Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Manifesto as DA

It's really easy to propose legislation that comes down harder and harder on people accused of crime. That always appeals to the lowest common denominator; it's called pandering. I have never done it while on the Lenoir City Council, and I won't do it if you elect me your District Attorney.

What's difficult is following the law, keeping the government off law-abiding, peaceful people's backs, reducing the size, scope, and power of government, convicting only the guilty, and making our homes, bodies, and roads safer anyway. There's just no way to prosecute every crime that takes place, since our legislature has criminalized almost everything these days. I would make the tough decisions and prosecute the real crimes and the real criminals aggressively but fairly. I believe that will result in a safer, freer, more just society.


cdunny said...

Does this aggressive prosecution also count the hard to win cases? In larger counties I have found that the DA will not prosecute a case that he finds will be hard to win or too high profile. Should not every violent criminal be prosecuted to the full extent of the law? What is your stance?

T.J. said...

That doesn't just happen in larger counties. Not every charge can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes plea bargains take place. It's often better to get a conviction for a lesser charge than a Not Guilty on a greater charge. If "every violent criminal [is] prosecuted to the full extent of the law," then some will go free. So I would use plea bargains if necessary. I expect, however, that in my administration more time and resources will be spent on violent crimes, which should result in a higher conviction rate and pleas to more serious charges.