Fear And Loathing Of The Courts By Lewis and Johnson

Going after and complaining about elected judges for their rulings is a red flag of ignorance of our criminal justice system unless it is just plain pandering to appeal to people’s worst fears to get votes or even worse, lying to the public.

Both Republicans Dan Lewis and Wayne Johnson with their recent commercials promoting their candidacies for Mayor are taking to a whole new level pandering to upset people and to appeal to their worst fears to get votes.

The most disturbing part of both their commercials promoting their candidacies for Mayor is their intentional promotion of ignorance of our criminal justice system, our constitutional rights of due process of law and the presumption of innocence.

Both Republicans Wayne Johnson and Dan Lewis in their commercials show contempt for judges and our criminal justice system.

Attacking our Judicial system and judge’s rulings is a familiar tactic of President Donald Trump and is a lesson learned by both Lewis and Johnson to “gin up” their conservative base in Albuquerque.

It is as if both are trying to one up each other on who has the better attack on Judges.

Lewis says in one FACEBOOK video “We’re gonna hold judges in this city accountable. Judges that misinterpret our laws and they put repeat offenders and habitual offenders back on the street often times before the officer that arrested them is off their shift”.

Lewis even said “we will hold judges accountable in this city, put their faces on billboards and their names and faces on a website that will reveal and show the records they have.”

Johnson has now gotten into the act of bashing judges in his commercials saying he too will hold the judiciary accountable for releasing criminals, so take that Dan Lewis.

The truth is, the City and especially a Mayor has absolutely no authority nor jurisdiction over the courts which is something we need to be very thankful for and it is called “separation of powers”.

A Mayor of Albuquerque has absolutely no control or authority over any Judge and our courts are a state function and the courts are funded by the state.

On the other hand, our courts and judges do have authority over city government whenever litigation is filed against the city to make decisions in civil disputes in a fair and impartial manner as required by law.

All judge’s take an oath of office to preserve, defend and protect our constitution.

Judges are strictly prohibited by the Supreme Court Rules and the Code of Judicial Conduct from commenting on pending cases and voicing opinions that call into question their fairness and impartiality, especially in criminal cases.

Judges are prohibited from defending their decisions and sentencing in a public forum outside of their courtroom so criticizing judges is like “shooting fish” in a barrel.

Republican Dan Lewis and Wayne Johnson in their commercials talk like they are running for District Attorney, Bernalillo County Sherriff or District Court Judge and not Mayor of Albuquerque.

What both Republicans Lewis and Johnson are saying is we need to keep people in jail and forget and ignore our constitutional rights of presumption of innocence and due process of law.

It is so easy to ignore our U. S. Constitution when you are pandering and running for Mayor and essentially say “catch them and lock them up and throw away the key”.

Neither Lewis nor Johnson thus far has proposed any solutions to the root causes of crime among them being poverty, our poor educational system, drug abuse and addiction, high unemployment rates and a failing economy.

All Lewis and Johnson have been saying throughout the campaign is to replace the Chief, command staff, hire more cops and put more criminals in jail and that somehow is going to solve the “culture of aggression” found by the DOJ and reduce our skyrocketing crime rates.

Both Republicans Lewis and Johnson need to articulate real solution for APD and for reducing crime instead pandering to people’s fear of crime and blaming judges.

But then again, coming up with real solutions to reduce our crime rates takes thought and commitment, and why do that when it is so much easier to show your total ignorance of our criminal justice system or just lie to the voters and pander to their worst fears to get votes.

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.