Ray Szwabowski, running for Charlottesville’s top prosecutor job, outlines priorities on Facebook Live

Szwabowski, a former public defender, says he wants to be an advocate for criminal justice reform.

Ray Szwabowski, running for Charlottesville’s top prosecutor job, outlines priorities on Facebook Live

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Ray Szwabowski is touting his platform on a Facebook Live Q&A as he runs to become Charlottesville’s top prosecutor.

Szwabowski, a former public defender, says he wants to be an advocate for criminal justice reform. On Facebook Live, he shared some of his policy stances and why he believes he should be the city’s next commonwealth’s attorney.

“What was happening in the criminal courts in Charlottesville was out of our values, and specifically I talked about locking too many people up when the underlying issue in the case is addiction, homelessness, and untreated mental illness,” he said.

Szwabowski is running against the current commonwealth’s attorney, Joe Platania, a progressive prosecutor who announced his re-election bid in January. The most high-profile case during Platania’s first term as the city’s commonwealth’s attorney was the prosecution of Alex Fields Jr., who was sentenced to life in prison after killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens on August 12, 2017.

Among the other issues Szwabowski discussed was his desire to not prosecute drug possession cases in felony court.

“What we’re doing to people in the criminal court is not only the wrong solution, but is actively harming them more,” he said.

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