Letter: Williams and Miller have experience, integrity and vision

Graphic by Lori Deaton

For 12 years, I have worked as a social worker advocating for individuals charged with murder in Western North Carolina. I worked with a client alongside Todd Williams when he was a defense attorney, and I have worked with clients who were prosecuted by him, both at the trial and post-conviction level.

I have witnessed through the eyes of my clients and the eyes of victims’ family members the transformation of our DA’s office since Todd was elected. He has worked to resolve cases prior to trial, sparing victims’ families the trauma of trial and avoiding possible death sentences. He has corrected mistakes of our long-standing previous district attorney, seeking justice for men like Kenneth Kagonyera and Phillip Davis.

Is our criminal justice system steeped in racism and the perpetuation of white supremacy culture? Yes. I am fully supportive of dismantling our current system in favor of diversion, reform of cash bail and restorative justice. On these issues, Todd and Ben Scales’ platforms are not significantly different. The difference is Todd is already implementing these reforms, and he is qualified to continue to do so.

I am angry about the beating of Johnnie Rush and the long delay before the public knew of this egregious attack. I am satisfied with Todd’s response. In addition to increased transparency and reform, we need Chris Hickman to be successfully prosecuted. That will happen with Todd in office. Ben, to my knowledge, has never represented nor prosecuted a serious violent felony. An unqualified and inexperienced district attorney is unable to provide justice for anyone in our community.

I have not witnessed Quentin Miller’s work firsthand, as I have Todd’s; however, I trust the opinions of those who have endorsed him as our next sheriff. I believe that, like Todd, Quentin has the experience, integrity and vision we need.

— Noel Nickle


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