Changes needed

I take issue with The Northern Star’s endorsement in the race for DeKalb County state’s attorney. The endorsement ignores the qualifications and commitment of Jerry Shapiro. Over the course of many years, Shapiro has been of continuing service to all sectors of DeKalb County—including the NIU community.

Of the issues mentioned in the endorsement, several important considerations were ignored. The horrendous 58 percent failure rate of the current state’s attorney’s office in the area of felony convictions mandates that it is time for a policy change in that office. The establishment of a felony review system, as supported by Shapiro, will insure that first-time, non-violent offenders are not needlessly charged with a felony only to go through the costly and time consuming process of plea bargaining at a later date.

Additionally, the assertion that the endorsed candidate has done an adequate job in the area of victim assistance is a very narrow view. A few referals to a mental health center is far from the comprehensive program necessary to assist the victim of a crime to fully recover.

As a law student and concerned citizen, I urge a careful review of the candidates and the issues in the race for DeKalb County state’s attorney. I am sure you will find, as I do, that only one candidate has the broad range of experience and full understanding of the job necessary to bring back the full trust and faith of the people of DeKalb County to the state’s attorney’s office—Jerry Shapiro.

Nick Valadez

NIU Student Regent