As a former deputy prosecuting attorney, I could not agree more that the conventional methods of prosecuting misdemeanors without regard for the life circumstances of criminal defendants is neither effective nor equitable.
Voters considering the current campaign for Seattle City Attorney may be unaware that real solutions already exist. There are Mental Health and Veterans Courts in King County and Seattle Municipal Court, where professionals with specialized training and experience work to prevent recidivism while also holding offenders accountable.
The future of misdemeanor courts is therapeutic courts, and we should expand the courts and the services they provide. Why not add to them by focusing on issues related to those without stable housing, or victims of sexual assault, for example? Calls to end the prosecution of crimes in the city of Seattle reflect not just a genuine lack of compassion for both crime victims and offenders, but also a failure of imagination and ambition.
Erica Temple, Woodinville