Pats Players to Moderate Suffolk DA Panel

Three New England Patriots players will lead a discussion about the criminal justice system with candidates for Suffolk district attorney.

The discussion Tuesday with five people running for the top prosecutor post will be moderated by the Patriots' safety Devin McCourty, his brother and cornerback Jason McCourty and special teams ace Matt Slater.

District attorney's are the people who decide who gets charged with what crime, as explained by the ACLU's public education campaign, "What A Difference A DA Makes." District attorney's have made national headlines in high-profile cases such as the death of Baltimore man Freddie Gray, which was ruled by the medical examiner to be a homicide at the hands of his arresting officers. Baltimore District Attorney Marilyn Mosby's decision to charge six officers in Gray's death was praised by anti-police-brutality activists, although those charges did not produce any convictions.

District attorney's can also play a significant role in the criminal justice system's response to the opioid epidemic, including the questions of whether and how addicts are charged if found to be in possession of drugs, and the issue of how suspected traffickers should be prosecuted.

The three Patriots players are part of the Players Coalition, a group of NFL athletes that formed to advocate policies to further social and racial equality.

The event will be held at a Boston middle school.

The candidates participating are Evandro Carvalho, Linda Champion, Shannon McAuliffe, Rachel Rollins and Michael Maloney.

Devin McCourty says Suffolk County must elect a prosecutor who will "work with the people they represent to create a fairer criminal justice system that works for everyone."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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