We have a progressive sheriff, chief of police, and District Attorney; we are the last link to making local government progressive. I strive to change the culture of the judicial system, advance opportunities for all persons, as well as promote programs that aim to reduce mass incarceration and unjust punishment. Even today, minorities continue to suffer from the lack of equal justice in criminal cases. This injustice can take many forms. For example, the difference in bail bonds set for minorities, unequal representation and disparate sentencing. Sentences should reflect the gravity of the offense, not a persons gender, the color of one’s skin or orientation. As judge, I will make sure that everyone is treated equally, regardless of race, gender, national origin, or orientation. Lack of economic resources will not dictate whether someone is provided a competent defense. I will fight to change the culture of the criminal justice system.
Judges play a critical role in our criminal justice system. One of those is to ensure the person arrested has an understanding of why they were arrested, what charges they face, and to layout a roadmap of future proceedings. The judge must communicate the range of punishment for that particular offense, and describe all available options. I will ensure proper procedure is followed and impart to the accused that decisions they make may have consequences that negatively impact their future.
We must strive to ensure that justice is sought and provided to everyone, equally, without regard to status, economic position, color, gender or orientation. We must also address the revolving door of criminal justice that has plagued our youth for so long. I would like to take a proactive, progressive approach to tackle the underlying issues that affect our youth to dissuade them from accumulating criminal history. Amassing criminal history has many collateral consequences that can add life-long barriers, such as inability to obtain gainful employment and loans, or losing valuable rights (like the right to vote or to own a gun). The disparity in sentencing must also be addressed. Not all accused are sentenced equally. Not only is this unfair but undermines our criminal justice system and defiles the trust the public has toward judges, defense attorneys and prosecutors.
My favorite Jurist is Thurgood Marshall. He is single-handedly, one of the best judges to ever grace a bench. From the very start, he was a champion for what is right, even if the chance of success was slim. He passionately believed in the rule of law and dedicated his life to the rights of minorities and under-privileged. He was an inspiration to many because of his conviction, beliefs, and ability to be an advocate for masses that did not have a voice. What defines greatness is the impact you can make on someone’s life and help them make an unwilling change for the betterment of themselves. This was Thurgood Marshalls legacy and what inspires me.