02 November 2020

TPC Profiles - Destiny Bryant: Alcovy Judicial Circuit's Destiny?

By MB McCart, Editor 

Greetings, Readers, and hope this post finds everyone well. 

So, we're almost there & what an election season it has been. Another TPC piece that should hit later tonight will talk about all of the other races we'll be seeing here in the home city & county at all levels - federal, state & local; but, for this post, I want to concentrate on one race in particular that affects the Qualified Electors of both Newton & Walton counties & that is the race for District Attorney, the Counsel of the People, for the Alcovy Judicial Circuit. 

Destiny Bryant is a remarkable woman, and one that this writer has glad to have gotten to know over these last few weeks. 

She's an African-American Democrat, but Ms. Bryant has made waves w/ all walks of lives in the circuit here lately,  whether it be based on racial, political or socioeconomic lines, and has run an extremely strong campaign by all accounts (including those supporting her opposition). 

A Lady who has worked in the Alcovy D.A.'s office for quite some time, Destiny is not your typical attorney, person, Asst. D.A., or - for that matter - a candidate for public office. No, she's something different. Very different. And in the opinion of this writer -- that's a very good thing...


Destiny Bryant 

Over the last couple of weeks I've had the opportunity & pleasure of touching base w/ this candidate via email, FB Messenger & phone, and I'd like to share those communiques. 

In asking about her thoughts on the general concept of the "Balancing of Equities": 

Ultimately, does the punishment make sense? Does it outweigh the harm? Is there a better way to remedy the situation that does not place the defendant in a posture that is worse than when they committed the crime? How can we reconcile the parties in a way to make them whole? All of those questions connect to "the balancing of equities" on the criminal side for me.

Regarding my question pertaining to the systematic & problematic flaws of the criminal justice system in Georgia: 

The biggest flaw I have noticed is that the individuals being incarcerated at alarming rates does not match the race, gender, or socioeconomic status of the judges or attorneys in the criminal justice system. Blacks and Latinx individuals are arrested and incarcerated at higher rates, but there are only about six Black District Attorneys in the State of Georgia. There will be more next week after the election. I do not believe there has ever been a Latino District Attorney in the State of Georgia. That too could change next week after the election in Athens-Clarke County. 

I do not know the last time a black male has been appointed to the bench by a Georgia governor. Outside of metro counties like Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Clayton and Cobb, you will rarely find more than one person of color on the bench. 

I view lack of diversity as a serious and systematic flaw due to the full history of the American policing and criminal justice system. We fix those problems by reducing barriers to diversity and by inviting people of color to join the ranks of those who impact the system the most. I believe we also fix those issues by training children and teens of all races and socioeconomic status that they have a duty to be engaged in their community by working to make it a more just and equitable place. 

In re the Marijuana question: 

I have never smoked anything a day in my life. It just never made sense to me. Regardless of that small fact, I think possession of marijuana should be legalized. I think alcohol is more harmful than marijuana, and it is sold and taxed with no issues. I am against driving under the influence of MJ, but I could honestly care less if someone is smoking a joint at home or wherever. 

The reality is that EVERYONE IS SMOKING! We have spent too much time in the criminal justice system ruining someone's life over MJ. I guess it goes back to the balancing of equities. Should a teen not be able to get a student loan because they smoked a joint? No; not when the school dean is likely smoking with his friends too.

Should a guy in his 20's not be able to get a business loan due to a MJ conviction? No; not when the people providing the loans can afford to fly to Colorado for the weekend and smoke as much as they want. 

Should we send someone to prison for a decade plus for selling MJ? No; not when multiple states are on the verge of legalizing it. 

The long answer to your question is no. I do not think marijuana should be prohibited. Legalize it, tax it, and prohibit being under the influence of it while operating a motor vehicle just as we do with alcohol. Use the money for something useful in communities. 

And my big question to her -- What does the latin phrase - fiat justitia ruat caelum - mean to you?

It means doing what is right, fair, and just ALL of the time. Regardless of the pressures, emotions, and consequences that arise, I should strive to always do what is just. Striking that precise point can be different for each situation. 


(((Be Still, My Beating Heart)))

I also found out the following about Destiny Bryant: 

Some of her favorite music acts include Maroon 5, Outkast & Prince & two of her favorite movies are "P.S. I Love You" & "Coming to America." 


I always vote on election day, so I'll be voting tomorrow. My ballot is going to look like a jigsaw puzzle. An independent, a few Republicans, a couple of Libertarians, a write-in or two & I'll be voting for at least one Democrat -- I'll be voting for Destiny Bryant for Alcovy D.A

- MB McCart