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ICYMI: Former Federal Prosecutors From Florida Support Jackson, Praise Public Defender Work

March 23, 2022

Miami Herald: Former Florida prosecutors endorse ex-public defender Jackson
[3/23/22, Bryan Lowry]

While Republicans portray Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson as soft on crime, 48 former federal prosecutors from Florida have written a letter to top senators in support of her confirmation.

Jackson would be the first Black woman, first Floridian and first justice with experience as a public defender if confirmed by the full Senate.

Jackson has the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police, but during her confirmation hearings Republican lawmakers have scrutinized her experience as a defense attorney and argued as a judge she handed down sentences in criminal cases that were overly lenient.

Former federal prosecutors from Florida rebutted that criticism in a Tuesday letter to Senate leaders of both parties, which was obtained by the Herald. "We know from our prior prosecutorial work that public defenders not only play a key role in advocating for individuals impacted by the criminal legal system, but also for entire communities and justice on a broad scale.

Judge Jackson's keen understanding of the criminal justice system will bring a unique and necessary perspective to the court," the attorneys said.

The letter was signed by three former U.S. attorneys for the Southern District of Florida, which includes Miami, who served during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations: Kendall Coffey, Marcos Daniel Jiménez and Wilfredo "Willy" Ferrer, who cumulatively served 13 years as the top federal law enforcement official in South Florida.

The letter was also signed by 45 former assistant U.S. attorneys, mostly from the Southern District, who collectively handled federal criminal cases in the state from the 1960s through 2021.

[...]

Joseph R. Biden, ICYMI: Former Federal Prosecutors From Florida Support Jackson, Praise Public Defender Work Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/355047

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