Spokane County Office
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Recent opinion pieces in a local newspaper highlight the need to inject light into this important discussion.
It appears to me that these opinions essentially call for a race-based criminal justice system in Spokane County; a system whereby perceived past practices are to be rectified by viewing accused persons of color under a different “lens” than others. The policy assertion is that such inequalities should be a mitigating factor in a criminal case. Consequently, race would intentionally play a role in the outcome of a given case.
Under the US Constitution, State Constitution, and Washington State criminal laws unlawful conduct, not race, is prosecuted and punished. Under the law, each person, including victims of crime and their family members, is guaranteed the equal protection of the law. To inject race into either prosecution or sentencing is to intentionally apply a factor not allowed by the law and for which there is no uniform standard of application. The likely result: more inequality. Race should neither aggravate nor mitigate the effect of one’s unlawful conduct.
Under Washington State Law (RCW 9.94A.340), the sentencing guidelines and prosecution standards apply equally to all offenders in all parts of the State, without discrimination as to any element that does not relate to the crime or previous record of the defendant. The oath of a Superior Court judge requires that a judge “faithfully and impartially” discharge the duties of judge. RCW 2.08.080. Webster’s Dictionary defines impartially as treating or affecting all equally. Race is not and should not be a factor.
This office has supported and will continue to support criminal justice reforms that are consistent with the law. I have and will continue to hold myself, my office, and, to the extent possible, our local criminal justice system accountable to constitutional and statutory mandates for equal treatment under the law regardless of race.
It is our mission to protect the public by providing competent and ethical prosecution, superior victim services and seeking justice in every case.
The Office of the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney consists of 66 attorneys, 66 support staff and 7 victim-witness staff members. The prosecuting attorney office is divided into 3 units: Criminal, Civil and Family Law.
Questions or Information About a Current Prosecution Case
If you are being represented by an attorney, you must contact the attorney - not us. We are prohibited from discussing a case directly with a represented defendant, or friends or relatives of represented defendants.
Friends or relatives of a defendant should contact the jail for custody information, or the court for court dates or contact the defendant's attorney.
If you are not represented, you may contact our receptionist at 509-477-3662.