Editor: I work in the legal industry, and I have, on numerous occasions, volunteered, pro bono, to assist with post-conviction appeals.
I have had the opportunity to work on unjust-conviction cases in Maryland, D.C. and neighboring jurisdictions in Virginia; I have never had the opportunity to do so in Arlington (or the city of Falls Church).
The reason for this is simple: those cases do not exist in Arlington. And they do not exist in Arlington in large part because our incumbent commonwealth’s attorney, Theo Stamos, runs an exceptionally disciplined and careful office.
The Arlington commonwealth’s attorney’s office (and also, for what it is worth, the Arlington County Detention Facility, run by the sheriff) is known in the region as a model of restraint and respect for defendants’ rights. It is my understanding, in fact, that Ms. Stamos has never had a conviction overturned on appeal despite her decades-long work in the prosecutor’s office. This record and reputation reflects a true commitment to justice.
I have seen up close the tragic human toll that either an unscrupulous or an undisciplined prosecutor’s office can take on vulnerable populations. We are fortunate that Ms. Stamos’ office is not among those.
As an ally to the cause of criminal-justice reform, I urge all like-minded individuals to vote for Ms. Stamos on June 11. She does excellent work. It would be a shame to lose her.
Sara Brescia, Arlington