Sunday, June 20

Kennedy, Markey face tough questions on their political records in criminal justice forum

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey and U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III faced tough questions on criminal justice reform — and on their political records — during a virtual forum Tuesday as voters begin to cast ballots in the increasingly close Senate primary.

Markey was asked what he would do differently in the case of D.J. Henry — a 20-year-old Black man from Easton who was shot to death in 2010 by a cop in New York — after his father released a video Monday blasting the senator for failing to help the family seek justice.

“I strongly support the Henry family’s efforts to reopen the case,” Markey said, reading almost verbatim from a statement his campaign had already released to reporters.

Markey said he apologized to Henry’s family after Danroy Henry Sr. posted the video on Twitter. On Tuesday, he sent a letter to Justice Department and New York officials urging them to reopen the case based on “new evidence.”

Markey was also forced to confront his vote in favor of the 1994 crime bill critics have blamed for mass incarceration.

“The reason that our entire delegation voted for it was for the first time, there was a Violence Against Women Act provision built into the law. There was also a ban on assault weapons,” Markey said. “But yes, without question, those sentencing provisions were wrong.”

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