I received a call last Friday (Good Friday) that D.A. Howard Boney Jr. was retiring. I began doing some research to see who is responsible for appointing a person to replace Boney. After reading the Democratic Plan of Organization and NC General Statue, I came to the conclusion that the Governor makes the appointment. Due to the fact that Boney is retiring, the Democratic Party Prosecutorial Committee which is a makeup of 2 persons from Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson Counties, is not required to meet to come up with a name to present to the Governor.
I have a problem with the process that the Governor Beverly Perdue stated she was going to use which is selecting 2 attorneys from Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson Counties to present a name to her. In my opinion this would be a conflict of interest because it could be perceived favoritism from the appointed D. A. towards these particular attorneys in the courtroom.
During my research I found a website that showed the 7th Prosecutorial D. A. Howard Boney, Jr. and his staff. I was shocked to see only 1 black person in the picture. After talking to some folks locally and across the state, I found out that the D. A. office has only 1 black assistant D.A. and that person is in Nash County.
I was shocked even more to find out that there is only 1 black D. A. out of 44 D. A. and only 1 black assistant D. A. across the State of NC. I received an email a couple of days ago saying that during a study in the mid 90’s that there were only 11 black D. A.’s in the country.
I have a problem with the lack of diversity within the D. A. office because how can black folks and other folks be truly represented when decisions are made as it relates to the death penalty and other judicial policies and procedures.
I support the NAACP as it petitions the Governor to appoint a qualified black person to fill the unexpired term. I agree with a local editor who stated that appointing a black person will not be a quick fix however I say it will be a start. It does not matter who is appointed, it must be someone who are committed to bringing about change within the D. A.’s office to reflect the total population.
Anyone who says that race do not matter has issues. If it does not matter then, we should not be having a discussion about the racial makeup of the D. A. office locally, statewide and nationally.
Curmilus Dancy II, Pinetops NC
A Grassroots Effective Community Activist
Life Fully Paid NAACP Member