Video: District Attorney Candidates Debate; Jason Vassell Case

Here is a complete video of the 9/1/10 debate between the Democratic candidates for Northwestern district attorney, Michael Cahillane and David Sullivan. The debate was sponsored by the Daily Hampshire Gazette, The Recorder, Northampton Community Television and WHMP. It took place in the community room of JFK Middle School. This video is 1 hour 22 minutes long and was recorded by Adam Cohen.

Here is a 7-minute YouTube excerpt from the middle of the debate where the candidates discuss how the Jason Vassell case was handled.

See also:

Gazette: “Debate centers on skills: Rivals for DA skirmish again” (9/3/10)
Referring to the 2008 case of Jason Vassell, an African-American and then-student at the University of Massachusetts who was charged with stabbing two white men after they allegedly berated him with racial insults, Sullivan said the district attorney’s office had wasted resources on prosecuting Vassell and exercised “an absolute lack of judgment.” The case was dismissed earlier this summer.

Cahillane countered that Vassell was held after the district attorney’s office filed a motion for a dangerousness hearing, in which it is decided whether a person should be held or released. That motion was upheld by a judge, he noted.

“The job of the district attorney is to stand up for victims,” he said, “and in this situation I made the decision based on the facts that I know at that point. What I knew is that there were two people in the hospital who had been stabbed.”

Gazette: “The 2010 Northwestern district attorney’s race”
After nearly two decades, Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel is retiring — and that has led to the first contested race for Northwestern district attorney in 28 years. Democrat Michael A. Cahillane, a prosecutor in the DA’s office for 10 years until he resigned in June to campaign, and fellow Democrat Dave Sullivan, an experienced local attorney and Hampshire County’s register of probate since 2002, are facing off in a Sept. 14 primary that will effectively decide Scheibel’s successor. Here, you’ll find GazetteNET’s comprehensive coverage as the race continues to heat up.

MassLive: “Northwestern DA Democratic candidates Michael Cahillane, David Sullivan debate child abuse, casinos, gay marriage” (9/1/10)
The two Democratic candidates for Northwestern district attorney took on issues including child abuse, casino gambling, gay marriage and openness Wednesday in their latest debate at the John F. Kennedy Middle School.

MassLive: “Western Massachusetts District Attorney race recap: Keep up with our coverage”

Video: Cahillane Debates Sullivan for Northwestern District Attorney (8/28/10)

MassLive: “Northwestern DA candidates Michael Cahillane, David Sullivan joust over who has better skill set” (8/24/10)