Elect Will Knight as Our Next Maricopa County Attorney
We are at the beginning of a re-enlightenment period. – We are all undergoing a pivotal moment of self-reflection where, as a society, we are struggling to reconcile our nation’s founding principles of justice, democracy, and liberty against the present reality of mass incarceration and growing inequality. We ended up here because career politicians, from all parties, have been using county and district attorney’s offices across this country for personal gain, to advance their own careers. Decades of fear-based, self-interested policies are primarily responsible for the mass incarceration crisis we are facing. Government lobbying the government for more government has given us mandatory minimums, stripped discretion from judges and line attorneys, and created a two-tiered system where “innocent until proven guilty” is a luxury enjoyed only by those wealthy enough to pay exorbitant cash bail.
There is broad, bipartisan support for criminal justice reform. – For example, just last year, Right on Crime, a conservative, Republican justice reform lobby, helped our legislature pass a meaningful justice reform bill, but our county attorney, who had promised not to get involved, used the influence of his office to pressure our governor into vetoing it.
We are all tired of paying an average of $25k in tax dollars per person per year to warehouse non-violent opioid addicts, shoplifters, and people with mental illness in mismanaged, for-profit institutions that do more to create lawsuits than rehabilitate prisoners before their reentry. We are reevaluating who we want to be. Do we want to be a top contributor to the mass incarceration epidemic in the most punitive country in world history, no matter the cost? Or would we rather invest in our schools and teachers, in meaningful diversion and rehabilitation programs, and fund our state mental health hospital, which was defunded several years ago to make room in our budget for more bars.
We are all of us realizing, regardless of party affiliation, that we’d rather invest in ourselves than keep punishing ourselves, that we’d rather create opportunities proven to reduce crime than create revolving doors for repeat offenders who have been incapacitated from contributing to our society.
What should the role of the county attorney be? – Prosecutors are the most powerful officials in the American criminal justice system. The role of the county’s top prosecutor is to balance the scales of justice, to exercise discretion within the law to do what’s in the best interests of the people, with respect and dignity to both victims and the accused. The power and responsibility of this position requires consideration of how crime impacts our communities and our State’s economic well-being.
Will Knight is the Right Candidate. – Will is determined to make a change in Maricopa’s criminal justice system and advocate for an equitable prosecution agenda that instills integrity, fiscal responsibility and trust in the law. Will is a person of color and an American immigrant. On one side, he is the grandson of a police officer killed in the line of duty and the biological son of a drug dealer who was sentenced to a lengthy prison term, and on the other, he is the grandson of a dedicated jurist and the son of a hardworking, entrepreneurial Latina immigrant. Will is an experienced lawyer whose achievements have been honored by local and national bar associations, by the prosecutorial community and the defense bar. Will is an educator, a student, a mentor, a mentee, and a proponent of leading by listening. Most importantly, Will is not a politician, and he has no ambitions for higher office.
Will Knight has the courage to stand up for our community no matter the adversary, to reclaim our justice model from moneyed interests and powerful lobbies. Will has the background to inspire confidence and repair our relationships with communities of color. And Will is motivated solely by that background and by his deep commitment to service and justice reform, so he can and will restore integrity, ethics, and sound discretion to our county attorney’s office.
Will Knight is the right choice for Maricopa County Attorney.