Allow the public to weigh in on criminal cases?
The candidate challenging Dan Satterberg for his job as King County prosecutor argues the community should play a bigger role in court cases.
He believes — generally speaking — people under the age of 18 should be tried in juvenile court and a judge should be the one to decide the facts of the case, not the prosecutor, Daron Morris told the Jason Rantz Show on 770 KTTH.
Morris also says before sending children to court, a public hearing should be held where facts can be presented in front of a judge and the community can weigh in, in advance of a hearing.
The case of the 16-year-old charged with second-degree murder
Take, for example, the case of Emiliano Garcia. He is the 16-year-old driver police were chasing at the time Kent Officer Diego Moreno was killed by another patrol car in pursuit of Garcia and two other teenagers. Garcia was charged with second-degree murder as an adult; accused of being the cause of Officer Moreno’s death.
According to police, Garcia and his friends had been drinking prior to a confrontation that led to shots being fired — as far as police can tell, nobody was injured. Garcia then led police on a chase where speeds reached approximately 95 mph.
Morris says the amount of time Garcia will have to serve may not be appropriate. After all, he didn’t plan the events and wasn’t the “immediate cause” of Officer Moreno’s death.
“That’s where I would like to see a judge make the decision about how a kid should be charged and not to have it decided by the prosecutor’s office at the stroke of a pen,” he said.
Listen to the entire conversation below.