We, as voters, have some very important choices to make in the upcoming weeks. We will be choosing school board members, city commissioners, state and U.S. senate positions, representatives, supreme court positions and least we forget, the granddaddy of them all — the president.

There are two constitutional amendments on the ballot this election season as well. One supports equal rights for victims of crimes and the other offers guidelines for terms of elected judges.

One amendment outlines that victims of crimes will get protection from their aggressor. Criminals have their Constitutional right to due process. And it seems like they have more rights than victims do, which is absurd. This law will offer better protection from their aggressors. i.e. the criminal who violated the victim’s rights in the first place.

While this seems like a no brainer that victims should be protected from their aggressors, we all need to make that decision in this election.

 The other amendment is a little more in-depth. It’s asking if you are in favor of changing the terms for Commonwealth’s Attorneys term from six years to eight years. Changing district court judges from four years to eight years and requiring district judges to be a licensed attorney for at least eight years.

I like term limits for partisan politicians. If you run on a party ticket, term limits should be enforced. Term limits prevents corruption, cronyism and falling too far to one side. If you look at the career politicians who are in office now, they are full of power and take care of their party and not the entire population. And that’s the reason why noting is getting done in D.C.

In the case of judges and commonwealth’s attorneys, there should be terms and the proposed terms of eight years for each are good for the people. These positions are non-partisan.

Judges are human and will need a learning curve to get their decisions straight as well as keeping the best interest of the people in their decisions. A sitting judge who is on they bench for four years will only get their feet wet for the first two and half years before they start their reelection campaign.

If we want fair and impartial judges who are scholars of the constitution, then we will need to extend their time on the bench. In some cases, limiting judges to four years, which has been the case, hampers their opportunity to completely and fairly assess each case to rule consistently and in accordance with the Constitution.  

 As far as the Commonwealth’s Attorney, extending that term for two years needs to happen. They already have six years and adding another will only make them better prosecutors.

And I have no issues with a judge being a licensed attorney for eight years to be eligible to be a judge. Why that was not a prerequisite is amazing.

There are checks and balances in place to prevent corruption on the bench. In the case of the judge who awarded all the cases for the disgraced disability lawyer, his corruption cost him everything. A judicial review reprimanded a former judge in Pike. It probably should have happened to more judges over the years, but justice was served.

The commonwealth’s attorney, too, is under jurisdiction and can be reprimanded. I have been told there should have been some who should have went to jail but that was way before my time in Pike. But having a judicial authority over them helps keep all of the commonwealth’s attorneys in order.  

Please read the amendments and make your decision. After all, we are the people and we make the choices.

Thanks for reading the News-Express.

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