Jeanne Hruska police director of the ACLU-NH recently published an opinion in the Concord Monitor about the importance of a county attorney in NH, entitled Why County Attorney Races are a Big Deal. As election day approaches most folks will only have one candidate to select, but think about how much power that person will have over lives of literally all citizens in NH. It is an awesome and almost omnipotent power that must always be viewed by a single person seeking justice.
As a defense lawyer for over 25 years. I have witnessed several county attorney's offices go through changes over the years. It has always amazed me how one person can influence the lives of so many. I look forward to a change in Grafton County and wish for a more progressive approach to justice that encompasses treatment and counseling. In Coos County there will be an incumbent elected but again the power of that elected official is amazing over the course of thousands of lives.
The power of a prosecutor to decide to: bring a case, reduce it, drop it or pursue it to the fullest affects victims, defendants, witnesses and everyone connected to the involved. The county attorney is the highest law enforcement authority in each county and decides whether to charge felonies.
This is a moment to reflect on our county attorney and to make sure that as gatekeepers of the criminal justice system that they are grounded, accountable and reasonable.