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Vote for experience; vote for Wills

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:I have worked in the criminal justice system for 32 years as a police officer, prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. As such, I have significant concerns about the candidates in the district attorney race.First, the voting public must vote in the Aug. 10 primary election. The outcome of this election will determine who will be the next district attorney here, since no one is running either as an independent or Democrat. Nov. 2 is too late. Second, experience counts. The district attorney does not try each case that comes into the office, but does determine the policies that decide what cases go to trial, what charges are filed and what plea offer guidelines are.Your elected DA should make the tough call when a case comes into the office that is emotionally charged and must be able to explain that decision to the public and the law enforcement officers investigating the case. In making these decisions, the DA needs to draw upon the hard-won wisdom gained from the experience of being in a criminal courtroom. Finally, honesty has to be at the forefront of the candidate’s platform. A candidate should be what he or she claims to be. If you cannot trust a candidate to be honest about their qualifications, how can you trust them to be accountable for the decisions they make once elected?In our race for district attorney the choice is between Lawson Wills and Colleen Truden. Lawson has a proven track record that can be verified: The cases he has prosecuted and the trials he has been in can be found in the court records of the 9th Judicial District.In contrast, Colleen has never been the lead attorney in a criminal trial. When questioned about her background, she either doesn’t answer or gives vague answers that can’t be checked out. What criminal cases has she taken to trial? What experience does she have in the criminal law to assist her in examining evidence and making filing decisions? These are questions that she will not answer and to date has avoided answering. That said, she is embellishing her credentials when she states in her handouts or when meeting with people that she has death penalty and felony experience. At best, she has acted as a law clerk for judges. That simply isn’t the same as going to trial on a criminal case. If Colleen can’t be trusted to tell the truth about her qualifications, how can she possibly be trusted to stand accountable to the citizens of the 9th Judicial District, whose vote she now courts?On Aug. 10, make the right decision: Vote for experience and honesty. Vote for Lawson Wills.Jim WilsonGlenwood Springs


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