Shelby County elects new district attorney

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Shelby County will soon have a new district attorney for the first time in more than 11 years.

Democrat Steve Mulroy easily defeated incumbent republican Amy Weirich with 56 percent of the vote in Thursday’s election.

FOX13 spoke to the new DA elect shortly after he declared victory.

“I’m feeling very good, feeling very excited. I’m letting it all sink in,” Mulroy said. “There are all kinds of reform I’d like to implement, but I am going to consult with staff first and stakeholders and take it one step at a time.”

PHOTOS: Shelby County election night

Mulroy, a former federal prosecutor who teaches law at the University of Memphis, said a few of his goals after he takes over include implementing a post-conviction review unit, reforming Shelby County’s bail system, and a refocus on violent crime.

“I’m talking about slowing down the rate of prosecution, so we are not filling jails with people who have done nothing other than possess marijuana,” Mulroy said. “It’s something I think should be a low priority compared to the high priority we should place on violent crimes like carjackings and homicides.”

Mulroy also said he wants to work to keep children who have committed crimes out of adult courts, jails and prisons.

“The data shows if we take children and transfer them to adult prison, what happens is they are actually more likely to re-offend when they come out of adult prison. We are essentially sending them off to crime college,” he said.

Shelby County residents FOX13 talked to said they’re hopeful a new face in office will bring change.

“I think it’s about time someone did something about the crime here in Memphis,” Gregory Fitzgerald of Memphis said. “It’s been going on for so long, it seems like nothing is getting done.”

“I do think we need a new chapter, and things need to change absolutely. So, hopefully, this is for the best,” Greg Hunt of Memphis said.

Mulroy will take over as Shelby County District Attorney on September 1.