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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Republican Williamson County DA Donates $1,000 to Mindy Montford

The Austin American-Statesman reports today that one of Mindy Montford's supporters is the Republican District Attorney of Williamson County John Bradley, who gave her $1,000.

Two of Mindy's opponents also have some suspect supporters, which she brought up herself during the recent debate on News 8 Austin.

Roy Minton, Tom Craddick's attorney, is suppoting Rosemary Lehmberg.

And Steve Brittain, Tom Delay's attorney, is supporting Gary Cobb.

The only candidate for DA who will not have to write a thank you note to any Republican District Attorneys or to lawyers for Delay or Craddick is Rick Reed.

If Rick Reed wins, he can thank Austin's progressive voters, because if he wins, it will be because change-oriented, progressive voters heard about his progressive stances on the issues and voted for him.

Probably the most well-respected blog on criminal justice issues in Texas is Grits for Breakfast, which Friday endorsed Rick Reed. Grits says in "Rick Reed top choice in Travis County DA's race":

Reed wants to institute an "open file" policy, allowing defendants and their counsel full access to prosecution files, even putting the information password-protected online, following the model in Tarrant County - to let both prosecutors and defense attorneys access it paper free with less hassle. That's been needed for years, and other counties have done it already: I'd like for that change to be made.

Finally, Reed's most prominent stance has been against the death penalty; he's said that if elected he won't implement it as DA, either in ongoing cases (Travis has five people on death row) or in new murders. I had a chance to talk to Reed face to face about this, and he said that he might believe in the death penalty theoretically, but because we know sometimes Travis prosecutors make mistakes in extremely serious cases, and just as importantly, because it diverts so many dollars and office resources from pretrial diversion, drug courts, and other prosecutorial strategies the community supports, he decided to simply oppose capital punishment altogether and let the chips fall where they may.
If Reed is elected, he will probably be the most progressive DA Texas has ever seen. In a time when Texas has just surpassed California as being the state with the most people in prison and when the United States has more people in prison than China, it is time for us to elect a district attorney who will find ways to reduce the number of people behind bars by diverting many more non-violent drug offenders to diversion programs where they will get treatment.

Reed does not believe sending drug offenders to prison is the most effective and efficient use of tax dollars, especially if it is that person's first drug-related offense and no one else was harmed.

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1 comment:

Gritsforbreakfast said...

You can always trust John Bradley's endorsement: He's like a compass that points south; just read what he says and do the opposite.

I hope whoever wins goes out of their way to support Bradley's next opponent!