief justice, delivered the State of the North Carolina Judiciary address in July 2019 and touched on the subject, noting that “many judicial districts are evaluating their bail policies.”

“Counties big and small, urban and rural, are changing the way they handle criminal cases pre-trial, and they are beginning to see positive results,” Beasley said. “Jails are less crowded, defendants are keeping their jobs, and families are staying in their homes. These communities are finding that this process does not compromise their safety, and it keeps their taxes low. All across our state, thousands of North Carolinians are jailed every year because they cannot afford to pay a fine.”

DEMOCRATIC SENATE CHERI BEASLEY DISTANCES HERSELF FROM ‘DEFUND THE POLICE’

Cheri Beasley speaks with potential voters at Fourth Ward Barber & Hairstyle on Sept. 17, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
(Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Furthering her point, Beasley said that the jailing of individuals who do not pay fines is “costly to the public” and “doesn’t allow people to be out working.”

In taking issue with the current criminal justice system in North Carolina and across America, Beasley also insisted during a August 2020 conversation with the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina that there is “great value” in tearing down the current criminal justice system and rebuilding it.

Speaking to Rev. Greg Moss, the former president of GBSC, Beasley said that George Floyd’s death “did not happen in vain” and claimed it “forced all of us to act progressively around how to do better in our systems.”

DEMOCRATS IN COMPETITIVE HOUSE RACES FLIP-FLOP ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROVISIONS THEY ONCE CHAMPIONED

Cheri Beasley said in August 2020 that she believed there is "great value" in tearing down the current criminal justice system and rebuilding it.

Cheri Beasley said in August 2020 that she believed there is “great value” in tearing down the current criminal justice system and rebuilding it.
(Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

When asked by Moss about the thought that there “needs to be more radical change, even in terms of tearing down to the bare bones and building back” the justice system, Beasely said, “You know, I think there’s great value in that premise, I really do.”

“We’re doing a commission because we know these efforts have to be long-lasting,” she added. “Rome wasn’t built in a day. Racial disparities didn’t start yesterday, and we really have to have a reckoning around this nation’s history, wholistically, but also especially in our courts. We have not been the greatest guardians of the rule of law. It’s important to acknowledge that, and it’s important to do something about it.”

Touting her support for “investing in reentry programs” and criminal justice reform, Beasley’s website also states that she supports the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that limited qualified immunity, as well as the Human Correctional Healthcare Act that granted Medicaid coverage to incarcerated individuals.

North Carolina Senate candidates Cheri Beasley, a Democrat, and Ted Budd, a Republican.

North Carolina Senate candidates Cheri Beasley, a Democrat, and Ted Budd, a Republican.
(Allison Lee Isley for The Washington Post, Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

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Crime has become an important concern for voters ahead of the November elections, with a poll last month indicating that they believe Republicans are more equipped to handle the issue that is now of more importance to them than abortion.

Beasley will face off in the state’s November 8 election against Republican candidate Ted Budd in an effort to replace retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr.