Democrat for Commonwealth’s Attorney
Arlington County & City of Falls Church
Parisa Dehghani-Tafti has fought for fairness and accountability in the criminal justice system for over 18 years. As your Commonwealth’s Attorney, she will promote justice for all, serve the community equitably, and promote and defend Democratic values within our legal system.
Parisa has been a voice for the indigent and innocent at every stage of criminal proceedings. In her position as a senior attorney and legal director of an innocence organization, she works to free the wrongfully convicted in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. She has fought for reforms to prevent wrongful convictions, such as making it easier to challenge coerced confessions and to obtain DNA testing to prove innocence. She obtained the first DNA exoneration in Washington, DC, has appeared before the Supreme Court of Virginia and has participated in cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.
As an attorney and public defender, she has worked tirelessly to eliminate race, class, and gender bias in criminal proceedings. She has helped returning citizens reconnect with loved ones and rebuild their lives after paying their debt to society. Parisa’s vast experience on behalf of the vulnerable gives her a unique perspective on the impact on the lives of those interacting with our justice system, which inspires her to strive for fairness and will inform her role as Commonwealth’s Attorney.
As an adjunct law professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington University School of Law, Parisa teaches students to examine systemic and constitutional issues in the American criminal justice system. She authored a law review article arguing for meaningful national reforms to ensure the reliability of criminal convictions.
Parisa came to the United States as a child with her parents, Roohi and Pooneh. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied Philosophy and Comparative Literature, and the New York University School of Law. She has lived in Arlington for 11 years with her husband, who is a civil rights lawyer and law professor. They have two children who attend Arlington Public Schools. Parisa serves as Press Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee. She is a member of the Arlington branch of the NAACP and will be serving on its Criminal Justice Committee.