Recently I published a piece unveiling the radical criminal justice experiment taking place in Seattle under the authority of lead prosecutors Dan Satterberg and Pete Holmes. It examined the far-left, progressive movement that they, along with King County Executive Dow Constantine and several of the Seattle City Councilmembers subscribe to, and how it’s transforming the criminal legal system in several major cities across the country.
The ideology driving this movement applies the principles of distributive economic justice to criminal law in determining who will be punished and how much. Their goal is to replace an existing system designed to equally hold individuals accountable for their actions with a social justice system that treats people collectively, according to group identity and socioeconomic status.
In short, our criminal justice system is being flipped upside down to test the belief that homeless, drug-addicted criminals will choose to become law-abiding, productive members of society if they are released rather than brought to justice…a belief that also requires the rest of us provide them with housing, food, jobs, fresh needles and safe spaces necessary to encourage their rehabilitation.
In the article we identified the leader of this movement; the one person to whom this scripted, ideological experiment can be attributed – Lisa Daugaard. Shortly after it was published, Ms. Daugaard sent us an email to let us know how unhappy she was about the exposure.
“Please take down any characterizations of me as supporting decriminalization of drugs or prostitution or a right to camp. Nor did I or my office play any role in inviting or requesting the Obama DOJ consent decree,” she writes. “You’re making assumptions about my positions without support. Those are not in fact my views nor have they ever been the advocacy positions of my office. I am asking that you take down all of the above characterizations.”
After reviewing the article, we acknowledge that our use of the word “legalization” to outline the objective of Lisa’s agenda to be misleading, and were happy to correct it. However, whereas “decriminalization” is understood as the action or process of ceasing to treat something as illegal or as a criminal offense, we feel that term accurately describes the outcome of her policies as they’ve played out in Seattle. We consider Lisa Daugaard to be a public official and believe it is our responsibility and First Amendment privilege to criticize her background, philosophy, and policies.
For years, Daugaard has held an unprecedented amount of power in local policy-making. As an appointed commissioner on the Community Police Commission (CPC), she’s had oversight of Seattle Police Department policy and disciplinary decisions. Lisa worked with the brother of Che Taylor to write the anti-cop Initiative-940. (Taylor was a felon, who committed rape, robbery and assault — and was justifiably shot by officers after he tried to pull a gun on them.) Daugaard is also an appointed member of the King County Heroin and Opiate Addiction Task Force Workgroup who has been pushing for sanctioned safe-spaces for IV drug users. These are just the tip of the spear when it comes to decisions the so-called “reformer-in-chief” has been involved in.
In regards to Lisa Daugaard’s accusation that we are making unsupported assumptions about her positions, we offer the following information that led us to these characterizations.
1) On decriminalization of prostitution: The LEAD program completely removes every aspect of the criminal justice system from law-enforcement interaction with prostitutes. There is no arrest or threat thereof used to coerce an offender to take a diversion option. There is not even a police report documenting the crime.
12A.10.010 – Prostitution loitering
“Commit prostitution” means to engage in sexual conduct for money but does not include sexual conduct engaged in as part of any stage performance, play or other entertainment open to the public.
A person is guilty of prostitution loitering if he or she remains in a public place and intentionally solicits, induces, entices, or procures another to commit prostitution.
Among the circumstances which may be considered in determining whether the actor intends such prohibited conduct are that he or she:
1.Repeatedly beckons to, stops or attempts to stop, or engages passersby in conversation; or
2.Repeatedly stops or attempts to stop motor vehicle operators by hailing, waving of arms or any other bodily gestures; or
3.Circles an area in a motor vehicle and repeatedly beckons to, contacts, or attempts to stop pedestrians
“In LEAD, instead of arresting low-level drug and prostitution suspects and prosecuting them, law enforcement officers divert them to community-based services”
2) On right to camp – Lisa Daugaard has repeatedly fought for the rights of homeless to camp with impunity by promulgating tight restrictions on the City’s ability to enforce existing laws.
18.12.250 – Camping
It is unlawful to camp in any park except at places set aside and posted for such purposes by the Superintendent.
21.36.420 – Unlawful dumping of solid waste.
It is unlawful for anyone to dump, throw, or place solid waste on any property, public or private, or in any public place except, as authorized by city ordinance, in a litter container, solid waste container, or in a bundle as described in this chapter, or upon or at a disposal site or interim solid waste handling site provided and/or designated by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities pursuant to Section 21.36.018. Anyone who dumps, throws, or places solid waste in violation of this section shall remove and properly dispose of it. This section does not apply to dumping, throwing or placing litter in the amount of one (1) cubic foot or less which does not contain hazardous substances.
“the City will only be able to forcibly remove individuals and their belongings from such a site if officials can offer those people stable services that can lead to housing, rather than a return to homelessness.”
“We should only forcibly shut down particular encampments if there are safety issues specific to that place”
3) On DOJ investigation – While she did not sign the ACLU letter, Daugaard’s work against Seattle Police Department was used as evidence of misconduct in DOJ’s decision to investigate
Lisa on The Racial Disparity Project at The Defender Association:
“We started almost ten years ago by challenging racial profiling through selective enforcement claims.”
“From 2001-2008, we repeatedly sought to dismiss criminal cases on the grounds that police were far more likely to charge black defendants with drug-related crimes”
“While they disputed our allegations that their arrest practices were discriminatory, they agreed that exclusive reliance on the criminal justice system for dealing with individuals who are involved in the drug economy”
“Lisa Daugaard, then the head of a special unit of attorneys and researchers at the Seattle Public Defender Association, had spent years filing motions against the police over charges of racial profiling.
“Daugaard was determined to hold the police accountable.”
“During the 2010 Department of Justice investigation into allegations of a pattern and practice of excessive force and racial discrimination by SPD, the Racial Disparity Project provided extensive evidence related to both aspects of the investigation.”
4) On decriminalization of drugs – Lisa Daugaard’s organization The Public Defender Assoc. is leading the fight to legalize the consumption and possession of illicit drugs in designated spaces.
RCW 69.50.4012 – Delivery of substance in lieu of controlled substance
(1) It is unlawful, except as authorized in this chapter and chapter 69.41 RCW, for any person to offer, arrange, or negotiate for the sale, gift, delivery, dispensing, distribution, or administration of a controlled substance to any person and then sell, give, deliver, dispense, distribute, or administer to that person any other liquid, substance, or material in lieu of such controlled substance.
(2) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a class C felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.
RCW 69.50.402 – Prohibited acts.
(1) It is unlawful for any person:
(b) to manufacture a controlled substance not authorized by his or her registration, or to distribute or dispense a controlled substance not authorized by his or her registration to another registrant or other authorized person
Time to Start Talking About Legalizing Drugs– defender.org
Public Defender Association staff attorney helped spearhead the “Yes to SCS” campaign in 2016
Public Defender Association is a “Yes to SCS” campaign coalition partner
“you need to allow people to use on- site, so they don’t in an alley or back in The Jungle,” – Kris Nyrop (PDA)
“LEAD is an example of de facto decriminalization – rather than amending drug possession laws, local jurisdictions are changing their practices. Instead of arresting and booking people for certain drug law violations, including drug possession and low-level sales, police in select Seattle neighborhoods immediately direct them to drug treatment or other supportive services.”
“What is Working Well? Decriminalization – Movement toward decriminalization of drugs”
Murphy and other activists are ready to make a safe-use site happen in Seattle, and local leaders are unlikely to stop them. But is it legal? No, says Lisa Daugaard of The Defender Association, but so what?
“The fact that someone can be arrested and can be prosecuted for a law violation,” she says, “doesn’t mean that they must be,” The trick, says Daugaard, is to get local cops and prosecutors on board – to convince them that a safe drug site will work. “Local law enforcement and local prosecutors doing that is the most important front in ending the War on Drugs,” she says. “It’s very powerful, and it’s very available to us.” (Police and prosecutors declined to comment.)