The new attorney of Hennepin County, Mary Moriarty, took her oath of office Tuesday with her hand placed on a copy of a graphic novel about the late congressman John Lewis.
Photos from the swearing-in ceremony show Moriarty with her hand on a copy of “March,” which she described as a “graphic novel trilogy about Congress Member John Lewis and his courageous fight for voting rights.”
— Mary Moriarty (@MaryMoriarty) January 4, 2023
Moriarty replaced retiring Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who spent 24 years in the office. A former chief public defender, Moriarty promoted “restorative justice programs” on the campaign trail as an “alternative to incarceration” and “traditional prosecution.”
“Research and data show that non-restorative models of punishment do not prevent recidivism, do not repair families, and cause harm to a community. Incarceration, sometimes a year or more after a crime is committed, disconnects the punishment from the impact of a crime on a victim,” she says on her campaign website.
“Incarceration disconnects the person who committed violence from their community and makes reintegration extremely difficult,” the website adds. “Mary’s office will seek to provide an alternative to traditional prosecution through restorative justice as an option for victims.”
She also opposes the cash bail system, which is “not helping to make our community safer.”
According to Fox 9, 14 senior employees in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said they plan to leave when Moriarty takes over. Many of them reportedly supported Martha Holton Dimick, Moriarty’s opponent.
“You can’t come into a job like this and say I’m going to take over, and we’re going to do everything differently,” Freeman previously told Fox 9. “I don’t think Mary’s trying to do that but if she does it’s not going to work.”