Hingeley: There is "No Limit" to a Prosecutor's Discretion
October 22, 2019
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -- Thank you League of Women Voters for hosting us for a candidate forum last Thursday. I was pleased the debate occurred in an environment that observed rules of dignity and decorum expected of Albemarle County. I hope Albemarle County voters were listening. Three things stood out:
After over 44 years of experience as a defense attorney, my opponent stated he is no position to render an opinion as to the merits of an Albemarle County police review board modeled on the one in Charlottesville, Virginia. Along with most Albemarle residents and observers, I do not support this approach in Albemarle County.
When asked about the limits of prosecutorial discretion, my opponent said there is "NO LIMIT" to a prosecutor's authority to decline prosecuting cases referred by law enforcement. I believe prosecutors should bring cases consistent with their oath to support the law and Constitution, not assume legislative authority to redefine the scope of felonies or to summarily pick and choose what felonies to bring.
There are key differences between my opponent and me.
Community safety and respect for the rule of law in Albemarle County are at stake on November 5th.
It was so disappointing to see my opponent repeating the same stale, rehearsed negative campaign talking points and refusing to talk about his non-prosecution record and political agenda for the office of Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney. It was also startling to watch my opponent claim, after four and half decades as a criminal defense lawyer and part-time adjunct professor, that he has no opinion on the wisdom of establishing a Charlottesville-type Civilian Police Advisory Board modeled in the County of Albemarle. Really?
Check out the NBC29 link for yourself.
I wish to again thank the League of Women Voters, and the Albemarle County Police Department for ensuring a fair and neutral forum to discuss the important differences between me and my opponent.
I look forward to additional opportunities for Albemarle voters to learn more about our starkly different views of the office of Commonwealth's Attorney. I will continue to seek Equal Justice Under Law by serving as your legal advocate, not a political activist. And I will always honor my oath to support our laws and Constitution.
Robert N. Tracci