My overall philosophy is summed up in this quote:
"The citizen's safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility."
- Robert H. Jackson
Our responsibility is to do the right thing at the right time for the right reason. This drives everything the District Attorney’s Office does. In fighting crime, our office has four primary focuses:
Property crimes- Your home is your sanctuary. It’s the safe place for you and your family. But when a criminal breaks into your home they take more than just your belongings, they take that feeling of safety and security from you. And there is no excuse for it – everyone over the age of five knows that is wrong. That is why we have a zero-tolerance policy on breaking and entering – if a criminal breaks into your house we demand they go to prison, and since I took office we have sent over 500 people to prison for doing just that.
Drugs - Our community is in the grip of a major drug problem that affects all of us. We fight hard to attack this cancer – our office and law enforcement worked as a team to initiate the first “wire” drug conspiracy cases in western North Carolina. AS a result our local law enforcement and the State Bureau of Investigations were able to infiltrate our top drug organizations and we locked up scores of our worst drug dealers as a result. We do everything we can to send dealers to prison for as long as possible. For just three of our drug dealers we achieved sentences totaling 94 years! We also hold users accountable because it is important for us to attack the problem from the demand side as well as the supply side, but at the same time we work to address the users' underlying issues by emphasizing substance abuse, mental health, and other treatment focuses as a condition of their sentences. Additionally, we work closely with North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Division and our local law enforcement agencies in pursuing nuisance abatement actions to shut down the drug houses where these drugs are being sold.
Child sex crimes – Someone who perpetrates sex acts upon children should be locked up forever, and it is my opinion that the Supreme Court was wrong when they declared that the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment for child rapists. In child sex cases we do everything we can to protect the victim and lock the defendant up for as long as absolutely possible. We have fought for and achieved the longest sentences in the history of our counties in these child sex cases, sending these criminals to prison for sentences as long as 175 years!
Repeat offenders - We place an increased emphasis on repeat offenders. Habitual Breaking and Entering, Habitual Assault, Habitual Felon, and Habitual Violent Felon laws are fully utilized in targeting those responsible for the majority of crime in our communities. We have increased the number of habitual felons sent to prison by 350% over the prior administration, and have one of the highest per capita felony conviction rates in the entire state.