Do you know who is the most powerful person in the Massachusetts criminal legal system? According to Rahsaan Hall, Director of the Racial Justice Program at the Massachusetts ACLU, it’s your local District Attorney, or DA, who makes the decision whether to charge someone with a crime, and if so, whether that crime is one that will carry consequences like a long mandatory prison term or automatic deportation (for immigrants). As of today, only one scheduled debate has taken place between the candidates on the ballot for Middlesex County District Attorney this fall, and Arlington Community Media, Inc. (ACMi), the town’s cable-access television station, was instrumental in putting it together.

Joining the ACLU; the Leagues of Women Voters of Arlington, Lexington, and Winchester; and the Mass Incarceration Working Group of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington; ACMi co-sponsored, produced, and recorded this debate from First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Arlington on Tuesday, July 24. It is currently available for viewing on the ACMi website (acmi.tv), as well as its YouTube channel (Arlington Community Media Inc.). ACMi will also be sharing the broadcast with other community access stations all over the area, and will re-air it multiple times per week throughout the period leading up to the election.

The evening also included a debate between the candidates for Governor’s Council, a group with enormous influence over who becomes a judge or Parole Board member in the state of Massachusetts. ACMi is delighted to provide valuable information to Massachusetts voters, and urges everyone who is eligible to cast their ballots on September 4!