Posted by Dale Liesch | May 13, 2022 | Bay Briefs, Latest, News | 0 |
Republican candidate for district attorney Buzz Jordan is hoping to make justice even more swift, by working to indict those arrested for violent crimes within three months.
His so-called 90-day DA program would bring indictments for major crimes more quickly by prioritizing violent offenders over those charged with non-violent drug-related crimes.
“You know, the DA’s office controls the grand jury, not the judges,” Jordan said. “So, here you have a backlog of murder cases, you could present those in less than 90 days. You could indict every single violent offender in every murder case in less than 90 days.”
When it comes to forensics and other reports that can take longer to process than the three-month timeline Jordan has promised, he said he would secure an indictment without those. Also, he said, by prioritizing violent crime, the laboratories could work more efficiently. Currently, Jordan said, drug cases “clog up” the system.
“You have the ability to go out to the forensic sciences and prioritize those things,” he said. “We work with them and help them to do so.”
Jordan, a private practice attorney who will face current Chief Assistant District Attorney Keith Blackwood in the GOP primary on May 24, spent 10 years as a Mobile County prosecutor. Before that, Jordan was a clerk for a federal judge and also worked in civil defense doing insurance work.
“I wanted to be in the courtroom, so I got on with the District Attorney’s office and was in there for 10 years, from 1985 to 1995,” Jordan said.
While in the DA’s office, Jordan was the first prosecutor assigned to the Child Advocacy Center and was one of the first members of the team specializing in murder cases.
“I tried over 220 cases; that’s 220 jury cases over that 10-year period,” he said. “I took prosecution personal and I tried cases.”
As an assistant district attorney, Jordan said, he was part of the largest public corruption case in the history of Mobile County. He would bring that kind of experience to investigations involving public corruption and white-collar crime. He believes the current DA’s office did not act quickly enough when dealing with the allegations levied against former Prichard Water Works and Sewer Board manager Nia Bradley.
Specifically, Jordan said, Ashley Rich’s office should have investigated the allegations when they were first made four years ago.
“When that whistleblower complaint was made to the DA’s office four years ago, the office has investigators you can assign to go out and interview him and start obtaining those records immediately,” Jordan said. “So, the District Attorney’s office could have thoroughly investigated that and obtained records to corroborate that whistleblower’s complaint and could have worked in tandem with the U.S. Attorney’s office, which is what I did when I was there. That could’ve been done, but I haven’t seen any relationship between this office and the U.S. Attorney’s office to prosecute political corruption cases.”
When it comes to gun violence in the community, Jordan believes the district attorney has a responsibility to act proactively to help prevent it before it starts. One avenue to accomplish this, he said, would be to institute a “Cops and Kids” program in Mobile County. Funding through the donation of 10 percent of his salary as DA, Jordan said the program would send police officers, sheriff’s deputies and even FBI agents into local schools to help build strong, positive relationships between law enforcement and students.
“Officers are going into elementary and middle schools and working with these kids, building that respect that I had when I was in elementary school for law enforcement,” Jordan said. “Building that respect with kids to where they won’t be the ones involved when they become 13, 14 and 15, getting guns and going out on the street because they’ll have a love and a bond with law enforcement.”
Jordan also said he’d work with Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine on preventative measures as well. While prevention is key, Jordan also believes swift prosecution of violent crimes, through his 90-day DA program, will also act as a deterrent.
“If we’re getting them moving that fast, number one, they’re off the street. Number two, they’re sending a message — don’t come into Mobile County and do any shooting because you’re not going to be roaming the streets,” he said. “You’re going to be in jail fast, you’re going to be indicted quickly, you’re going to be prioritized and you’re going to be put on a docket with our judges to get you sent up the road as quickly as possible.”
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Dale Liesch has been a reporter at Lagniappe since February 2014. He covers all aspects of the city of Mobile, including the mayor, City Council, the Mobile Housing Board of Commissioners, GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico and others. He studied journalism at The University of Alabama and graduated in 2007. He came to Lagniappe, after several years in the newspaper industry. He achieved the position of news editor at The Alexander City Outlook before moving to Virginia and then subsequently moving back a few years later. He has a number of Alabama and Virginia Press association awards to his name. He grew up in the wilderness of Baldwin County, among several different varieties of animals including: dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, a horse and an angry goat. He now lives in the Oakleigh neighborhood of Mobile with his wife, Hillary, and daughter, Joan. The family currently has no goats, angry or otherwise, but is ruled by the whims of two very energetic dogs.
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