My election issues include:
- If you do the Crime, you should do the Time. I realize that it is an old-fashioned and almost trite phrase, but more and more these days I see that the rehabilitative efforts of the criminal justice system vastly outweigh the punishment aspects. We need a balance. I fully support rehabilitation, including treatment, counseling, circle sentencing options, restitution and community service, but I believe that punishment for wrongdoing is also necessary. Bail should be set in an amount that ensures both public safety and the return of the accused to Court. Conditions of release, when imposed, should be strictly monitored and enforced. Victims must be protected, and they must leave Court believing that they have been heard. Sentences should be greater than the statutory mandatory minimum. When everyone gets the minimum, it becomes impossible to treat the truly less culpable appropriately. Fines should hurt. Jail is supposed to be punishment, and it should be served when imposed, not when it is convenient for the defendant.
- Statewide budgets have been in the news a lot recently, and the decreasing budget for the Judicial Branch of government is no exception. The Courts have done a wonderful job of providing essential services despite the loss of money and staff, but we must learn to become even more efficient, with both our time and money. The current scheduling system of setting aside a specific period of time for each case has become a luxury we can no longer afford. The courts and the attorneys, both prosecution and defense, will have to work together to allow the Court to deal with more cases with less wasted time. We need to become more efficient. It will take an effort by all of the participants, but we can do it if we try.
- Juvenile cases, both delinquency cases and those where the child is in need of protection or services (CHIPS), need a lot more time and attention by the Court, Probation, Human Services, schools and other professionals and agencies. I understand that both time and attention are in desperately short supply, but we must make the time and devote the attention to our children and young people if we want to end the revolving door cycle of children in need becoming teenage delinquents, who then turn into the young adults involved in our criminal justice system, and who are too often creating more children that are in need of the time and attention of social services, law enforcement and government officials. We can do more to break this cycle, and we must.
I am the best qualified candidate for this judicial position because I have the quality and breadth of experience required to be an exceptional judge. I have tried thousands of cases. I have been an active and daily courtroom litigator for over 23 years. I have made the hard decisions, the ones affecting people’s lives, families and livelihoods for every one of those 23 years. Making those hard decisions is nothing new to me. I have a reputation for excellence. I am known to demand the utmost from myself, as well as those that submit reports or cases for my review. I do not let anyone slide with a job only partially, or poorly, done. I am of even and judicious temperament. I will treat attorneys and litigants fairly and impartially day after day and week after week. I am open-minded. I do not rush to a snap judgment, and even when I have made a decision, I remain open to considering new information or evidence that might cause me to reconsider, or even change my decision. I am committed to the rule of law. The State and Federal Constitutions and the statutes of the State of Minnesota are to be followed, as are the Rules of Procedure, both Criminal and Civil, the Rules of Evidence and the other rules established by our state Supreme Court.
If I am elected to serve as your District Court Judge, you can expect that I will do everything in my power to ensure that justice is done, in all types of cases, as efficiently as possible. I will uphold the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Minnesota. I will decide cases and controversies without bias or prejudice towards or against anyone. I will weigh the evidence, apply the law and issue a just decision. I will ensure that justice is done for all that come before me, that the guilty are punished and the innocent set free.