Case Study: Winning the Fight for Criminal Justice Reform Nationwide

Winning the fight for criminal justice reform and an end to systemic racism means changing the people we trust to administer justice. Learn how Nesbitt & Parrinello is winning the fight for justice in DA and AG offices nationwide.

Electing Progressive Challenger to Largest District Attorney Office in U.S

In 2020, Nesbitt & Parrinello powered self and opposition research in support of a progressive challenger running for the largest District Attorney position in the United States. The incumbent led the primary by a wide margin and garnered support from local law enforcement, often seen as a prerequisite for a District Attorney candidate. In a year dominated by calls for criminal justice reform, Nesbitt & Parrinello’s opposition research showed the incumbent had a long history of refusing to prosecute police officers who killed. The race received national attention after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and our candidate garnered endorsements from Senator Bernie Sanders and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Our challenger won the election by a seven-point margin, bringing the liberal District Attorney wave to the most important District Attorney’s office in the country.

Electing Progressive Women District Attorneys From California to Virginia

In 2019, a national campaign engaged Nesbitt & Parrinello to support commonwealth’s attorney races in Virginia. In what the Washington Post labeled “unprecedented” and a “sea change,” we made two incredible first for Virginia: the first muslim woman elected CA (Loudoun County) and the first Iranian woman elected CA (Arlington County). Nesbitt & Parrinello was engaged to support the candidacy of progressive women attorneys including Parisa Dehghani-Tafti in Arlington County. We provided research and fact-checking to support Dehghani-Tafti and her progressive platform, including marijuana reform, voting rights, and police accountability. In a closely-watched election, Dehghani-Tafti beat out incumbent Theo Stamos, who had been the Commonwealth Attorney since 2011.

Nesbitt & Parrinello fueled women District Attorney victories across the United States. In 2018, we powered research in support of 11 progressive women running for district attorney seats across the country. These women championed criminal justice reform measures in five states including California, North Carolina, Maryland, Vermont, and Massachusetts, and included San Diego, Marin, Durham, Baltimore, Suffolk, and Berkshire counties. In Suffolk County, Massachusetts, for example, Nesbitt & Parrinello provided research that helped elect the first woman and second African American District Attorney. Nesbitt & Parrinello’s work highlighted the candidate’s barrier-breaking career as a woman of color in the legal field, and sharpened her message, which included calls for reducing prison sentences and ceasing the prosecution of certain low-level crimes.

Research Powered Victory for Progressive in Philadelphia District Attorney Race

In 2016, a multi-million dollar IE campaign sought out Nesbitt & Parrinello to examine the complex legal careers of multiple candidates for Philadelphia District Attorney including the incumbent Seth Williams, Rich Negrin, Dan O’Connor, and the ultimate victor, Larry Krasner. Our examination of Krasner, a public defender for 30 years, found that he was vulnerable for his willingness to defend reprehensible clients and his criticism of police in and outside of court. However, our research showed that Krasner had a long history of representing activists like Act Up and Occupy Wall Street and that Krasner supported progressive movements such as Black Lives Matter. Using our research, Krasner’s campaign emphasized his past efforts and future promises to reform the criminal justice system, a note that struck a chord with voters in Philadelphia and carried him to victory.

Attorney General’s Race – Missouri (2008)

In the teeth of the 2008 presidential election, Nesbitt & Parrinello helped our client’s team win both a heated three-way Democratic primary and a tight general election for Missouri Attorney General. Our client was a sitting state senator, and we detailed his legislative record and analyzed his personal financial records, travel records and pay and perks. We examined the subject’s record as a county prosecutor, examining court records and local news sources to paint a full picture of his successes and failures. The team also relied heavily on Nesbitt for rapid response and earned media, using our analysis of campaign finance records to counter opponents’ attacks. The communications team also tapped Nesbitt to detail the records of his two primary opponents, one of whom, our research revealed, had taken money from a tobacco store with a history of selling to kids, while voting against anti-smoking measures. This information, combined with our client’s strong record on children’s issues, gave his team the ammunition it needed to win.

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