What good are the checks and balances in government if the chief law enforcement officer in the land refuses to enforce the law? Despite his oath to enforce the laws of the land, the President instead refuses his agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.), to accept phone calls from Arizona police officers regarding illegals pursuant to Senate Bill 1070. A portion of law enforcement shut down!
Just like the President, my opponent spent the last four-plus years failing, or refusing, to enforce many of our laws. The good folks of Pinal County shouldn’t be surprised by Mr. Walsh’s behavior. Remember that 61% of the most dangerous defendants walk away on probation, or their cases are dismissed under his watch. So I ask you, what good are checks and balances when one branch of government outright refuses to uphold their duty?
The weak retort by my opponent is that I am “too young” to be County Attorney. I thank him, but over forty is hardly “too young.”I’m reminded of the famous “Willie Horton” moment. In 1988, candidate Dukakis supported a “furlough program” for prisoners. Willie Horton, a convicted murderer, slipped through that program. On “furlough” he committed assault, armed robbery and rape. Dukakis rightfully lost the election. When will Pinal County suffer our “Willie Horton” moment from Walsh’s refusal to properly prosecute dangerous defendants?”
No one challenges my opponent’s refusal to prosecute. I will. Here’s how. Rafael Antonio Moreno and Lako Aguirre (CR2009-01261 and CR2009-01262), were seen by several victims and witnesses. The testimony states that the criminals held a gun to their kidnapped victim’s head. Guess what their punishment was? Probation. Moreno walked away with just a little more than the equivalent of a speeding ticket. Your current County Attorney “gives away the farm” because he can…and he can’t be told what to do…because of the checks and balances in our government.
Let’s look at another case. Steven Edward Lotshaw (CR2011-00295) should have served hard time when he pulled a knife and slashed his victim’s head. The prison range on the crime that my opponent could have forced Lotshaw to serve was 5 years minimum in prison and up to 15 years. However, my opponent exercised the rights vested in him and protected with checks and balances to give this dangerous defendant probation instead of making him serve prison time.
Are you thinking we are close to “Freeing Willie Horton” yet? How about Eric Teraun Jefferies, released on probation for his second dangerous offense within 14 months in case CR2011-01237, while Jefferies was still on probation in the case, CR2010-00781? He was charged with a crime that could have required him to serve prison time of 5 to 15 years. The second crime was an escalation in terms of violence - threatening his victim with a gun versus the first crime of “merely” beating his girlfriend with a dangerous instrument.
Stunningly, Walsh’s way is to hand out probation “candy” again and again. Defendant Jeffries was given probation in 2010 and again in 2011. Other branches of county government want prison time for these violent offenders, but Walsh balks.
Checks and balances are the foundation of our form of government, and I want to work in partnership with the arresting authority. Sheriff Paul’s work is only partially effective and he needs the help of a trained prosecutor who agrees with strict enforcement of all the laws. I will not allow criminals to go free and to avoid facing the stiffest penalty allowed under law. Right now, there are two major problems with the current County Attorney’s handling of cases. First, there are dramatically too many cases that the County Attorney’s Office just refuses to prosecute. Second, if the current County Attorney’s Office accepts a case, there are far too many instances that the case will be pled out and this sends the wrong message to both criminals and victims. This irresponsible method of prosecuting undermines law and order. My opponent isn’t doing his job; so before Pinal has our own “Willie Horton” tragedy, allow me the privilege of prosecuting according to the law.