Convicted Murderer Wins Election To Office In DC From Behind Bars – JP


still-incarcerated convicted murderer made history in the nation’s capital when voters recently elected him to one of the District of Columbia’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, which advise the local government on neighborhood issues such as police protection, parking, zoning, liquor licenses, and trash collection.

Joel Caston, 44, has been imprisoned for 26 years after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder in the Aug. 14, 1994, ambush slaying of Rafiq Washington, 18.

He is expected to be released from the D.C. Central Detention Facility either this or next year.

Getting elected while behind bars is difficult, but not impossible.

For example, Joseph D. Morrissey, originally a Democrat, was reelected as an independent candidate to the Virginia House of Delegates in January 2015 the month after he was sentenced to six months in jail on a misdemeanor charge for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Morrissey is now a member of the Virginia Senate and is once again a Democrat.

In a campaign video, Caston said:

“My platform will be used to restore the dignity of incarcerated people, that we will no longer be judged by our worst mistake and to establish equality for both the male and the female populations. I will be your biggest advocate to make sure your voice and your concerns are heard.”

In a candidate questionnaire he completed, Caston wrote,

“I have a proven track record of rehabilitation and striving for excellence which serves as an indication of the passion I will bring to my tenure as the ANC Commissioner.”

A writer, Caston has taken for-credit courses through Georgetown University’s Prison Scholars Program, mentored young men in jail, practiced yoga, and edited a prisoner newspaper. – READ MORE

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