Q1 Please provide constituents your campaign contact information.
Name Nathan Evershed
Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone Number 385-519-5879
Q2 Please include any campaign website or campaign social media information below.
Q3 Topic 1: Reducing Utah Incarceration RatesUtah has made efforts to reduce incarceration through legislation passed in 2015 known as the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI). The legislation aimed to reverse Utah’s trend of prison population growth at six times faster than the national average. Now law, the JRI changed sentencing and parole guidelines and created program oversight to reduce incarceration and recidivism.As County Attorney, you will have the power to change office policy on many aspects of criminal prosecutions. For example, recently elected Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner issued a memorandum to his staff outlining when to decline certain charges, when to offer diversions, and guidelines for plea offers and sentencing arguments. The policy changes are an acknowledgment of and an effort to end mass incarceration.
How will you incorporate the JRI’s goals of reducing incarceration and recidivism into your local County Attorney policies?
I share the goals of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, which is to administer the criminal justice system in a more evidence-based way, to reduce recidivism, which in turn will reduce incarceration. As District Attorney I will work to expand substance abuse and mental health treatment within the community. I support alternatives to incarceration, where offenders are offered the opportunity for treatment, so long as it can be done safely within the community. However, in order to do that, we must increase the funding and personnel for supervising agencies, including Adult Probation and Parole and Salt Lake County Probation. The District Attorney should work collaboratively with all of our partners in the criminal justice system, and I have the experience and relationships to do just that. Finally, as District Attorney, I will work to increase justice for victims by expanding victim advocates and services within the District Attorney’s office.
Q4 Do you support alternatives to incarceration?
Q5 If yes, what alternatives to incarceration do you support?
Other (please specify):
I support all of these options, but am allowed to only click once.
Q6 Topic 2: Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice SystemThe Justice Reinvestment Initiative’s 2017 Annual Report found that the percentage of minorities newly committed to prison has increased from 34% to 43% since 2015, the year the JRI became Utah law. Before that time, the percentage of newly committed minorities had been stable at 34%. (Note that 2016 census estimates show that minorities only account for approximately 21% of Utah's population).
What will you do as the County Attorney to prevent the racial disparities noted in the JRI's Annual Report from happening in your county?
As the District Attorney, I am committed to justice for victims and defendants, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. It is important to recognize that everyone has implicit biases, and it is essential that we recognize those biases and then move beyond them. I lived in Rose Park, where I had the opportunity to interact with amazing people from all cultures and backgrounds. As District Attorney I am committed to meeting with and getting to know all members of our community, and making the District Attorney’s Office a welcoming environment for employees, witnesses, and victims regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. And as District Attorney, I will implement any recommended changes by the CCJJ panel that is looking into the reason for the increase in commitments to the Utah State Prison.
Q7 Do you believe that racial disparities currently exist in your county’s criminal justice system?
Q8 Topic 3: Prosecutorial Misconduct Prosecutorial misconduct has been a concern nationally, which has led to the formation of Conviction Integrity Units in many prosecutor offices to review allegations of misconduct. Prosecutorial misconduct has also been a concern in Utah where the Board of Utah County Commissioners has considered forming a prosecutorial oversight committee.
As County Attorney, what will you do to ensure that your office is transparent and accountable to accusations of prosecutorial misconduct?
As District Attorney, I am committed to making my office transparent and accountable when there are allegations of intentional misconduct on the part of prosecutors. As District Attorney, my commitment is to justice and protecting the community. Neither of those objectives is served when someone is erroneously convicted. In addition to the current protections against this happening, I would implement two additional changes. First, I would eliminate the unwritten trial quotas within the District Attorney’s office that currently exist and that dictate hiring, promotions, and demotions. Prosecutorial actions should never be driven by quotas or by politics. Second, I want better working relationships within the office, and better training for law enforcement. The District Attorney’s Office needs to regularly train law enforcement on issues that can lead to erroneous convictions, such as failing to turn over evidence, eyewitness identification, and the use of informants. Holding large auditorium trainings once or twice a year is not enough. I am also committed to changing the culture of the office, to retain good, experienced attorneys who have left because of the environment created by quotas and retaliation. It is time to return the office to one that focuses on doing justice instead of focusing on politics.
Q9 Do you believe that claims of prosecutorial misconduct should be handled by an internal review board, such as a Conviction Integrity Unity?
Q10 Do you believe that claims of prosecutorial misconduct should be handled by an external review board, like the one proposed in Utah County?