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Six simple reforms will help get the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office working again while executing a vision for progressive prosecution.
Modify Discovery ProtocolsToo many cases, and victims, are falling through the cracks because deadlines are not being met and critical information is not being provided to defense counsel. I would immediately implement a comprehensive set of discovery protocols, including electronic discovery, so that all the information that is relevant and required by law and the Constitution is gathered and disseminated efficiently, promptly, and lawfully. Currently, discovery protocols in the Fairfax Courthouse are a mess and lack clear direction. We have seen this time and time again where cases are dismissed because prosecutors never called witnesses and evidence was never gathered.
Implement a Mental Health Docket in Circuit Court and Juvenile & Domestic Relations CourtTruly meaningful reform means taking someone’s circumstances and experience into consideration when they are in the criminal justice system - that is especially important for mental health.
Expand Drug Court in Juvenile & Domestic Relations CourtThe drug epidemic demands a more comprehensive response from our prosecutor’s office and our criminal justice system. We need to take a balanced approach between assisting those with addiction problems and prosecuting individuals for dealing deadly drugs to our community. This requires a prosecution team that understands what to look for and make hard decisions.
Prosecutor TrainingReplace social media and public information staff in the current office with a senior lawyer/retired judge to be a full-time training coordinator for the office. The training coordinator would provide training on evidentiary issues and provide legal and legislative updates to the office.
Victim Services LiaisonReplace social media and public information staff with a victim services coordinator for the office to coordinate with law enforcement and other community partners to ensure victims’ concerns are heard and appropriately addressed with all participating agencies.