Lando continued, “The law requires criminals who use guns or other weapons in the commission of a crime to be sentenced to prison.” However, in Pinal County, Lando and his team discovered that his opponent changed 61% of mandatory prison charges in 2010 and 2011 to much less egregious charges. This allowed some defendants to be released on probation, and other cases were entirely dismissed. “In fact,” Lando reminded, “this procedure fails Pinal County citizens. These are the most violent criminals, and my opponent allows them to be released into the community.” Lando confirmed that, “many of these dangerous defendants were given probation and this alone should be viewed as an injustice. However, the more haunting statistic not previously reported and perhaps even more tragic to the citizens of Pinal County is that at least one third of the cases against the most violent offenders were dismissed prior to trial.” “In other words,” Lando explained, “those criminals received no punishment, the community received no protection, and the innocent victims received no justice. This type of inaction, by my opponent, demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the criminal justice system and highlights his lack of commitment to Pinal County and is obviously the reason for his request for Victim Advocates.”
Again, Lando pointed out that “there are many factors which contributed to the current County Attorney failing the citizens of Pinal County and the victims of violent crimes. One of these factors is Mr. Walsh’s background. Mr. Walsh is a career politician. I cannot find any record of Mr. Walsh personally managing and prosecuting a felony caseload. As a result, Mr. Walsh lacks the prosecutorial experience to avoid needless dismissals and ensure a just outcome.”
Lando acknowledged that dismissing a case may sometimes be necessary. “But,” he stated, “the dismissal of a case must be the rare exception, taking place only after all avenues have been exhausted.” “Here is the key,” Lando stated, “and this is why there is a request for Victim Advocates. Dismissing cases is the easy solution when the County Attorney’s Office loses contact with crime victims. Keeping in contact with the victims not only ensures a just result, but also ensures that victims of crimes are adequately informed and educated about their case.” Lando proclaimed, “Victims already suffer at the hands of criminals. They must not suffer as a result of the County Attorney’s inaction.”
“Currently, the County Attorney’s Victim Advocates are mismanaged,” Lando concluded. Lando attacked the motives behind a 9th hour request for Victim Advocates, since this is now recognized as a problem. “Although my opponent should have identified this as a problem in 2007 when he was appointed as a political favor to this position, or even on into 2010 or 2011, when he continually failed to notice this as a problem, I’m happy to have pointed out this issue since the first step to resolving a problem, is knowing that a problem exists. After all, this is why so many dangerous criminals were released, namely no one kept in contact with victims for trial. It is very concerning that it took a contested election for my opponent to understand this fact,” proclaimed Voyles.
Lando Voyles has committed his career to protecting victims’ rights. He has experience working with victims in major felony cases. He is equipped with the understanding of how to assist victims as a case proceeds through the court system. Lando pledges to strengthen the Victim Advocates branch of the County Attorney’s Office. He will efficiently allocate resources to ensure personal contact with individual victims of crimes from the beginning of a case and continue contact until the case is resolved. Lando will not rely on merely sending letters which may never reach its intended recipient. Rather, a victim’s advocate will ensure the victim has a trusted contact.
A properly managed Victim Advocates Office is one way County Attorney Candidate Lando Voyles will ensure violent criminals are held accountable, the community is protected, and victims see justice.