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Lacey is the best choice for DA post

Posted: October 9, 2012 6:06 p.m.
Updated: October 9, 2012 6:06 p.m.

In the Los Angeles County campaign for district attorney, voters are presented with two candidates: Jackie Lacey and Alan Jackson. Both have impressive track records as prosecutors, winning court cases against dangerous offenders.

But, Lacey has the broadest vision for the office. She intends to focus on Internet-based criminal activity, which Lacey describes as the fastest growing battle and one we are not winning; crimes against the elderly; and expansion of alternative sentencing courts. She has already been successful with the latter in building a structure for low-level offenders who might not have been swept up into prosecutions save for underlying issues. Lacey is the force behind L.A. County Veterans, Women’s Reentry and Co-Occurring Disorders courts whereby, defendants might be helped in sentencing in ways that reduce the rate of recidivism. These prototype courts have saved the county millions of dollars.

She believes alternative sentencing is one approach to dealing with cases log-jamming the court systems, detracting from the more serious cases.

Jackson has campaigned to restore a relationship with the prosecutors union, which he believes current District Attorney Steve Cooley has alienated, and intends to ask the county Board of Supervisors for a pay increase for front-line prosecutors and to fix technical issues that prevent deputy district attorneys from accessing their work e-mail on their cell phones. While these may be pressing issues facing the department, he does not lay out a broader vision for fighting crime — particularly in light of realignment whereby the state prisons have been unleashing scores of inmates into the county jail system.

We would have liked to have addressed Jackson’s vision with him in more detail, but he failed to join us on the date his campaign staff scheduled the Signal’s Editorial Board to meet with him.

While Jackson’s non-appearance may have been a scheduling error made by his staff, and not his error personally, we believe it does speak to the position he is running for as district attorney. In fact, Jackson’s campaign office never responded to a request by the College of the Canyons Associated Student Government to join other candidates in a forum held on the college campus.

The L.A. County district attorney that voters elect will have the responsibility for overseeing the entire department and in this sense, must not only understand the issues of public safety and have the knowledge to prosecute cases successfully, but must also know how to select the right people to fill key positions and manage a large operation like a well-oiled machine.

We believe Lacey is the best candidate for the difficult job of district attorney.


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