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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Candidates on the issues: Spokane County Prosecutor

Are you in favor of the proposed supported release program?

  • Stephanie Olsen

    Yes, says people are being released pretrial anyway and additional structure would be helpful.

  • Deb Conklin

    Yes, says it will reduce the jail population and let people continue with the positive things in their lives like jobs.

  • Stafanie Collins

    Maybe; says she is unsure if offering pre-trial services would motivate people to come to court.

  • Larry Haskell

    Yes. Believes people, largely facing misdemeanors, that the judge sends to it will benefit from the services the program would provide, at a minimal risk to the county.

Should prosecutors' discretion come into play on felony charging decisions?

  • Stephanie Olsen

    Yes, believes the elected prosecutor should trust and empower their deputies.

  • Deb Conklin

    Yes, believes prosecutors' discretion always comes into play.

  • Stafanie Collins

    Yes, says she frequently utilizes her discretion and trusts her coworkers to do the same.

  • Larry Haskell

    Yes, says that prosecutors should remain true to the statues but there always will be borderline cases where discretion is appropriate.

Should prosecutors charge on probable cause or beyond a reasonable doubt?

  • Stephanie Olsen

    Probable cause because at the time of charging often all prosecutors have is a certificate of probable cause from police. Believes, waiting to charge often lets the moment of crisis pass, when intervention is most important.

  • Deb Conklin

    Beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Stafanie Collins

    Beyond a reasonable doubt, unless there is a large community risk then probable cause.

  • Larry Haskell

    Believes prosecutors should charge mostly on the beyond a reasonable doubt standard but can use probable cause if there's a large risk to community safety and a large likelihood of more evidence.

Currently, Spokane County files more felonies than most other counties in the state, including counties with significantly more people. Is the Spokane County overcharging defendants?

  • Stephanie Olsen

    Maybe, believes community is growing and crime is changing. Does not support higher charges to get a plea deal.

  • Deb Conklin

    Yes, says it's a strategy the prosecutor's office currently uses to have "throw-away charges' that can be dismissed in return for a guilty plea.

  • Stafanie Collins

    No, says she hasn't seen anyone overfilling currently in the office.

  • Larry Haskell

    No, says a low decline rate for prosecution is what both Spokane residents and law enforcement want. The office does not overcharge people to get plea deals.