Chad Dotson – On the Issues4 min read

The following questions were asked by the Advocates for a Prosperous Community, in conjunction with the Iron County Republican Party.

Do you support informing the jury of the potential sentence for each alleged offence?

I believe that a jury should determine the guilt or innocence of a person based on the facts and evidence presented at trial and whether or not the evidence meets the elements of the alleged offence. 
While I am not opposed to the idea of juries having input on what a just sentence should be, I feel that the potential sentence of alleged offence is not important to the fact finding mission of a jury. Indeed, the potential statutory sentence of any given offence is often not even close to what a person receives after being convicted of a crime.
For example, 90 days in jail with a $750 fine is the potential sentence for Public Intoxication. However a very routine sentence for this type of offence is a smaller fine, substance abuse evaluation, and community service.

Do you support informing jurors of their power to nullify an unjust verdict? Do jurors have a right to know about this option in every case?

Yes, strongly support informing jurors in all cases

If elected, what are three changes you wish to enact?

  1. A famous Navy Seal said that “There can be no leadership when there is no team.” I will develop a spirit of collaboration and unity with our partners in the justice system and members of the community. We will come together, keeping open lines of communication to identify and solve problems. My experience serving in the U.S. military, and as prosecutor have shown me that when we work together to solve problems, we come up with solutions that are more creative, more targeted, and which are better for our community.
  2. As county attorney I will attend county commission meetings and be available and approachable to county officials. Additionally, all deputy county attorney’s in the office will be available to help county officials in civil matters. As our county grows, the County Attorney’s office will rigorously and meticulously assist county officials avoid pitfalls, and litigation. Additionally, we will give advice to place the county on the surest legal footing in order for Iron County to move forward and thrive.
  3. As a parent of small children I share the fear and anxiety that comes along with sending a child to school in the 21st century. While we can never prevent all tragedy while living in a free society, we must be diligent in holding violent offenders accountable. We must make sure that restricted persons and convicted felons are not gaining access to firearms in our community. When they do, they must be prosecuted and held accountable. As County Attorney, my team will work strategically with law enforcement to keep our schools, homes, and community safe by holding accountable those who victimize our people.

What is your position regarding “civil asset forfeiture”

Civil asset forfeiture can be abused, and should be limited to only extreme cases

How do you propose to reduce the harm done to our community resulting from drug abuse? Do you think there are better ways to combat this problem?

As a prosecutor in the Iron County Attorney’s Office I have been on the front lines and have witnessed the harm done to our community from drug abuse. We need to be smarter in how we combat this problem. One way we do this is alternative courts. I am currently the Iron County Drug Court prosecutor in the 5th District Court where I work with the treatment team to help individuals with addictions who want to better their lives. This phenomenal team assists participants gain housing, employment, and sobriety. Many participants enter the program homeless, with felony convictions, and negative associations. When successful, participants graduate the program sober, with jobs, and often reunited with family and positive peers. When qualified candidates can make these changes, they will no longer abuse drugs, steal and lie to feed their addictions, and become contributing members in society. 
Another key component to combat the drug problem is finding and stopping dealers and suppliers. I work closely with the Iron/Beaver/Garfield Counties Narcotics Task Force. We work together to disrupt drug dealers operations and send them to jail. The Task Force is a motivated group and I am proud to have the endorsement of Commander Jeff Malcom, Agent Dane Glazier, and Agent Tyler Uresk. 
We can and must continue to adapt and reassess our strategy as we combat this problem and find solutions for the 21st century.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. What is your religious affiliation if any?

  2. I am preparing to send in my ballot. I considered myself a patriotic Republican until July 4th of this year. My husband passed away from cancer 3 years ago leaving me to raise my 4 children. Fireworks is something that he had fun doing with the kids. They asked if we could do “fireworks like we did with Dad?” The morning of the 4th, I went down to a fireworks stand in the Walmart parking lot and bought fireworks with other people here in Cedar City. That night, we lit them in our driveway on our 20 acre farm while we sang patriotic songs. Next thing I know, a Sheriff pulled on to my property. I met him and asked what was wrong. It turns out that less than 24 hours earlier, the fire marshal posted a notice on Facebook that fireworks would not be allowed in unincorporated areas of Cedar City. I explained that I am not on facebook and had just purchased them that morning and there was no notice. He said, “that was not his problem and they have a zero tolerance policy.” We ended our fireworks for the evening. I called the courthouse…showed up at court…got an attorney…the prosecutor didn’t even make eye contact with me. I travel to Canada for work and cannot have this on my record. I am an upstanding citizen…how can my own government treat me this way? It makes me emotional just writing this. My brother serves in the Army. I have a flag on my front fence. Now I find myself questioning our process and our legal system. This has been going on since the 4th of July…I paid an attorney to negotiate on my behalf because I cannot have this on my record. They have reduced the fee…but haven’t even bothered to file the paperwork….they want me to appear a third time at the courthouse on Monday. How is this right? How is this legal? How do I get charged with a crime when I didn’t even have access to the law? When did Facebook become Cedar City’s forum for announcing laws to the pubic? I voted for Mr Dotson as a Republic and because I have friends in this area who say you are an honest guy…but I am voting to not retain a single judge on the ballot…I am not voting for any of the members for Iron County positions except for Jon Whittaker (I have had good experience with him) even though they are uncontested because they obviously do not represent me. You should know that you have a very conservative voter who has lost confidence in nearly every representative in Utah. I feel bullied by the government that is here to serve the people.

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