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.

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