"It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one." ~ Voltaire
Scott has fought his entire life for equal rights for everyone in our community, and especially to prevent injustices perpetrated on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or immigrant status. His motto - Justice with Compassion - means that our elected District Attorney shouldn't focus too heavily on punishment, but should instead lead the office with empathy, equity, and understanding. While at the Attorney General's Office, Scott worked on cases that impacted the rights and lives of the diverse people who are New Mexico. Scott briefed and argued cases to the New Mexico Supreme Court on topics ranging from fair jury selection to just sentencing to the right of all citizens to participate in the electoral process. Scott is most proud of his work in the Supreme Court defending the right of New Mexicans to marry the partner of their choice regardless of gender in a case that established full marriage equality for same-sex couples in New Mexico.
Not everyone caught up in the criminal justice system is a hardened criminal that needs to be locked away to protect society. Many are there because they needed help that never came. If we can give them that help now, we should. Human dignity demands nothing less. In particular, the criminalization of addiction and poverty have failed. It is long past time to try something else. This is why I supported New Mexico's comprehensive bail reform.
Innovative thinkers across the country have begun implementing systems whereby victims and perpetrators of certain crimes are able to sit down together and discuss what happened, why it happened, and how it affected everyone involved. They meet only if they have both agreed to and the input of the victim is critical to the ultimate resolution of the case. I would like to introduce a similar system here.
Corruption is a long-standing problem in New Mexico. The recently-created statewide ethics commission has a powerful mandate and I would welcome the opportunity to work with them to prosecute anyone who violates the public trust. The wealthy and powerful are subject to the same laws as the rest of us. It is time for them to understand that and for the rest of us to believe it. I will not be afraid to prosecute anyone.