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Corey Critics Continue Pressuring State Attorney’s Office

WellsTODD.jpg
Ryan Benk
/
WJCT News
The coalition's Wells Todd at an anti-Corey protest in Hemming Park.

With the ouster of Angela Corey, eight years of tense relations between the state attorney’s office and Jacksonville progressive groups might be coming to an end.

Melissa Nelson will take control of the office in January after campaigning on promises of reform and accountability.

Jacksonville Progressive Coalition spokesman Wells Todd said Nelson has to prove she’s truly different from her predecessor. But he’s still happy Corey lost by more than 30 percent of the vote.

“People came together to remove somebody who was a truly dangerous person, in my opinion,” Todd said.

The Progressive Coalition organized protests and boycotts against Corey, the latest example being a letter to the 4th Judicial Circuit demanding the death penalty be ended after a Harvard study labeled her one of the country’s most overzealous prosecutors.

But now that she’s gone, Todd said he has reasons to be skeptical of Nelson, including the National Rifle Association’s support of her.

“We don’t think that we can take a breath here. As a matter of fact, the struggle has just begun,” he said.

He said his group will continue monitoring the justice system in Duval County, no matter who’s state attorney.
The group is planning a celebration of Corey’s ouster for the end of September. 

Reporter Ryan Benk can be reached at rbenk@wjct.org, at (904) 358 6319 or on Twitter @RyanMichaelBenk

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.