He has personally tried over 60 jury trials, including 30 murder and manslaughter trials. He is the only candidate who has served as a criminal defense lawyer and the only candidate who has prosecuted a jury trial in the last ten years.
James has dedicated his career to public service and knows what it takes to fight for the citizens of El Paso. Over the past ten years, he has seen both sides of our criminal justice system and has worked on the entire range of criminal cases, from DWI’s to capital murders. He has advocated for hundreds of victims of violent crime as well as low-income El Pasoans accused of serious felony offenses.
The District Attorney is the community’s elected representative in our criminal justice system and leads an office of nearly 90 assistant prosecutors and 100 staff members, including paralegals, secretaries, investigators, and victim services’ personnel. The DA’s Office works in conjunction with our law enforcement agencies to bring criminal cases to court. Every year, El Paso law enforcement agencies send approximately 25,000 criminal cases to the DA’s Office for review and prosecution.The elected DA sets the priorities for which types of cases should actually be filed in court and how aggressively each case is pursued. James is committed to prioritizing the prosecution of crimes that threaten the safety and security of our community, such as driving while intoxicated, crimes of violence, and crimes involving the use of firearms, while also ensuring that cases caused by substance abuse or mental health issues are properly diverted to minimize the chances of recidivism.
The District Attorney is also an important check and balance on our law enforcement agencies. Because the DA’s Office has complete discretion to reject or accept cases for prosecution, it is uniquely situated to provide oversight and accountability to the work done by our law enforcement agencies. James is committed to holding our law enforcement agencies to the highest standards of conduct and will establish a dedicated Public Integrity and Civil Rights section to review and investigate use-of-force incidents as well as other allegations of official misconduct.
As District Attorney, James’ fundamental goal is the continued safety and security of El Paso. James takes exceptionally seriously his duty to seek justice, not convictions. He believes that the purpose of the criminal justice system is not merely to punish past wrongs but to rehabilitate offenders and deter future misconduct. He will champion data-driven and innovative approaches to crime reduction and will work to ensure that prosecutorial resources are maximized to promote the safety of our community. As the only candidate who has been both a prosecutor and a public defender, he has a thorough understanding of the improvements that can be made at the District Attorney’s Office and is ready to lead the DA’s Office starting Day One.
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