By Restoring Accountability, Integrity and Transparency!
[Editor’s NOTE: The following article exceeds the allotted one-per-week, but it was submitted earlier and is being released at filing dates to make readers aware of the importance of this election.] –This is NOT a candidate endorsement.]
We currently have a District Attorney’s Office that is badly in need of reform. The Louisiana Supreme Court and the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal have issued numerous opinions rebuking the District Attorney’s Office for violating constitutional, procedural, and evidentiary rules. In several cases, including two death penalty cases, convictions were overturned on account of this. Violations include the withholding of evidence that was favorable to the accused, the introduction of evidence the prosecutor knew or should have known was not proper, and the systematic exclusion from jury service of members of a minority group.
We will put an end to these and all other practices that are unethical, divisive, or wasteful.
We pledge to you that we will:
1. Insist on absolute justice and the highest standard of ethical conduct; unethical or illegal conduct will result in immediate firing.
2. Seek the death penalty in a manner that is meaningful, open, and protects law enforcement and the most vulnerable among us.
3. Prioritize prosecutions to ensure that there is enough jail space for violent criminals.
4. Assure that jurors are selected properly so cases will not be overturned on appeal.
5. Prevent waste by improving efficiency and stopping intentional errors that can force re-trials.
You deserve an office that is founded on the principles of Accountability, Integrity, and Transparency.
• Enact Performance Standards with continual training, monitoring, and evaluations
• Establish a Conviction Integrity Unit to review claims of “actual innocence”
• Establish a Death Penalty Screening Unit to ensure that the death penalty is used in a fiscally responsible manner that is meaningful, open, and protects law enforcement and the most vulnerable among us.
• Eliminate unnecessary or redundant positions to enhance efficiency and save money
• Institute a zero tolerance policy for prosecutorial unethical or illegal conduct
• Enact an Office Code of Conduct to ensure honesty, ethics, and professionalism
• Be respectful of the time of judges, police officers, defense attorneys, and witnesses
• Institute an Open File Discovery / Brady policy
• Establish a Complaint Process for the public
• Provide feedback about charging, dismissal, and plea policies and decisions
• Create an Office Website to make non-confidential information, such as budgets, caseloads and other data, accessible to the public
Douglas Lee Harville
Committee to Elect Lee Harville for Caddo District Attorney
P.O. Box 53348
Shreveport, LA 71135
This is part of a continuing educational series of articles allowing all candidates space to explain their reasons for running for office as well as addressing questions voters should find valuable. This link will appear at the bottom of all articles in this series and allow easy access to previous articles. Limited to ONE (1) article per week per candidate.