Why should you care about who runs the DA office?
If you are lucky, you can go your entire life without ever needing to talk to a DA, or one of his/her assistances (ADAs). But if you or a loved one become a victim of a crime, that DA and his/her office may become the most important people working on your behalf to make your life whole again (or at least they should be).
Having a good DA in office is not only important if you are the victim of a crime though, but it can also lower your chances of becoming a victim in the first place. While I was a prosecutor my moto was “I want to close this case out in a way where I never have to see the defendant in my courtroom again.” So basically, what do I need to do to make sure this person does not commit a crime again. For someone with addiction, maybe that meant sending them to rehab. For someone with mental illness, maybe it meant getting them on probation and assigning a probation officer to their case that would ensure they take their medicine correctly. And, for some charged with violent crimes, it meant sending them to prison for a long enough time to where they couldn’t hurt anyone ever again. That is the right view for a prosecutor to have.
What we have now in the DA office is not a focus on preventing crime. What we have now is laziness and inexperience. Violent crimes are being plead out to nothing in order to close the case. When this happens those same criminals are not getting out of jail with a new found respect for the law. They feel invincible for having gotten away with, in some instances, literal murder. These violent criminals go right back to the same violent behavior that got them arrested in the first place. I’ve seen this time and time again, firsthand.
So why should you care about who your DA is? Simple. A good DA keeps crime suppressed, by either removing the criminal all together, or by making examples of violent criminals in such a way that other violent criminals think twice before committing the crime in the first place. No matter how good a DA is, we can’t stop all crime though. And if you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a crime, you want a strong DA fighting for you. One who respects victims’ rights, but also respects all parties time by working quickly to administer justice.
I am that “good DA” for Chatham County. I will fight tirelessly for victims of crimes. And I will never let a serious felony case, like a murder, be plead down to nothing because an ADA thinks it might be too hard or take up too much time to try it.