Julia Hutt Sichol for Commonwealth's ...

Julia Hutt Sichol for Commonwealth's Attorney - Platform

Posted in the Colonial Beach Forum

Since: Nov 11

United States

#1 Nov 5, 2011
I have seen discussions on the forum about the upcoming election and wanted to make sure that my platform was clear. All my campaign materials are available at: http://www.facebook.com/JHSforWCCA

I have been a prosecutor in Chesterfield County for almost six years and prior to that served as a public defender in Petersburg for 5 years. I have prosecuted thousands of cases and seen the way other offices operate. I think there is plenty of room for improvements to be made in Westmoreland
County. The following are the problems I see with the way the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is currently run:
• Before I announced my candidacy, Mr. Atkins was
rarely in court. The cases and convictions he takes credit for were for the most part handled by the assistants in his office,not him. The case load in Westmoreland is not high enough to
merit two additional attorneys. For the month of October there were about 140 defendants tried the entire month. I am in court now 3-5 days a week, prosecuting 30-40 cases every week.
Certainly, two attorneys would be sufficient to handle the current case load. I will continue to carry a full case load when elected. I believe this extra attorney is a waste of taxpayer money.
• There is a need to emphasize DUI convictions here in Westmoreland. I would like to see a more active approach in enforcing DUI laws.
• Although there are three attorneys, there is only one victim witness representative for the entire county. I would like to see more victim-centered prosecutions and another victim witness representative. Criminal cases are not just about the crime, but about making sure the victims feel
that justice has been served. A portion of the money saved by eliminating the third attorney position could be used to fund this type of community outreach position.
• The door to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
is closed and locked. There is a video camera outside the locked door and a sign that says knock and someone will be greet you. There is a window where a receptionist could sit to greet people that come to the office, but that too is closed.When the public approaches the office, they are often met with a cracked door and a person on the other side saying Mr. Atkins is too busy to see anyone. I trust the sheriff and his deputies to provide security in the courthouse, so I would
open up the office and make sure that the public is welcomed. Citizens deserve access to their public attorney.
• There is no training provided to law enforcement by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office on new laws or specific areas of law. In my current position, I teach at the police academy. I provide training to officers on how to investigate
domestic violence cases, evidence gathering for sexual assaults and information on how to properly administer juvenile law and policy. Training is imperative to make sure that each case we have to present in court has a solid foundation based on the law.

Since: Nov 11

United States

#2 Nov 5, 2011
Platform continued:

100% Murder Conviction Rate?
There have been six murders since Mr. Atkins took office. He claims to have a 100% homicide rate conviction, when in fact only two of those cases resulted in a murder conviction and one of those two was prosecuted by special prosecutors he had to bring in from Richmond. The other four were either plea agreements or convictions for manslaughter, a deal any murderer would readily take to lessen his or her jail time. In his radio and newspaper advertisements, Mr. Atkins takes credit for “cleaning up Westmoreland County”, when in fact the credit for gains in the war against drugs should be given to law enforcement and
the Task Force that was established in 2007. The officers are the individuals that go out on the street, investigate the drug charges and make the arrests. Months of the drug cases are recorded buys and wrapped in a neat package for the Commonwealth to present to the court. When it comes to getting a significant sentence for those dealers, the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office falls flat. Only a handful of defendants have actually
received significant sentences. Months of
the cases are plea agreements that result in
little to no jail time for the dealer or charges
being dropped. Specifically, arrests made at an active methaphetamine lab at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 have resulted in the following plea agreements:
• Dorothy Roy: Three counts of distribution
of cocaine - 10 years all suspended on each
charge
• James Page: Two counts of distribution of cocaine – 15 years all suspended on both counts
• Louis Brown: Four counts of distribution of
cocaine – all dropped by the Commonwealth
• Derrick Mullins: One count felony distribution
of marijuana: 5 years with 4years and 11 months suspended
• Gregory Baker: One count of distribution of cocaine: 10 years with 9 years suspended
• Michael Olsen: One count felony distribution
of marijuana: 5 years all suspended,one count misdemeanor distribution of marijuana: 12 months
• Samatha Peery: Two counts of distribution of Oxycontin in front of her children: 10 years all suspended on each one, two counts of felony child abuse 5 years suspended on each one
• Brian Geronimo: One count of misdemeanor distribution of marijuana 12 months with 6 months suspended
I will put drug dealers behind bars and end the revolving door of prosecutions and plea bargains.
I was born and raised in Westmoreland County and returned with my husband because we love this county and want to raise our children here. I am
dedicated to the law and protecting the community and I work hard everyday to make sure that every victim I represent has a voice and justice is served.
I believe change is needed and have the support of members of law enforcement,the retired General District Court Clerk, Jane Branson (who served this county for over thirty years) & local attorneys, as well as concerned community members from Kinsale to Colonial Beach that are familiar
with the current office and how it is run.
I treat others with dignity and respect and I am tough, but fair. I assure you my work ethic will extend far beyond the election year. I am asking for your vote on November 8 and I won’t let you down.
just a thought

Warsaw, VA

#3 Nov 6, 2011
You have my vote.
Sally

King William, VA

#4 Nov 7, 2011
You have my vote.
voter

Warsaw, VA

#5 Nov 7, 2011
She was in CB all day Saturday.

Her answers to my questions were
right on target, and I could feel her commitment.
cbvirginian

Colonial Beach, VA

#6 Nov 7, 2011
I'm sorry I missed you at my house Saturday, but I got the information you left. You have my vote and I had already planned to vote for you. Thank you for the information you addressed above. I will introduce myself if you are at the polls in Colonial Beach.
Atkins Ashamed of Sichol

Charlottesville, VA

#7 Nov 7, 2011
Atkins Ashamed of Sichol

I was alerted to the posturing of Ms. Sichol and I am embarrassed for her as well as ashamed of her behavior. She has failed to represent the facts and has become delusive. She has made “misleading” statements.
The files on the cases are a public record and are maintained by the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Even though, the records are public, I WOULD NOT have published their names and references to their cases. I assure you that she has not published accurate information and you may visit the clerk’s office and read the files. Her lack of knowledge and understanding of what issues are involved make her statements irresponsible. One of the cases involve a maximum of 12 years that I could have received on the state charges so I requested that the case be adopted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office (sent it federal) where the period of incarnation is stated to be 27 years to life. That is case management ! Shame on you Ms. Sichol for not knowing what you are talking about and making judgments about things you know nothing about. You are way over your head and overwhelmed.
My office has not yet prosecuted any “meth lab” defendants. The recent dismantling of the two meth labs discovered in Westmoreland in September of this year – please- please get your facts straight- and the issuance of 80+ indictments by the multi-jurisdictional grand jury was very recent and the prosecution of those charged is pending.
Con't
Come On Mr Atkins

Providence Forge, VA

#9 Nov 7, 2011
Mr. Atkins--you say you are ashamed of Mrs. Sichol but you say and know it is public record. How else is the general public suppose to know. You never volunteered the info--now I can see why. Also out of the however many that is listed you have a complaint on only one--the one you say went to the feds. C'Mon Mr. Atkins

Since: Oct 11

Tacoma, WA

#10 Nov 7, 2011
Wow, this is getting heated just hours before the election!!!! Just from reading it looks like Ms. Sichol simply states that the cases were from late 2010 and early 2011. Don't these charges get printed in the Westmoreland News every week? So how is this "letting the cat out of the bag?"
tommyG

AOL

#11 Nov 8, 2011
Sounds like Adkins is getting scared of losing. Its time for a change
CBGranny

King George, VA

#12 Nov 9, 2011
Julia Hutt Sichol won the Westmoreland County Commonwealth's Attorney position. To everyone who voted for her, I thank you. I believe this was the most important election that was held in the County yesterday and I look forward to her tenure.

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