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District Attorney candidates address first of three forums

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The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A candidate forum organized Thursday by the Benevolence Corps featured all four candidates for Pitt County District Attorney: Lee Allen, Derek Brown, Faris Dixon and Glenn Perry. It was the first of three forums to be sponsored by the group.

After a meet-and-greet session, the candidates discussed numerous legal issues and principles, said Keith Cooper, Benevolence Corps founder, who also moderated the event at the C.M. Eppes Recreation Center.

The candidates discussed topics including plea bargaining, juries and jury nullification, the death penalty, the benefits of a mental health court in Pitt County, prosecutorial discretion, managerial experience and promoting efficiency in the district attorney’s office.

All of the candidates agreed that juries generally are fair in deliberations, Cooper said. They also supported the death penalty. They unanimously endorsed a mental health court for criminal offenders suffering from mental illnesses.

“They were all very cordial to each other and enthusiastically welcomed questions from the audience,” Cooper said.

Cooper said special thanks go to the Eastern North Carolina Regional Association of Black Social Workers for hosting the event, Perry and Allen for providing refreshments, Eric Hazelton for a live Facebook video of the forum, and Superior Court Judge Marvin Blount III.

The Benevolence Corps has organized two more candidate forums, including one on Thursday for candidates seeking the office of Pitt County Sheriff. The event begins with a meet-and-greet followed by panel questions beginning at 6:30 p.m.

A forum on March 22 will feature the candidates seeking the N.C. House District 8, also beginning at 5:30 with a discussion at 6:30.

Both events are in the multipurpose room of the Eppes center, 400 Nash St.

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