Endorsement watch: Opting for Ogg

The Chron makes their choice in the Democratic primary for District Attorney.

Kim Ogg

Kim Ogg

Democratic voters face a choice between two strong candidates for Harris County district attorney. But while Morris Overstreet can look back and reflect on a distinguished career, Kim Ogg is the candidate in this primary who most clearly articulates specific recommendations for the future.

The war on drugs has failed. Our system imprisons too many nonviolent offenders for low-level drug crimes, and in the process wrecks lives and destroys futures. Not only that, our existing policy disproportionately and unfairly targets young men of color.

Ogg believes that the public will be better-served not prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases. In her view, the best and fastest way to make our neighborhoods safer is to target real criminals – violent predators and gang members who commit serious crimes.

In Texas, a district attorney possesses the discretion under the law to decide what cases will be prosecuted criminally and which ones will not. Last year, Devon Anderson implemented a system to ticket first-time offenders caught with small amounts of marijuana instead of arresting them. Defendants can secure dismissals by attending a drug awareness class.

Ogg’s plan goes further. It would be open to anyone caught with small amounts of marijuana, even repeat offenders – although police and prosecutors will still have the discretion to charge and prosecute in certain cases. Ogg estimates that this policy – which effectively decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana – would allow the district attorney to redirect the approximately $10 million that the county is spending on enforcement in low-level marijuana cases toward the investigation and prosecution of gangs, burglary, rape and organized crime.

My interview with Ogg is here and with Overstreet is here. Overstreet is a strong candidate and this is a legitimately tough choice. Either will have an interesting race against incumbent DA Devon Anderson, who earned herself some good will and some enmity with those grand jury indictments against the two video fraudsters. It’s hard to say which will outweigh the other; if Harris County has the same kind of partisan balance as it had in 2012, that makes this race even harder to call. With the Lloyd Oliver joker in this primary deck, this race could go into a runoff. The good news is that that’s the only way he’s likely to be a factor.

Also, on Sunday the Chron made Presidential primary endorsements, for Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. Has the Chron ever passed on endorsing a Bush when given the chance? I’m just curious.

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3 Responses to Endorsement watch: Opting for Ogg

  1. Jen says:

    The main reason that the Republicans are claiming instant opposition to any nomination is so they can try to limit political damage when a specific nominee comes along, they are hoping to say ‘nothing personal’ when they block someone such as Loretta Lynch. They are also hoping to push the President to nominate a moderate.

  2. joshua ben bullard says:

    Why would Candidate kim Ogg put a teenager in prison for life,under the law of parties.In 1990 there was a jewerly store robbery on harwin committed by a 19 year old male ,Ponchai Wilkerson in which the shop owner was gunned downed by a single actor,Ponchai Wilkerson.Kim Ogg a prosecutor under Johnny Holmes requested she be appointed the lead prosecutor in Ponchai’s death penalty trial,Holmes denied kim oggs request and gave her the Wilton earl Bethany case instead,Bethany had just turned 17 years old 2 weeks before the heist,and there were several eye witnesses that testified that they spoke with bethany in the jewlery store before the crime and he identified himself and held a lengthy conversation as these witnesses had attended school with bethany,”wilton didnt appear nervous ,nor did he act as if he was going to participate in a robbery”.Prosecutor kim ogg pushed on ,in a trial to a judge she demanded a life sentence on the record for the young teen,this wasnt very difficult as kim ogg tried the teenager to a trial by judge no jury,judge bob burdette of the 184th(the judge that recieved the dwi and left the bench),In 2000 Ponchai Wilkerson was executed by the state of Texas,However the young teen Bethany still remains in Tdcj serving a life sentence,for just being at the wrong place at the wrong time and getting the wrong prosecutor Kim Ogg 1992 (state of Texas Vs Wilton earl Bethany)

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