Throughout 2014, Lisa Smittcamp promised to turn things around at the District Attorney’s office. Well, she’s been in office for over a year now and I don’t see any difference.
The proof of that is in the Darren Klassen plea bargain and sentence that was reported May 16. Mr. Klassen faced 37 felony counts involving sex with a minor and was allowed to plead to five. Why? This case should have gone to trial so he could be convicted on all those counts. His attorney said it was the right decision. Of course, it was but the DA should never have made that offer to him.
Mr. Klassen should be spending a significant amount of time in prison. One year for each of the 37 counts should be enough for violating everyone’s trust. The plea deal is a punch in the gut to his victim and a slap in the face to the public.
The DA’s office is supposed to be the voice of the people and in their own words, “The last line of defense in the justice system.” But the voice of the people was silent in this case. The people weren’t even given the chance to speak.
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Robert McEwen, Fresno