Vote for Jennifer Barrett

To the Editor:

Vote for Jennifer Barrett, a "gutsy" force to be reckoned with!

I enthusiastically endorse Jennifer Barrett for Orleans County State's Attorney.

I urge you to vote for her in the Republican primary on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. If you are voting in the Democratic primary, consider writing her in on your ballot.

Why should Jennifer be the next Orleans' County State's Attorney?

She is highly competent and exceptionally skilled as a trial attorney. She is committed and focused on the tasks at hand, whether she is screening a case, preparing a case for trial, engaged in office administration, assisting victims, 0r collaborating with first responders and law enforcement.

While Jennifer possesses that youthful energy many of us long for, she has mature judgment, insight and decision making qualities unmatched by her opponents.

I have tried cases in Orleans County for over 45 years and frankly, I think I have a pretty good idea what it takes to do it well. I know that you have to prepare weekends, late into the nights, and early mornings. You have to deal with victims, pathologists, medical examiners, accident reconstruction experts, lay witnesses, law enforcement, engineers, etc. You have to develop deep insight into their fields of knowledge, so you can "keep them honest" and maintain the integrity of your case.

Above all you must "win the jury", not by theatrics and stretching their credulity. You win cases by preparation, especially in the hard cases.

You win trials by being willing to go the distance and take the risk of losing and learning from that experience.

What is lacking in the Orleans County State's attorney's office today, are the "guts", willingness and competency to take deserving cases to trial.

Jennifer Barrett has the "guts", willingness, competency and PROVEN TRACK RECORD, to take deserving cases to trial and "win" for our community, not just by guilty verdicts, but by learning from "losing".

Stay with me folks. You cannot be an effective state's attorney until you are willing to go to trial and lose, and learn from losing!

Our system requires a jury of our peers make the decisions of "guilty or not guilty" in important cases.

Those who call Jennifer a "rookie" are ignorant. She has more successful trial experience in three and a half years, than Alan and Jim have in the last 4 years combined. She also knows how to organize, be cost-effective and efficient, delegate, and hold herself and others accountable.

Jennifer already has a statewide reputation as an effective prosecutor of domestic assault cases, which are the most difficult to prosecute because of emotions, stereotyping, the impact on the victim and the victim's children. She is sensitive to victims and their children, while keeping her eye on the goal of reducing domestic violence.

Jenn also knows, as did Rudy Guiliani, when he was chief prosecutor in New York City, that retail theft and low level misdemeanors prosecutions known as "zero tolerance enforcement" are often the gateway to lowering serious felony rates, including violent felonies.

When Jenn says she will review those thoroughly and prosecute misdemeanors "that count", it is no "rookie" speaking. It is someone who is a student of effective law enforcement policy.

David Sleigh, one of the most highly respected attorneys in Vermont, especially in criminal defense, and I have compared notes as trial attorneys.

Jennifer Barrett has more trial experience in the last 3.5 years than David and I had combined in our first five years.

Jennifer has been a "Cy Young" pitcher in the majors from the day Alan first hired her to today.

Why should we vote for her rather than the incumbent, Alan Franklin?

Two of the best reasons for voting for Jennifer in the Republican Primary next Tuesday are given by the current Chief Deputy Orleans County State's Attorney, Jim Lillicrap, who was appointed to that position by Alan Franklin.

By running, Lillicrap, an insider, says "I have no confidence in my boss."

Lillicrap adds in Seven Days, "Alan has a different way of doing things. Alan views himself as an island, as opposed to a collaboration, with a common goal to keep our community safe."

We already know Jennifer Barrett has the backing of our first responders, our law enforcement community. They know she has "their backs".

The best reason for writing Jennifer in on the Democratic ballot is given by Jim Lillicrap himself.

Why didn't he take on Alan in the Republican primary as a moderate-conservative?

"Because I didn't want to go through that primary stuff," not quite the courageous, crusading prosecutor Jim paints himself.

Jim wanted a free ride into the November election. Jenn has never looked for a "free ride" anywhere. The reason she left Orleans County was to get a full time prosecutors job to pay her student loans.

Jenn wanted to take on the incumbent in the primary. Jim Lillicrap and Ben Luna wanted to assure themselves a spot on the ballot in November, so they took the easy way out.

Isn't that the real problem with the Office of Orleans County State's Attorney...taking the easy way out.

Vote for Jennifer Barrett, a "gutsy" force to be reckoned with!

Duncan Kilmartin

Newport, Vt.

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