Maricopa County Attorney Debate
The county attorney is arguably the most important position in the entire criminal justice system.
- Judges can only preside over cases that are brought to them. And if someone is convicted of a crime, there are mandatory sentence guidelines that constrain what sentences Judges may impose.
- Defense attorneys have to defend their clients whether they think they are guilty or innocent. That is not a bad thing: it is their job and it is important, but it constrains their impact.
- When a police officer arrests someone it is up to the County Attorney to decide whether to prosecute or drop a case, whether to send the defendant into some sort of diversion program, and exactly what to charge. That is a huge amount of discretionary power. Charges for many offenses can vary greatly with wide differences in penalties.
- And most crimes in Arizona, particularly violent crimes, are handled by the County Attorneys, not by the Arizona Attorney General.
This is a very important job.
Our guests in this week’s Think Tank are the two candidates for Maricopa County Attorney.
- The current county attorney, Allister Adel was appointed to the position late last year when her predecessor was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court.
- Her challenger is Julie Gunnigle.
Their debate is the subject of this week’s Think Tank. We ran over in time, so their closing statement are on the web at www.KTAR.com