Ms Crews, 39, did not respond to an interview request.
“Agent Crews has maintained that she had no intention of shooting Ashley Hall,” her attorney Travis Noble said in a statement. “It was an accident. The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office’s approach to restorative justice was the best outcome for everyone involved.”
Mr. Bell, the district attorney in St. Louis County, said the case produced “a unique set of facts” that made it an ideal opportunity for restorative justice mediation. He emphasized Mrs. Crews’ immediate apology after she fired a bullet in Mrs. Hall’s back, and Mrs. Hall’s revelation to him that she didn’t want Mrs. Crews to go to jail.
Shortly after the shooting, Mr. Bell contacted the restorative justice program in Washington, DC, which was founded in 2017 by the city’s Attorney General Karl A. Racine. Seema Gajwani, who leads the program, agreed to facilitate moderation between Ms. Hall. and Mrs. Crews.
“This is an example of achieving the ideal of healing and justice,” Mr Bell said in an interview. “The trauma that individuals deal with during the legal process often doesn’t address that healing, that kind of responsibility, and it’s not designed for that.”
Ms. Gajwani said in an interview that the criminal justice system leaves little room for people to have the office to “fix things themselves and have a chance to speak up.” She said she was often amazed at how often victims opt for restorative justice when available, rather than trial.
According to the office of Mr. Racine has conducted more than 150 mediations by Washington’s restorative justice program, which said an internal analysis of cases involving juvenile offenders indicated the process reduces recidivism.
Restorative justice programs are spreading across the country, and not just in major metropolitan areas, said Alissa Marque Heydari, deputy director of the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.