This winter I completed a nine-week program put on by the Denver District Attorney's Office to explain its program to the public. It was an interesting and well-run advocacy program that showed off the prosecutorial skills of the office, which are considerable.
It also emphasized a prosecutorial spirit that celebrates convictions and disdains reversals - as well it might, you could say, because the staff are all prosecutors. Correct, but then all the more reason that judges, not prosecutors, should make the all-important decision of whether or not to file against a juvenile as an adult ("Argument on kids vs. adults," Live from the Colorado Legislature, March 12).
The cool hand of justice - balancing punishment with rehabilitation - was not in evidence during my course. The strong voice of victims of crime was present at every stage. While victims certainly deserve the help of the city, they are ill-equipped to decide questions of justice. So I am strongly in favor of returning to our practice of allowing judges, whose mission is neither prosecution nor defense, to decide which court is appropriate for the accused.
Rocky Mountain News