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North Nashville District Attorney Candidates Forum

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – That’s a big job in our growing city: district attorney. This person makes the final call on cases that are charged in Nashville.

Current DA Glenn Funk faces two challengers in next month’s Democratic primary.

The three men attended a forum at the Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church on Monday evening.

Current District Attorney Glenn Funk pointed to lower jail rates for nonviolent offenders and lower jail terms for people driving with revoked licenses.

“Criminal justice reform didn’t really enter the national consciousness until 2018-20, but we were already doing it in 2014, we were ahead of the curve because we elected someone with a background in the both a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney,” Funck said.

But former federal prosecutor Sara Beth Myers said the system was still down.

“I’m not talking about a band-aid or picking cases for the news, I’m talking about real system change. Doing the first criminal justice audit,” Myers said.

Myers previously slammed Funk for trying to “get headlines” for suing former Vanderbilt nurse Radonda Vaught over the death of a patient she cared for. A jury convicted Vaught, but Myers says she would not have criminally prosecuted her for what she said was a medical error.

Another challenger, former DA assistant Danielle Nellis, challenged Funk saying he won’t pursue small amounts of marijuana bills and bathroom signage he calls transphobic because the state legislature then passed a law calling for temporary DA replacements when district attorneys refuse to enforce state laws.

“I think it’s dangerous to make promises about legislation as DAs here in Nashville where we’ve seen a legislature make decisions often adverse to our attempts to move forward,” Harris said.

Early voting for the May 3 primary begins next Wednesday.