Judge candidates focus on future in debate
Upgrades in the technology in Douglas County’s courts helped reduce the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their schedules.
On Wednesday, District Judge Tod Young and challenger Caren Cafferata-Jenkins debated at a town hall sponsored by the Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe chambers of commerce, The Record-Courier and the Business Council of Douglas County.
Cafferata-Jenkins said Nevada is one of 22 states where judges are elected.
“Voters voices are silenced when nobody challenges the incumbent,” she said. “It’s time for our judiciary to represent all of us.”
Young said every time a jury is seated in his courtroom he begins every case telling them that he works for them.
“I always begin that way, because it reminds the courtroom and reminds me that I work for the community,” he said.
One of the most difficult things to do during the coronavirus has been to hold trials.
“It’s important that no case should be rushed through the system,” Cafferata-Jenkins said. “Each case deserves the same care as any other does.”
Young said that in part due to the technology, there isn’t a backlog of cases and pointed out that the first felony jury trial since the outbreak began was conducted the previous week.
“We increased the technology capable of having people appear remotely 3-4 years ago,” Young said. “All of that technology makes our courtrooms the best in the state, and kept us from having that delay.”
The two candidates differed on how best to deal with the decreased capacity in the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center.
Cafferata-Jenkins suggested separating the courtroom and the sheriff’s office, which Young said would create security issues.
She pointed out that only a fifth of the cases before the district courts are criminal while a third are civil.
“These cases are identical to the types of cases I represented clients in,” she said.
District judge is a nonpartisan race and will appear on all ballots in Douglas County.
To watch the debate go to http://www.ngbndc.tv/live-streaming/virtual-town-hall-debate/