By David Pfaff
For those of you following the race for District Attorney in Yolo County between incumbent DA Jeff Reisig and challenger Cynthia Rodriguez, I know it can be confusing to try to figure out who to vote for. On the one hand most people want their DA to be tough on crime. Throw the book at them, enough with the bleeding hearts. That is, until they or a loved one ends up facing charges. Then we tend to rethink things a bit. What about compassion and extenuating circumstances? Is justice truly blind?
My experience of District Attorney Reisig goes back to when he was a deputy DA. I have found Jeff and his team to be dedicated, compassionate representatives of the community. Consistently they have been willing to take into consideration important details of my clients’ lives in order to fashion fair and appropriate resolutions. This has allowed my clients to go forward on the most positive terms possible.
In a recent case, Jeff’s team was willing to fashion a plea that spared my client serious and frankly gratuitous immigration consequences that would have prevented him from ever becoming a lawful permanent resident. They took into consideration the fact that he has two young children that need their father and that this was a first offense.
In another case, Jeff’s team decided not to oppose my client’s request to vacate a very old felony conviction involving furnishing marijuana. My client was trying to return to this country legally so that he could be with his wife of many years while she battles serious health problems. After a diligent review of the case, they not only chose not to oppose, but they connected me with a nationally recognized expert in immigration law to assist my client’s cause. My client and his wife are forever grateful.
These are just a couple of examples that illustrate DA Reisig’s willingness, at an organizational level to work toward compassionate justice. The Yolo County DA’s office is not soft on crime by any means.
What makes them so effective is that they combine compassion and attention to detail in a way that promotes meaningful justice. That’s a quality that starts at the top in any organization.
David Pfaff is an Attorney in Sacramento