I ask for your support to re-elect me as Franklin County's Commonwealth's Attorney. The public was informed during my 2015 campaign to look for several things:
1. To personally handle as many drug distribution cases as possible. Those who traffic drugs are at the heart of many problems, and I wanted an up-front perspective. This commitment was met. I continue handling many such cases, and remain in regular contact with narcotics officers.
2. To secure a grant for a "victim witness coordinator." This was accomplished during my first year. This helps victims feel more at ease during their interaction with the judicial system. We secured a renewal of the grant for an additional three years.
3. To ensure a thorough review of cases, particularly those involving serious crimes, before resolving with a plea resolution. This has been a part of the culture of my office. Five lawyers work for me, and we handle hundreds of cases each year. I keep my door open so they can discuss cases with me.
We also implemented case management software. Information is now more integrated and accessible. With due respect for our typewriter, it was time to move forward.
Those opposing my re-election argue about a one-dimensional statistic regarding pleas. Allow me to clarify certain realities. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court said "criminal justice today is for the most part a system of pleas, not a system of trials. Ninety-seven percent of federal convictions and ninety-four percent of state convictions are the result of guilty pleas." Even that data, though, fails to capture what is more important, which is the overall ‘finished product.’ To achieve the best possible result, we assess cases for evidentiary strength, and consider punishment scenarios (did you know that under applicable sentencing guidelines, the range of initial incarceration for one count of selling heroin, versus two, differs by only a few months?). Mindful of these factors, we seek to ensure the best overall benefit to the community.
Thank you for your prior trust in me. Your vote to re-elect me on November 5th is appreciated.
ALLEN "A.J." DUDLEY JR.