Media Contact

Kristi Gross, ACLU of Texas, [email protected]

January 31, 2024

HOUSTON — The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas announced today it will host the candidate forum for the Harris County District Attorney race as part of a campaign to educate voters about the pivotal role the DA plays in the justice system. Texas holds its primary election March 5 ahead of the general election this fall.

The ACLU of Texas will host the candidate forum on Thursday, February 8, at 5:45 p.m. CT at DeLUXE Theater in Houston. All candidates — incumbent Kim Ogg, Sean Teare, and Dan Simons — have been invited. The forum will be co-moderated by criminal justice reform advocate Nikki Luellen and death row exoneree Anthony Graves.

“The district attorney is one of the most powerful elected officials in our community,” said Nikki Luellen (she/her), policy and advocacy strategist on smart justice for the ACLU of Texas. “The DA decides whether someone will be charged with a crime, which crimes to prosecute, and who gets a second chance through diversion or treatment programs. We elect the DA and can hold them accountable, which means it’s up to us to use our voices and our votes to advocate for a fairer criminal justice system.”

As a nonpartisan organization, the ACLU of Texas doesn’t endorse any candidate but helps voters understand the candidates’ positions on mass incarceration, money bail, and other justice reforms. The candidate forum is intend to bring transparency and accountability to the DA’s office.

“District attorneys have the ability to make life or death decisions,” said Anthony Graves (he/him), United States Death Row Exoneree 138. “I know firsthand the power they hold and what happens when it’s used irresponsibly. The people of Harris County deserve a DA who understands their role should be more about their commitment to truth, justice, and community than the number of convictions they secure. It’s essential that voters be both motivated and informed when they head to the ballot box.”

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