Reader’s viewpoint: Ernest has the experience
The Times Reporter | by Hank Keathley
Of the three candidates seeking election for judge of the Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court, only Mike Ernest has the necessary criminal trial experience for the position.
The Common Pleas Court is the lone adult felony trial court in Tuscarawas County. The two judges there preside over numerous criminal jury and non-jury (bench) trials. A jury trial is a multi-day affair including juror selection, opening statements, witness testimony, closing arguments, legal instructions and jury deliberations. A jury trial has a certain effective flow, strategies/tactics, and statutory requirements that only actual involvement develops and refines.
Mike has that criminal trial participation essential to be an effective judge in the Common Pleas Court. As a former assistant prosecutor in the New Philadelphia Municipal Court and currently an assistant Tuscarawas County prosecutor in Common Pleas Court, he has prosecuted hundreds of felony and misdemeanor cases, both jury and bench trials. He has been highly successful in both trial types in both courts. Mike has a brilliant legal mind, is personable and articulate, and is well respected by the local judges and attorneys for his expertise.
The other candidates are deficient in criminal trial experience. One concentrates in workman’s compensation law. The other is the law director, but has a three-attorney staff prosecuting misdemeanors in Municipal Court. He previously represented criminal defendants, but was known in the city prosecutor’s office for plea bargaining, rarely trying cases. In my 32-year career in the New Philadelphia City Prosecutor’s office (29 years as prosecutor), I don’t recall any jury trial in which he participated.
Criminal trial experience is essential for the open judgeship seat in the Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court. The logical choice in that regard is readily apparent.
Please join me in voting for Mike Ernest.
James A. Range