FIGHT FOR JUSTICE FOR ALL
- NO LONGER LEAD THE NATION IN DEATH SENTENCES
Riverside County has lead the nation in death sentences two out of the last three years, spending millions of dollars on the prosecution of these individuals. Lara knows that capital punishment is expensive, ineffective and racially biased. In 2017 alone, the Riverside DA’s Office obtained death sentences in 5 cases, and all 5 defendants were from communities of color. Not one person sent to Death Row by the Riverside County DA’s Office has been executed in the last 40 years. Taxpayers have paid millions of dollars for the prosecution of these cases, and countless more dollars housing them on Death Row. This makes no sense, especially since there is effectively a moratorium on the Death Penalty in California, as no inmate has been executed since 2006. The Riverside County DA’s Office is wasting taxpayer dollars in order to look tough on crime. This must end.
- END PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT
The DA’s Office must pursue convictions in a fiercely ethical manner. Last year, several national news outlets reported a Harvard Law School study that cited 32 counts of prosecutorial misconduct inside the Riverside County DA's office in recent years. This misconduct continues to occur today, but often remains hidden. As an example, a case was recently dismissed by the DA’s office after a trial court judge found that the prosecutor had unlawfully withheld evidence. The DA’s office then dismissed the case in an apparent effort to avoid the risk of a conviction, and subsequent appeal that would have revealed the prosecutorial misconduct.
Lara will not tolerate any unethical behavior. She will establish an in-house Ethics Committee, and appoint an independent Ethics Officer to examine cases before any misconduct or prosecutorial error can occur. She will train prosecutors to avoid error, and will deal swiftly with those who violate the law. She will not allow prosecutors to violate the public’s trust and waste taxpayer money any longer.
- TREAT IMMIGRANTS WITH RESPECT
Lara believes that the diversity of a community makes it stronger. She will follow state law, including The Values Act, which prohibits cooperation with ICE under certain circumstances. Lara will protect resident immigrants in Riverside County. She will enforce the law, which also means the implementation of a policy to consider the avoidance of any immigration consequences in reaching a just resolution. Should a defendant be faced with potential deportation for a crime, those consequences will be considered, and whenever possible, avoided. Lara will treat the County’s immigrants with the respect they deserve.