Issues and Priorities
Rather than discussing “issues” only, I would also like to talk about my priorities for the District Attorney’s Office, which ultimately touch on several important issues.
The Role of the Prosecutor
"A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate; the prosecutor's duty is to seek justice, not merely to convict or to uphold a conviction."
-NC Rules of Professional Conduct, Comment (1) to Rule 3.8
Many people believe that the role of the prosecutor is to seek convictions, but the job is so much more than that. As prosecutors, we take an oath of office that requires us to seek justice.
Each case that the prosecutor handles must be evaluated carefully to ensure that justice obtained. In some cases, justice may in fact require a conviction and incarceration. Justice may at times require probation, rehabilitation, or treatment. Sometimes justice even requires the dismissal of a charge when the evidence does not support a conviction.
As District Attorney, I will ensure that the office adheres to the highest ethical standards. Justice requires no less.
We are most certainly facing an epidemic in our district with regard to opioid and drug abuse. This problem is not unique to Harnett & Lee counties; it is a crisis that is spreading through our state and the county. The question is, what can we do to fight it?
There is no one “silver bullet” solution that will fix the opioid epidemic in our district. Rather, any solution must be collaborative. There certainly must be a law enforcement aspect. We must continue to investigate and prosecute those distributing dangerous drugs in the community. In addition, there must be treatment and rehabilitation options for those who are seeking help to defeat their addictions. Finally, there must be education. Our students, teachers, families, in fact all citizens, must be educated on the dangers and the reality of opioids. It is a difficult topic, but the ugly truth of overdoses must be discussed openly so that the risk is understood. I would absolutely support and assist in presenting educational programs to the community on these topics. We must all work together to overcome this epidemic.
As Assistant District Attorney, I have taken an oath that, "I will support the Constitution of the United States; that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina, and to the constitutional powers and authorities which are or may be established for the government thereof; and that I will endeavor to support, maintain and defend the Constitution of said State, not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, to the best of my knowledge and ability; so help me God."
I believe in and support the Constitution, and the Amendments thereto. It is my solemn duty to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I take my oath of office very seriously, and I will continue to support and defend the Constitution as your District Attorney.
I have been asked several times recently my position on the Second Amendment. I believe in and support the Constitution, and the Amendments thereto. With regard to the Second Amendment specifically, I believe in and support the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. I have taken an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States and North Carolina, and to uphold the laws not inconsistent therewith. I take this oath very seriously, and will continue to do so as District Attorney.