The Reporter: Editorial May 18, 2014 -
Original link: http://www.thereporter.com/editorials/ci_25785784/editorial-vote-krishna-abrams-solano-county-district-attorney
The race for Solano County District Attorney has turned into one of the most hotly contested election campaigns in recent history.
Voters who head to the polls on June 3 have an important decision to make: They can stick with the status quo or they can bring change to an office that increasingly — and justly — finds itself under fire.
The Reporter Editorial Board feels it is time for a change, in order to restore public opinion of, and confidence in, the prosecutor’s office.
For these reasons, The Reporter is endorsing Krishna Abrams for Solano County District Attorney.
This is not a decision made easily or lightly. In some ways, the board was torn on the decision because there are programs created and pushed by the incumbent that are good and worthy efforts and that should continue no matter who wins the post. He deserves recognition and credit in particular for his truancy program, which reaches out to work with schools, law enforcement and parents to get truant students and their parents on the right track. It is, by all accounts, a good program with plenty of supporters and data to show that getting these kids on the straight and narrow now, will help to keep them out of courts and jails later.
With that said, however, the board agreed that truancy efforts alone cannot be the backbone of a District Attorney’s office.
The first and most important role of the District Attorney is to be a tough on crime, collaborator with law enforcement, to get the bad guys off the streets and to keep our community safe. The D.A. is the top law enforcement official in any county. And the bottom line is the 23 to 24 percent felony conviction rate under the current administration is a symptom that this office is falling down when it comes to this most important task.
Yes, the conviction rate is higher when misdemeanor case figures are added in, but it doesn’t take a law degree to know that the really bad guys aren’t charged, tried or locked away from society on misdemeanor charges.
Add to the dismal conviction rates an ongoing battle over non disclosure of documents containing exculpatory evidence in local homicide cases, and you have a recipe for a District Attorney’s office that has lost the public’s confidence and raised questions about its own ethical standards.
When the “gold standard policy” of the current D.A. calls for examining the personnel files of police officers in search of “impeachable evidence” that might be used against them at trial, but condones failing to turn over such evidence on the chief pathologist in a timely manner, one has to think something has gone wrong.
It is time for an overhaul of the prosecutor’s office.
And Deputy District Attorney Krishna Abrams is just the sort of tough, no-nonsense prosecutor to do the job.
Abrams has 18 years of experience as a prosecutor, including 14 locally in which she has taken on some of the toughest cases in the county — many of them homicides — and won.
Her impressive track record was recognized last year by the California District Attorneys Association which presented her with its Outstanding Prosecutor award for rural/medium counties. Each year, the CDAA chooses just two top prosecutors: one for the eight largest counties and one for the remaining 50. Abrams is the first career Solano County prosecutor to earn the award in the 36 years it has been given.
She is a tough, aggressive advocate for victims who has shown a clear understanding of the issues that are important to the people of Solano County and she displays the sort of confidence that will be needed to rebuild trust with local law enforcement and confidence with the public.
On June 3, vote Krishna Abrams for Solano County District Attorney.