Municipal Judge, 1995-2016
Policy Positions and Controversies
In 2007, as a municipal court judge, Deni dismissed sexual assault charges against a man who let friends rape a sex worker. She downgraded the charges to theft of services, saying she considered the case a robbery. When pressed, she defended her position, saying the case “minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.”
Activist group Pussy Division in 2013 then made a push to urge voters to vote no on retaining her as a jurist. When recently pressed about the case, “Deni said she knows more about sex trafficking now and would likely rule differently today. ‘When the complainant spoke about the situation in such a business-like matter, that’s how I interpreted it,’ she said. ‘I did what I thought was right, and it worked out how it worked out.’”
“Deni hopes voters will consider her entire career, which includes thousands of other cases,” and work in the City Solicitor’s Office, the Board of Revision of Taxes, and criminal defense, Philly.com reported.
At a 27 March forum Deni called herself progressive, but at that forum said she wants to make prison “more enriching,” a place for spiritual development. She said she supports civil asset forfeiture, and wants to use the money to fund lawyers for the owners of the confiscated property.
In an interview with Philadelphia Magazine, Deni said concerning drug users, “I believe that addiction is a mental health disorder like so many other mental health disorders, and that those of us in the criminal justice system have a responsibility to find as many alternative ways to decriminalize addiction and to treat addiction.” But she also said she wants to increase the penalty for smoking marijuana outside, putting it at the same level as drinking in public.
Although Negrin received their endorsement, Deni received money, $1,000, from the FOP. FOP Lodge 5 president McNesby met with Donald Trump in March 2017. Following the national FOP’s lead, the local chapter endorsed Trump for President. McNesby criticized Hillary Clinton for inviting the mothers of Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner speak at the DNC. The FOP has a long history of defending killer cops and is a major roadblock to police and prison reform.
Deni’s round-two campaign finance documents were not filed with the election commission.