Letters to the Editor

Drug court proves she cares

I am not a resident of Island County and will not be voting in your judicial election to be held Aug. 19. I do have a rather unique perspective on the race and would like to offer my opinion for your consideration.

I am the Superior Court judge for San Juan County, having been appointed by Governor Gregoire. Prior to my appointment, I practiced law for 35 years, appearing numerous times before Judge Churchill. Win or lose I felt that she always listened patiently, considered matters wisely, and ultimately decided fairly and impartially. Neither an attorney or a party to litigation can ask for more.

But as a judge, I have another perspective of Judge Churchill that I would like to share with you. Since my appointment I have been a visiting judge in Island County on occasion. One day I presided over Judge Churchill’s “drug court.” It gave me the opportunity to view more than 20 cases through her eyes and to judge how the defendants involved see her.

Drug court provides defendants charged with drug related offenses an opportunity to participate in an intensively supervised treatment program as an alternative to jail. The idea is to treat the problem and thus avoid future criminal behavior. It works when those involved in administering the program care. In reviewing the meticulous files and notes maintained on each participant by Judge Churchill, it is apparent that she cares and that she is working very hard to help the participants succeed.

In court I could feel that each participant had established a trusting relationship with Judge Churchill. The effort she puts into each defendant is clearly paying dividends for the residents of Island County.

I urge you to vote for Judge Churchill. Beyond being patient, wise, fair and impartial, she really cares for those who come before her.

Judge John O. Linde

San Juan County Superior Court

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