Polls show the race to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) between Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown is tightening. Over at Politico, Reason Senior Editor Radley Balko looks at Coakley's troubling career as a prosecutor.
Coakley has made her reputation as a law-and-order prosecutor. More troubling, she's shown a tendency to aggressively push the limits of the law in high-profile cases and an unwillingness to cop to mistakes — be they her own or those of other prosecutors…
As a member of the Senate, not only would Coakley be creating new federal criminal laws; given her record as a prosecutor, there's a good chance she'd serve on committees with oversight over the Justice Department and the judiciary. She'd also be casting votes to confirm or deny federal judicial appointments. Advocates for criminal justice reform should be wary. Coakley may share Kennedy's opposition to the death penalty, but her record as a prosecutor leaves plenty of doubt about her commitment to justice.