Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Incumbent prosecutor Ms. Culwell got enthusiastic approval at the candidates' forum when she seized an opportunity to plunge into the notorious rape trial of last winter. "A juror told me they all wanted to convict," she said, "but the evidence was just too thin." Well, yes, what jury wouldn't want to convict on such a scandal?
But after hearing all the same assertions as were made Wednesday, and more, they held their noses and decided no laws were broken; not a single one of Ms. Culwell's six charges met that test.
Do the incumbent and her supporters really think outrage should have prevailed? Shouldn't she have scrutinized the sordid facts more carefully? It's what Mr. Lewis means when he promises to screen cases closely and not waste taxpayers' money pursuing charges that won't hold up.
This doesn't mean only slam dunks will be prosecuted and all other lawbreakers will walk, just that Mr. Lewis will negotiate pleas without flogging overly severe charges until they collapse.
As to the "victim" in another case he defended, Mr. Lewis replied "I thought there was no victim, and apparently Ms. Culwell decided I was right, because she dismissed the case two days before trial." So the public -- and the defendant, mind you -- paid for brinksmanship: the incumbent boxed herself into an untenable position and couldn't give it up.
Could it happen to me? In a long-fought civil matter -- a property dispute -- our prosecutor waded in with criminal trespass charges against one of the parties, ignoring the wisdom of at least two of her predecessors who had stayed out of it.
Ironically, it was the party with the criminal charge who then prevailed in the civil suit, (yep, he trespassed on his own land) but meantime, he had to plead guilty to a crime in order not to foot two legal defenses at once. He now has a criminal record, and Ms. Culwell proudly counts it among her dubious thousand wins.
I think Ms. Culwell can be re-elected only by a public that is not informed. There are more specifics that take too many words to tell here.
Let it not be forgotten that Ms. Culwell broke the law onstage before our very eyes -- probably inadvertently, certainly carelessly -- and Mr. Lewis immediately told us so. I personally saw that very thing happen before the judge in a trial by these two attorneys.
I urge the voters to elect Mr. Lewis.