Q&A with Beth McCann, candidate for District Attorney - 2nd Judicial District


Party: Democratic

Residence: Denver

Campaign website: www.mccannfordenverda.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

I have been serving as Denver's district attorney since January 2017. I have extensive management and legal experience, including serving as a deputy and chief deputy district attorney and handling hundreds of criminal prosecutions, and serving as the first female manager of safety for Denver's Department of Safety. I also served as a deputy attorney general, supervising over 30 attorneys in the administrations of Ken Salazar and John Suthers. As a state representative, I sponsored and passed several criminal justice bills, including juvenile justice reform, strengthening human trafficking laws and enforcing the law that prohibits domestic violence offenders from possessing firearms.

Since I have been in office, I started several new and progressive programs to provide alternatives to incarceration, including adult diversion, restorative justice, establishing human trafficking and elder abuse units, establishing community advisory councils and opposing the death penalty.

If you're elected, which one single issue will be at the top of your agenda?

I want to work with the legislature to revise our habitual criminal and felony murder statutes, and on bond and sentencing reform.

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

I want to ensure the office is filled with excellent attorneys and staff members who are committed to working hard and exercising good judgment so that we continue to be able to successfully prosecute criminal behavior. I am trying to move the culture to more innovation and creative thinking in respect to what is the best way to handle cases. I want members of the office to embrace restorative justice, diversion, and drug-and-mental health treatment, and be willing to support sentencing people along these lines rather than prison. I also want to establish a conviction review unit to review convictions in cases in which the person claims innocence, and review lengthy sentences to determine if they should be reduced in the interest of justice.

Where do you stand on calls to defund the police?

I do not support defunding the police. We must have a well-trained police department to continue to provide safety and security to our community, as well as solve community problems.

I do support providing more funding to drug addiction treatment and mental health services. I think we could redirect some of the Department of Safety's funds to that effort. Denver has a great co-responder program in which mental health clinicians ride with officers and handle mental health calls. Chief Pazen recently started the STARS program in which an EMT and mental health clinician respond to 911 mental health calls. Both programs are showing great success and should reduce the number of calls that officers respond to, thus saving money which could be directed to expand these programs.


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