Judge Elections 2016

I’m taking a hiatus from publishing creatively to address my Utah registered voters. While those of us who refuse to vote for Trump may lose anyway (let’s be real, Utah is not voting for anyone other than Trump) I’ve decided to walk you through the rest of the ballot. We can make our votes count on a local level, and I may not currently reside in the country but my family does and I care to know who presides over them.

So, let’s start with the judges up for re-election. For Juvenile Court we have Suchada Bazzelle and F. Richards Smith. I will not be voting for Suchada, because she has made several questionable decisions – one of which ultimately resulted in a teen suicide.

In the district courts we have no choice for District 1. For District 2 we are looking at Michael G. Allphin (who has ordered jails to stop seizing inmate money with no justification – “account sweeps”), Glen R. Dawson who has done nothing especially notable (although his colleagues and the people who evaluate him say he’s great, he just sometimes rocks in his chair during hearings) and Ernest W. Jones served as a prosecutor in SLC for 20 years before he put on his robes. He doesn’t always follow the rules. Apparently he cares when adults sell minors tobacco. I probably won’t be casting a vote for him.

In District 4, we are looking at Barry Lawrence who has been involved in all the same-sex marriage hubub, although exactly how is never clear. Then there is Jarold D. McDade who headed the Grunwald trial and gave a father custody of a wanted child his ex-wife put up for adoption without consent. There is also David Mortensen who sentenced the father of the 5 Browns with 10 years to life for the ongoing sexual abuse of his own daughters.

In District 7, there is George M. Harmond who has been awarded for his pro bono work but also did this (a UDOT death related case). We also have Douglas B. Thomas who in 2014 put a guy in jail for a year, three years probation, and a 1,500 fine for killing another person while driving drunk. Personally, I think that was a little lenient of him. Otherwise, he seems to pretty ordinary.

Finally, in District 8 we meet Samuel P. Chiara who wants to appear impartial but also mandated a pit bull be sentenced to death. Negative 10 points for that guy. As far as Keith E. Eddington, he has yet to do something so controversial or strange that it makes the news. Probably a good sign. Right?

So, that’s it for judges. I’ll do a few more of these so people know what is actually going on in their communities.


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