SPONSORED: ‘My Plan for Clarion County’s Court System’ by Sara Seidle-Patton
Criminal Justice in Clarion County:
According to the most recent data between 2013 and 2017, on average 84% of criminal cases in Clarion County are resolved by plea deals made by the district attorney and the defense attorneys before the judge is ever informed of the facts of a case. During that same time period, 11-15% of cases were withdrawn or dismissed, leaving on average only 8 cases going to jury trial each year. (1)
As judge, my job will be to scrutinize each plea deal and make sure the sentences established by those deals reflect the severity of the crimes committed. I will ensure that sentences appropriately punish offenders, protect our communities from future crime, and offer rehabilitative services to those that need them. Plea deals must be based on sound reasoning in every case and, if they are not, they need to be rejected, renegotiated, or the case must be submitted to a jury for a verdict. Strict oversight is the tool I will use to tackle crime and make Clarion County a safer place to live.
Children and Youth in Clarion County:
Our Children and Youth Services system is crippled. CYS in Clarion County has faced an influx of cases over the past several years and a shortage in staff to handle those cases. Fixing the CYS dependency system in Clarion County will be the critical issue facing our next judge. To get CYS in Clarion County on the right track, it’s going to take a team approach – an experienced team. I am the only candidate with that experience. I have worked as a court-appointed attorney in CYS cases for the past 13 years as a parent attorney and child advocate. I know the commitment these cases require and the emotional toll they take on all involved. I also have faith that when given the time, attention and leadership that this system deserves, we, as a team in Clarion County – the judge, the attorneys working in the system, our County Commissioners, our CYS administration and staff, the foster parents and families – can come together to work for the best interests of our County’s children. It is critical for the future of Clarion County.
The Operation of the Courts in Clarion County:
Our court system serves as one of the main pillars of our community. It is a reflection of the culture of Clarion County. For the prosperity of our county, it is just as important for our court system to be respectable, competent and efficient as it is for the rest of our county government. All individuals, regardless of who they are, will be treated with dignity and respect and every effort will be made to resolve cases as quickly and efficiently as possible. As an attorney, my practice has allowed me to work in courthouses throughout Western Pennsylvania. Each judge and each courtroom has its own unique system. My experience as an attorney has taught me what works and what does not work. I will bring that experience to Clarion County’s court system to refine the procedures that need to be refined and to make sure our court is solving people’s problems, not intensifying them.
Please help me implement this plan for Clarion County – vote Sara Seidle-Patton on May 21. Visit www.seidlepattonforjudge.com to learn more about the depth of experience I will bring to Clarion County’s court system.
(1) Statistics taken from http://www.pacourts.us/news-and-statistics/research-and-statistics/county-caseload-statistics
(Paid for by the Candidate)
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