Utah County Legal professional David Leavitt is operating for a second time period, and hopes his purpose of correcting the county’s prison justice system is sufficient to get him reelected.
He stated fixing the system is a long-term dedication, and it couldn’t be completed in 4 years.
“I ran for the aim of fixing it, and restoring the precise to trial by jury, proper to a speedy trial and investigating crimes that damage individuals essentially the most,” he instructed the Day by day Herald.
Leavitt referred to as this election a “pivotal second” and argues in his marketing campaign that he has upheld his promise to make adjustments to the system since first being elected in 2018.
“Most People consider that the federal government proves the allegations the federal government makes in opposition to individuals. All of us agree that the federal government shouldn’t punish somebody with out proving the case, however individuals are additionally shocked after they notice that 99% of the time, we don’t show the instances. We cost issues so we will get a plea deal so we don’t must show the case. It’s grow to be extra about effectivity than public security,” Leavitt stated.
Leavitt believes checks and balances inside the county’s prison justice system aren’t the place they have to be. If the system labored correctly, the prosecutor would function a verify on the police and the jury as a verify on the prosecutor, he stated.
“Within the 2022 prison justice system, by and huge, prosecutors are afraid of police and don’t function as a verify on police,” added Leavitt. “So, the police make calls relating to a case and the prosecution believes — wrongly — they’re a rubber stamp for the police.”
If reelected, Leavitt needs to proceed engaged on providing plea offers and taking extra instances to a jury trial.
“The violent and harmful must go to jail,” he stated. “However we don’t try this by giving them plea bargains the place they get decreased sentences. We show the case in opposition to them to a jury. The violent and harmful get longer sentences, however to do this, we additionally must take a special strategy to the non-violent.”
Leavitt acknowledged he’s usually criticized as being “delicate on crime,” however his rebuttal is that the county isn’t all the time prosecuting the precise crimes.
“We’ll prosecute each shoplifter, however we don’t have the investigative energy in Utah County to research somebody who steals $50,000 in an embezzlement scheme,” he stated. “However we pat ourselves on the again as a result of we’re getting the shoplifters, and we cowl ourselves by not speaking about the truth that we don’t have a solution for white collar crimes.”
One in every of his largest factors of delight in his first time period was making a system that notifies the county legal professional’s workplace each time a sexual assault is reported. This allowed the legal professional’s workplace to trace the instances, and see which of them they wanted to pursue additional.
In line with Leavitt, the county legal professional’s workplace had over 400 sexual assault instances on backlog when he took workplace, and all 400 have been processed inside the previous 4 years.
“77% of sexual assault studies from girls die at police stations and gained’t make it to the county legal professional’s workplace,” he stated. “Regulation enforcement appears to be like at sexual assault via a person’s perspective and never via the eyes of a lady, and it’s simply not acceptable. What we’re doing is holding the system accountable to do a greater job with intercourse crimes and going again and opening instances that ought to have been investigated.”
Leavitt additionally talked about the repeated disagreements between himself and Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith.
“Anytime you inform anybody they could possibly be doing it higher, there’s an inclination for defensiveness,” he stated. “Once you try this to somebody in authority in authorities, the defensiveness skyrockets, and that’s what I’m going through. The query for the general public is, would you like it the identical outdated method or do you wish to attempt to make one thing higher? That’s type of been the problem with my marketing campaign.”
Leavitt reiterated his perception that Smith has been against him as a result of he has been watchful of the actions coming from members of the sheriff’s workplace.
“Ask your self, if the county legal professional doesn’t verify the sheriff’s workplace, then who does,” stated Leavitt. “I’m the primary county legal professional in 40 years to carry the sheriff accountable. The rationale he’s against me is as a result of I investigated three of his officers for beating a person who was confronted down on the bottom and in handcuffs. After I wouldn’t sweep it beneath the rug, he checked out me and stated, ‘I’m going to destroy you.’ and I stated, ‘Take your finest shot.’”
On Might 17, Smith announced his endorsement of Leavitt’s opponent, Jeff Gray, with the primary purpose of eradicating Leavitt from workplace.
Leavitt believes Grey is wise, however that his lack of expertise in civil authorities makes Leavitt extra certified for the position.
“Once you have a look at the prison facet of issues, we have now a special philosophy,” he stated. “The query of qualification doesn’t exist there, but it surely exists on the civil facet. What do you do should you elect a county legal professional that has no civil expertise what-so-ever?”
Ballots for the Republican might be delivered to Utah County voters on Tuesday and Wednesday, whereas individuals can vote till June 28. Whereas the race has generated loads of attention and emotion, Leavitt is assured within the end result.
“I believe I’ll win. I’ve created a marketing campaign to get my message out, however this actually is about giving the Utah County residents a alternative. What sort of system would you like?”