Monday, January 12, 2009

Manhattan District Attorney Candidate: Leslie Crocker Snyder

Running for: Manhattan District Attorney

Year Running: September 2009 (Democratic Primary)

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Candidate Bio:

Leslie Crocker Snyder is a nationally recognized leader in the fight against crime, having spent 35 years protecting New Yorkers as a prosecutor, judge and devoted public servant.

As an Assistant District Attorney, Leslie was the first woman in the New York County District Attorney's office to try both felony and homicide cases. During her nine years in the office, she founded and led the Sex Crimes Prosecution Bureau, the first in the nation and a model throughout the country. Additionally, she is the co-author of legislation including New York's Rape Shield Law and other reforms of the Penal Law.

After leaving the Manhattan District Attorney's office, Leslie became a Special Assistant Attorney General, prosecuting corruption in the criminal justice system. She then went into private practice for three years before returning to public service by becoming Deputy Criminal Justice Coordinator and head of the Arson Strike Force at the Office of the New York City Criminal Justice Coordinator.

In 1983, Leslie was appointed as a Judge to the Criminal Court of New York City. Subsequently, she was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court and the Court of Claims. Leslie presided primarily over the highest level "A-1" multiple defendant narcotics felonies, drug gangs, organized crime and "white collar" criminal cases. She presided over the trials of New York City's most violent drug gangs: the "Gheri Curls," the "Wild Cowboys," the "Young Talented Children" and the "Natural Born Killers," among others. She also presided over the carting or "Garbage" case, which led to the reform of the private sanitation industry in New York City.

While on the bench, Leslie adopted a public school for ten years to provide students with a hands-on introduction to the legal process. A committed community advocate, Leslie is a board member of the Kips Bay Boys' and Girls' Club, D.A.R.E., and the holistic rehabilitation program Abraham House. She spent 6 months in 2007 on a Justice Department Grant, prosecuting career violent felons in New Orleans and assisting the criminal justice system there with post-Katrina problems.

Leslie is the recipient of many awards, including The Hogan-Morgenthau Award, The Florence Allen Award, The Radcliffe College Distinguished Alumnae Award, The Abraham House 'Justice and Compassion Award' and The Frank S. Hogan Associates Award. Most recently, in 2007, Leslie received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of her achievements in the field of criminal justice.

Leslie is the author of "25 to Life" and is currently a partner at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP. She has appeared on numerous television news and documentary programs and has been profiled in several, such as "60 Minutes."

She is married to retired pediatrician (and aspiring artist) Fred Snyder. They have two grown sons.

Candidate Statement:

The Manhattan District Attorney for the 21st Century must be bold, innovative and a leader in criminal justice reform. The DA must be tough on violent crime, as well as proactive in all areas of criminal justice: utilizing modern technology to assist in crime prevention and crime solutions, recognizing the continuing threat of terrorism and cooperating with others to prevent its recurrence, guarding against gang violence and its effect on our communities, and seeking treatment and diversion from the criminal justice system where appropriate. Above all, the DA for the 21st century must be committed to keeping every family safe, and to always doing what is right and just for all.

I am running to be that District Attorney for the people of Manhattan. I have spent more than 35 years in public service, first as a prosecutor and then as a judge for over 20 years. In that capacity, I interacted daily with the Manhattan DA's office, giving me an ideal perspective on what improvements and innovations are critical to ensure that the office is doing all that it can to keep New Yorkers safe.

There are many issues which need to be addressed in depth such as drug law reform, domestic violence, alternatives to incarceration, crime in our schools and public housing. These issues, and others, will be addressed regularly on my issue pages.

Please visit my campaign website and take the time to learn more about me and what I stand for. I hope I can count on your ideas, as well as your support.

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