by John W. Parker
John W. Parker is the Cascade County Attorney. He previously served as Chairman of the Law and Justice Interim Committee in the Montana Legislature.
I have spent my entire legal career as a prosecutor. Judge Dirk Sandefur presided over many of my most significant cases. He possesses a brilliant legal mind and a work ethic no one can match. Now unscrupulous political operatives backed by dark money are attacking him using half-truths and lies. I wholeheartedly endorse Judge Sandefur for the Montana Supreme Court and I will set the record straight. Judge Sandefur has rock-solid credentials on criminal justice issues.
Judge Sandefur imposes tough sanctions on criminals who truly deserve them. A man killed his girlfriend’s three-year-old daughter and Judge Sandefur sentenced him to 100 years in prison. Another man brutally raped and beat a young Native American woman. Judge Sandefur told him how dehumanizing his actions were and imposed 100 years. For a domestic violence arson in a multiunit apartment building, Judge Sandefur imposed 70 years.
When a man killed his brother-in-law and stole his van, Judge Sandefur sentenced that killer to 100 years. When a racist pipe bomber from Virginia tried to kill seven local law enforcement officers—deputy sheriffs and Highway Patrol troopers—Judge Sandefur imposed life without parole. When another criminal, high on meth, killed a deputy sheriff in Cascade County, Judge Sandefur once again did his job and imposed life without parole.
Judge Sandefur presided over the jury trials in all these cases and more. His opponent has never been a judge and therefore never presided over a single speeding ticket. Judge Sandefur has handled hundreds if not thousands of child protection hearings in abuse and neglect cases. He has been not only a judge, but also a police officer and a deputy county attorney. He has criminal justice credentials few people in Montana can match. His opponent shows little interest in criminal law cases. The idea that political operatives backed by out-of-state corporate dollars are qualified to comment on Judge Sandefur’s record, yet alone distort it, is ludicrous.
As voters, we can now elect a truly extraordinary judge as our next Montana Supreme Court Justice. In doing so, we can once again defeat dark money, irresponsible innuendo and lies. When you get your ballot, mark the oval next to Judge Dirk Sandefur’s name. He will make a profound difference for the people of Montana.