On this midweek show, Crystal chats with Leesa Manion about her campaign for King County Prosecuting Attorney - why she decided to run, her endorsement by outgoing prosecuting attorney Dan Satterberg, and the experience she brings with 15 years as Chief of Staff in the KC Prosecuting Attorney’s office. They then discuss the responsibility of the prosecutor’s office in building and maintaining relationships with law enforcement partners, the suitability of diversion versus incarceration as paths in the criminal legal system, and what needs to happen to make prison lead to rehabilitation instead of recidivism. The conversation then shifts to how to balance people’s concern about public safety with trust issues with law enforcement and the court system, the ethics of when prosecutors should turn over evidence, her decision to not seek police guild endorsements, and how the system can do better in advocating for victims rather than re-traumatizing them. The show wraps up with the importance of prosecutor accountability and what is at stake in her race against a seemingly more hard-line and punitive opponent.
As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com.
Find the host, Crystal, on Twitter at @finchfrii and find Leesa at https://www.facebook.com/leesaforprosecutor.
Campaign Website - Leesa Manion: https://leesamanion.com/
“Juvenile division prosecutor defends Restorative Community Pathways” by Henry Stewart-Wood from The Courier-Herald: https://www.courierherald.com/news/king-countys-juvenile-division-prosecutor-defends-restorative-community-pathways
“King County to continue new juvenile restorative justice program, despite pushback” by David Gutman from The Seattle Times: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/king-county-to-continue-new-juvenile-restorative-justice-program-despite-pushback/
Investing For No Return - Final Report from King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office Reentry Summit: http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~public/meetingrecords/2013/cbriefing20130225_4a.pdf
Seattle Community Court: https://www.seattle.gov/courts/programs-and-services/specialized-courts/seattle-community-court
Filing and Disposition Standards - King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/prosecutor/criminal-overview/fads.aspx
“WA prosecutors who withhold evidence rarely face discipline” by Melissa Santos from Crosscut: https://crosscut.com/news/2022/04/wa-prosecutors-who-withhold-evidence-rarely-face-discipline
[00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington State through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes. I am very happy to welcome to the show today: candidate for King County Prosecuting Attorney, Leesa Manion. Welcome to the program.
[00:00:45] Leesa Manion: Well, hello, Crystal. Thank you so much for having me, it's a pleasure to be here.
[00:00:50] Crystal Fincher: Pleasure to have you here. So you have decided to run for King County Prosecutor. What made you decide to run now?
[00:00:59] Leesa Manion: Well, I'm running because I care so much about the work of the office - I care about its importance, I care about its impact on our communities, and I also care about the women and men who have dedicated their careers to public service and are looking for experienced and proven leadership.
[00:01:15] Crystal Fincher: So you talk about proven leadership - our current King County Prosecutor, Dan Satterberg, is leaving the office, bu