As a former Blaine County prosecuting attorney, I know that the duty of the prosecuting attorney is to prosecute crimes in order to protect society, deter crime, rehabilitate and punish wrongful conduct. Equally, if not more, important is the duty to uphold the integrity of the judicial process to make sure that crimes are prosecuted fairly and under constitutional limitations.
In this case, Jim Thomas and his office have demonstrated enormous skill in obtaining high-profile convictions in some very violent crimes. He has demonstrated that he can obtain convictions. However, I am more impressed by his willingness to uphold the judicial process by making sure that every prosecution, even prosecutions involving the most extreme examples of violence, is conducted fairly. I doubt whether many other prosecutors would have the courage to make such a hard choice.
We in Blaine County are very lucky to have a prosecutor like Jim Thomas and his staff. Jim Thomas sets a good example for the entire judiciary in making tough choices that protect our constitutional rights.
Fritz. X. Haemmerle