Republican Linda Stanley is running for district attorney in the 11th Judicial District.
Q Why did you go into the legal profession?
A After I graduated from high school in Iowa, I attended a local community college and began taking classes in “executive secretarial” education. Through that program, one of the electives I chose was “Introduction to Criminal Justice” and I was hooked.
From that moment on I have continued my education and experiences in the field of criminal justice and I even still have that original textbook.
Q What have you been most proud of in your legal career?
A That’s a hard question because there are a myriad of accomplishments that I am proud of; however, generally speaking, they are not the accomplishments that one would put on a resume.
Instead, they are highlighted by the general public that I serve.
When a victim contacts me after a case is over and tells me that they will never be able to repay me for what I’ve done, or when an officer has a difficult case that they want to make sure is handled properly and they tell me they were so glad to find out I was assigned to it, or when a judge comments to my supervisor that I am a powerhouse in jury trials and have a natural and easy way to relate to juries, or when investigators that are listening to jail calls tell me the defendant is scared now because I am the prosecutor on the case, or when I see pictures of a happy dog in its new home after it was confiscated for abuse and I was able to help save its life.
All of these things contribute to my proudest moments and quite frankly, to my life.
Q What do you feel the role of the district attorney is?
A The district attorney’s role is to promote and seek justice. That means justice for the victim, for the defendant and for the community.
That comes in many forms, but includes seeking out both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence in every case as well as actively listening and engaging with law enforcement, defendants and their attorneys, victim advocates and victims, and the criminal justice system which includes judges, court clerks, corrections and probation.
Q What do you bring to the position?
A Knowledge and experience. Title 18 (Colorado’s Criminal Code) and Title 42 (Colorado’s Traffic Code) are voluminous and lengthy.
Each particular statute also comes with the ever-changing case law on particular passages, words, or phrases in each law.
Tie those laws into the Rules of Evidence and the Colorado Criminal Procedure Rules and you have a whole lot of information that a prosecutor has to know when they enter the courtroom.
It’s not something that can be learned on-the-job. It takes years and I am still learning but I have a strong, solid foundation of knowledge.
A prosecutor has to be able to think on their feet and know the appropriate cites and responses when called upon. My experience and education has allowed me to be that prosecutor.
After I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice I was a police officer for several years. That actual street cop experience is invaluable for a prosecutor because law enforcement has confidence that I actually know “what it’s like out there.”
I also earned my Master’s degree in public administration in the first-ever program on domestic violence at the University of Colorado at Denver.
This particular program is now nationally recognized as leading the policy makers of tomorrow to combat domestic violence.
The public administration emphasis is akin to a business administration degree except that in a business administration program the emphasis is on profit while in public administration the emphasis is on efficiency.
I know how to manage the district attorney’s office while focusing on efficiency.
I also earned my Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver where I was the president of the Criminal Law Association for two years. In that role, I brought in various speakers on topics that could not be learned in law school such as how a polygraph works, blood spatter and fingerprint analysis, ballistics, etc.
During my last year of law school I was a municipal prosecutor for the City of Thornton where I prosecuted violations of their municipal code including several court trials.
After graduation from law school I was offered a job at the 10th Judicial District and prosecuted cases for almost six full years before being offered the job as the first municipal prosecutor for the City of Pueblo.
After putting that program in place, I moved on to the State of Colorado where I was a hearing officer (akin to an administrative law judge) for nearly three years before I resigned that position to run for District Attorney in the 11th Judicial District.
Q What do you hope to accomplish/change as 11th Judicial District DA?
A I hope to show the citizens of this district what a district attorney should be. It’s not about the number of cases filed or the number of trials won. It’s about character. And integrity. And doing the right thing no matter what and no matter if anyone else is watching. It’s an incredibly powerful position that needs to be handled with humble hands. That’s what I will do.
In light of recent comments/endorsements by district law enforcement and political committees, how important are political affiliations, experience and ability in carrying out the duties of DA. Is any aspect more important that the others?
Let me answer that question in sections as to not cause any confusion.
First, I didn’t ask for any endorsements from any law enforcement officials. I didn’t ask because I didn’t think it would be fair to ask them for an endorsement when they have never seen me in office as a prosecutor.
If they haven’t actually seen me in action, how could I ask them to support me? It would have been for political party purposes only and I am not a politician. Additionally, politics should never enter the district attorney’s office, ever.
Second, originally, there were more names on the list of endorsements than what the final number was.
The letter containing the list of endorsements and the email that accompanied it were leaked to me several weeks before they were released to the public.
I was able to do some “damage control” and consequently some names that were originally on the letter as endorsing my opponent were subsequently removed.
However, two of the three sheriffs listed on the letter have never met with me. Let me make it clear that I had requested meetings before and after the letter was released.
I find it particularly disturbing that any top law enforcement officer, who has not only the means but the obligation to thoroughly investigate accusations, fails to do just that before rendering a decision. And that should bother the citizens of this district as well.
Lastly, this question hits the nail on the head when asking about the importance of political affiliations, experience, and ability when voters cast their ballot on Nov. 3.
I believe I answered this question earlier but let me be perfectly clear: There should never be politics in prosecution. Therefore, any political leanings or tendencies should not be considered. I adamantly disagree with anyone voting for me (or against me for that matter) simply because I have an R or a D after my name.
Those political affiliations should apply with political offices such as House, Senate, etc. as to better align the voters’ desires and wishes with their chosen representative. It doesn’t apply here.
I don’t know nor do I care what political affiliation, if any, a victim or defendant or police officer or judge may have because my job doesn’t involve anything political. To do so would be to dishonor and disgrace the office.
What does matter is experience and ability. I am the only candidate with actual experience in criminal law. I am the only candidate who was a police officer.
I am the only candidate who has personally conducted numerous trials at every level.
I am the only candidate who knows Title 18 and Title 42 like the back of my hand. Those qualities matter. That experience matters.
A vote for a candidate for the office of District Attorney simply because of a political affiliation would be a severe error in judgment and duty.
Q Why should voters choose you for the job?
A Well, I think I have addressed that question throughout this interview but let me sum it up for the voters.
I am the most educated and most experienced candidate for district attorney.
The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land as is the Bill of Rights.
Everyone will be treated fairly and equally. I have zero tolerance for anything less.
Q Anything else you want voters to know?
A Website: stanleyforda.com
Facebook: Search under “Vote Stanley”
YouTube: Search under “Linda Stanley District Attorney”