In Alan Bernstein's article today, he reports that Kelly Siegler identified a plan listing the first five things she would change within the D.A.'s Office if elected. (NOTE: That's two fair articles he's written on the race in two days. If he goes for a third, I'm nominating him for a Pulitzer).
Kelly proposes an Innocence Panel made up of prosecutors, defense attorneys, investigators, community leaders, and former judges to review claims of actual innocence. In addition to this step, she also proposed monthly public meetings, an increased emphasis into major fraud, a re-evaluation of the Office's hiring committee policies, and the creation of a specialized division of prosecutors to exclusively work on intoxication manslaughter cases.
In the meantime, Pat Lykos and Jim Leitner are calling for a Regional Crime Lab.
What's the difference between Kelly's ideas and the idea for a Regional Crime Lab?
The proposals that Kelly makes are real things within the elected District Attorney's power to do They also address real needs within the District Attorney's Office that need to be fixed immediately.
The idea of a Regional Crime Lab is a great idea, but it isn't something within the unilateral power of the District Attorney to create. Certainly, an elected D.A. can lend their support to the creation of a lab, and lobby for it in the Legislatutre.
But ultimately, the D.A. has about as much power to create a crime lab as he or she would have to authorize the invasion of Cuba (NOTE: I'm not advocating the invasion of Cuba).
Lykos can keep on talking about the creation of a Regional Crime Lab, but she's really just playing to the voters, and not making a promise she can keep.