John Creuzot

Overview

  • Was elected District Attorney of Dallas County, Texas in 2018
  • His DA campaign received enormous financial support from George Soros.
  • After Creuzot was elected DA, Dallas County experienced a rise in violent crime and a decline in total convictions.
  • Seeks to “end mass incarceration”
  • Favors lesser penalties for drug- and property-related offenses
  • Opposes the cash bail system

John Creuzot was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and moved with his family to Houston, Texas at the age of 9. He relocated to the Dallas area during the 1970s before graduating with a B.A. degree in Philosophy from North Texas State University in 1978, and then obtained a J.D. degree from the Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1982.

Upon completing his legal education, Creuzot worked at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant DA and a Chief Felony Prosecutor from 1982-1989. He then served as a State District Judge in Dallas, where he presided over felony cases from 1991 to 2013. In 1998, Creuzot founded DIVERT (Dallas Initiative for Expedited Recovery and Treatment), Dallas County’s first specialty court devoted to resolving drug crimes without sending the perpetrators to prison. According to Creuzot’s official website, DIVERT “allows selected first-time drug offenders to go through intensive, court-monitored rehabilitation instead of facing incarceration.”

In 2013, Creuzot entered private practice as a defense attorney and counselor for his Creuzot Law Firm, based in Dallas.

In February 2017, Creuzot announced his intent to run as a Democratic candidate for Dallas County District Attorney in the upcoming November 2018 election. In March 2018, he won a very tight primary race – decided by just 589 votes — and became his party’s nominee. But fellow Democrat opponent Elizabeth Davis Frizell subsequently sued Creuzot for facilitating voter fraud. She alleged, among other things, that: (a) “illegal and fraudulent mail-in ballots [had been] included in the vote total”; (b) “ballots were not secured” when they were counted; (c) Creuzot’s campaign workers had engaged in illegal ballot harvesting; (d) many mail-in ballots had not been postmarked by the Election Day deadline but were counted anyway; and (e) some voting locations had been changed the day before the election, with “inadequate” notice to the public. Calling for the election to be “declared void as it is impossible to ascertain the true result,” Frizell announced that she would seek a recount. She eventually changed her mind, however, in light of the fact that she herself would have been required to cover all recount-associated expenses.

As the November 2018 general election neared, Creuzot ran as a “reform” candidate who, if elected, would strive to “end mass incarceration” and dispense with so-called tough-on-crime approaches, which he considered obsolete and ineffective.  Aiming to lower Texas’ jail and prison admissions by 15% to 20% within four years, Creuzot said this goal could be achieved by ending prosecutions of “low-level” crimes like marijuana possession and criminal trespassing, and by instead pursuing a “risk-based” system that would take into account the expected likelihood of offender recidivism, as opposed to the existing cash-bail system which he said was “unconstitutional.”

On the strength of $236,000 in funding from the leftwing multibillionaire George Soros and his Texas Justice & Public Safety (TJPS) political action committee, Creuzot ultimately defeated the appointed Republican incumbent DA, Faith Johnson, by more than 20 percentage points in the general election. TJPS had been founded in 2017 by Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King along with fellow leftists like Becky Bond, Zack Malitz, and Michael Kieschnick, to promote prosecutors or district attorneys who would seek to eliminate the cash bail system, greatly restrict what police officers are permitted to do in the course of their work, and decriminalize offenses related to drug possession, property destruction, theft, and resisting arrest. Influence Watch.com identifies TJPS as “the Texas branch of the vast ‘Safety and Justice’ network, a project of left-leaning billionaire George Soros that used a network of similarly named state-level PACs to finance the campaigns of progressive Democratic candidates for district attorney in more than a dozen of America’s cities.”

The city of Dallas, home to nearly half of Dallas County’s 2.6 million people, experienced an immediate rise in crime during Creuzot’s initial year in office. Between 2018 and 2019, murders increased from 155 to 198 (27.7%), robberies increased from 3,986 to 4,400 (10.4%), and assaults increased from 5,456 to 6,369 (16.7%). Violent crime overall rose by 15%, while total convictions dropped by 30%.

In April 2019, Creuzot issued a letter outlining a number of new “reforms” which he was “proud to announce”:

  • First-Offense Marijuana: “African Americans are more likely to be convicted of marijuana possession once charged and are more likely to serve a jail sentence. The District Attorney must take action to end that disparity. To that end, I have declined prosecution on misdemeanor possession of marijuana cases for first-time offenders whose offenses do not occur in a drug-free zone, involve the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon, or involve evidence of delivery. After the first offense, people will be offered a program that, if successfully completed, will keep their record clear. I am also in the process of dismissing all pending misdemeanor marijuana cases filed before I took office, according to the new policy stated above. To date, I have dismissed over a thousand misdemeanor marijuana cases.”
  • THC Possession: “Prosecution will be declined on State Jail Felony and 3rd Degree Felony Possession of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cases for first time THC offenders whose offenses do not occur in a drug-free zone, involve the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon, or involve evidence of delivery.”
  • Criminal Trespass: “[J]jail is not a suitable place for the mentally ill and homeless — those most often charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass — whose only crime is not having a place to go…. These prosecutions are an ineffective and inhumane approach to dealing with homelessness or mental illness…. I have instructed my intake prosecutors to dismiss all misdemeanor criminal trespass cases that do not involve a residence or physical intrusion into property…. [W]here appropriate [such cases] will be referred for outpatient mental health services.”
  • Theft of Necessary Items: “Study after study shows that when we arrest, jail, and convict people for non-violent crimes committed out of necessity, we only prevent that person from gaining the stability necessary to lead a law-abiding life. Criminalizing poverty is counter-productive for our community’s health and safety. For that reason, this office will not prosecute theft of personal items less than $750 unless the evidence shows that the alleged theft was for economic gain.” (In a letter explaining the policy in further detail, Cruezot wrote that “personal items are limited to necessary items … such as necessary food, diapers and baby formula.”)
  • Driving While License Suspended: “Prosecuting a person for driving while their license is suspended is often just prosecuting a person for being too poor to pay off their fines and fees. I have developed a diversion program that will result in charges being dismissed for defendants who clear their drivers’ licenses.”
  • Probation: “Our community is not made safer by long probation periods: research shows that probation terms should be only as long as needed to achieve its goal. Accordingly, I have instructed all prosecutors to presumptively ask for the following recommendations in cases where appropriate: (a) Misdemeanor: Six months presumptive term; (b) State jail felonies: Two years presumptive term; (c) Second and Third-Degree Felonies: Two years presumptive term; (d) First Degree Felonies: Five years presumptive term. I have also instructed prosecutors not to ask for jail, state jail, or prison time for ‘technical’ violations such as failing to pay fines or fees and other acts that do not threaten public safety.”
  • Bail: “This county’s money bail system must be reformed. Our current system is uncoupled from physical safety and fairness, as people sit in jail not because they pose an identifiable danger to the community, but because they cannot pay their fee to go home. When low-income people are held in jail simply because they cannot afford a few hundred dollars, they lose their jobs, housing, stability, and cannot take care of their children: this makes our communities less safe. I am proposing an approach that makes public safety, not wealth, the determining factor in bail decisions.”

On August 6, 2019, Dallas County Commissioner J.J. Koch called for a two-year halt on death-penalty trials, so as to give the county time to study the financial and ethical aspects of capital punishment. Creuzot praised Koch “for having the courage to bring … up” the issue. On another occasion, Creuzot pledged to only seek the death penalty in cases where he believed that the killer would be a danger to fellow inmates or prison personnel.

In June 2021, Creuzot announced that his DA office would not seek the death penalty for 48-year-old Billy Chemirmir, an illegal alien and longtime criminal from Kenya who stood accused of having robbed and murdered, by suffocation, 24 elderly Americans – 23 of whom were women aged 75 to 94 — between 2016 and 2018. Due to a mistrial that ended in November 2021 with the jury “deadlocked” 11-to-1 in favor of conviction, Chemirmir was granted a new trial scheduled to start in April 2022.

In January 2022, Creuzot announced that his office was actively investigating alleged criminal wrongdoing by Dallas police officers during a May 30, 2020 demonstration protesting the recent, infamous death of an African American named George Floyd in a confrontation with four policemen in Minneapolis. Creuzot’s office asked the Dallas-area public for help in identifying not only the officers who had been seen on video firing three rounds of “less lethal” ammunition at three particular protesters, but also in identifying the three protesters themselves – none of whom had ever come forward to lodge a complaint against the cops. “From everything we have, we believe this activity is illegal and unjustified,” said Creuzot. “…We need names, we need a person.”

In January 2022 as well, Creuzot laid out a number of priorities that would set the tone for his re-election campaign that year. These included:

  • “Training and motivating a new generation of prosecutors who distinguish violent criminals from non-violent criminals.”
  • “Encouraging bail reform to reduce jail costs.”
  • “Continuously improving and establishing innovative diversion programs that save lives and money.”
  • “Improving and expanding conviction integrity” (i.e., eliminating unjust convictions)
  • “Expanding efforts to release innocent individuals from prison.”
  • “Engaging our community in a discussion of commonsense approaches to low-level offenses.”

0 paragraphs