Robert McWhirter has the education and experience to successfully administer the Maricopa County Attorney’s office if he is able to win the Democratic Nomination and best the aspiring Republican successor to now State Supreme Court Justice Bill Montgomery.
A constitutional law scholar who has written 12 books, including a history of the Bill of Rights called Bills, Quills, and Stills: An Annotated, Illustrated, and Illuminated History of The Bill of Rights, Mr. McWhirter has extensive legal experience.
If elected, he pledges to protect the rights of victims and defendants. He would also safeguard the taxpayer’s money from reckless prosecution.
A practicing Catholic with a wife (who is an attorney with the Arizona Corporation Commission) and three sons, Mr. McWhirter sat down at Lola’s Café to discuss his qualifications to become Maricopa County Attorney and his vision for how he administers the office if he won the election in 2020.
The questions and his responses are below.
- Please tell the reader about yourself and give at least two reasons you are qualified to serve as the next Maricopa County Attorney?
“ I have thirty years of experience as a trial and appellate lawyer. I have extensive experience in judicial reform with management and international experience in Latin America. I also have experience training police officers, prosecutors, and court staff.”
“I am running because there is a lot of needs to reform the mass incarceration system and the abuse of taxpayers and victims in that system. The system that unfairly disadvantages the poor and the county attorney can do a lot in addressing the problem or perpetuating it. I decided I cannot keep representing these young people in court and be as good a lawyer for them and not matter because the system is so punitive. Not only do defendants deserve better bit the taxpayers and victims deserve better.”
- Please tell the reader what are at least two duties of the Maricopa County Attorney?
“The Maricopa County Attorney makes you safe from crime and makes sure justice is fair.”
“Mass incarceration laws is both unfair and it abuses both the victims and taxpayers because too many of the wrong people are in jail for too long and it costs too much. Private prisons are a symptom of this.”
- Please tell the reader at least two reasons you would be a better County Attorney than any of the other candidates?
“Republicans (whoever the opponent will probably be) are in lockstep in the mass incarceration movement and the racial and economic unfairness of that is not a concern of the party in the least although there are individual exceptions but as a party they have created the current situation where Arizona has the fifth largest prison population in the country. They are tax and spend conservatives.”
“None of the (Democratic opponents) has my trial and appellate experience. None of them has my international management experience. None of them has my stature in the legal community am an elected member of the Arizona Board of Governors. None of the other candidates speak Spanish. None of the other candidates wrote the bar complaint against Andrew Thomas and against Juan Martinez (the person who prosecuted Jodi Arias) for sexual harassment. None are a constitutional historian and instructor.”
- If elected, what will be at least two goals you will have as Maricopa County Attorney?
“First, I would clean out the top of the office: several people that (former County Attorney, now State Supreme Court Justice) Montgomery has hired back and paid high salaries that do not belong (proponents of mass incarceration). I would get rid of the case “complexity score” where prosecutors have the incentive to place harsher charges on people. I would complete a top-bottom review of all death penalty cases. Under Montgomery 285 death penalty cases were pursued with only 34 convictions, a 12 percent success rate. That is taxpayer and victim abuse. It is the law and if it is the right case, I will seek it regardless of personal opinions. A county of this size should have no more than six cases, not 40 which costs one million per case. They have not released an itemized budget on death penalty cases. I got an acquittal on a death case prosecuted by Andrew Thomas.”
- What would you like the voters to know about yourself that was not covered in the preceding questions
“The biggest opponent for me is fear because people will harp on fear of crime because of the progressive message. I know the system. I know what needs to be done and I have the experience to do it. I also have the ability to win the general election because I know this is about taxpayer abuse and the abuse of victims.”
“I can go to a rotary club and show how it is better to have a convicted felon contributing to society outside of prison and paying restitution to the victims instead of staying in prison for $23,000 a year which is more than a year’s minimum wage salary or per-pupil funding.”
“As the County Attorney, the taxpayer is not going to spend a dime doing the federal governments job. I will not chase after dishwashers and gardeners (who may be illegal immigrants. I will use the money to chase after rapists, child molesters, and murderers.”
“I will give my full support to anyone who is the nominee if I do not get it.”
Mr. McWhirter realizes that the road ahead will require a large commitment of time and cash.
His fundraising goal is at least $500,000 and he knows he has to prove to the voters that he can compete with the other three declared Democratic candidates as well as the eventual Republican opponent.
With his background and experience, McWhirter has shown that he is a candidate that voters should consider supporting.
For more information on Mr. McWhirter and his candidacy, please click on his Facebook page here.