Opponent Claims Coronado Shouldn't Call Himself a Judge

RECEIVED Fri., Feb. 8, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Jim Coronado's campaign misrepresents my reasons for challenging his use of the title "judge" in his campaign materials [“Postmarks,” Feb. 8] – I am doing this because I want this race to be fair. Our courts have repeatedly said an appointed criminal magistrate is not a judge. It is a class A misdemeanor under the Election Code to use a title in an election campaign that more fairly describes the elected office one is seeking as opposed to the appointed position one currently holds. My campaign is asking the Supreme Court to help us get a definitive answer to this question before the primary, which Jim opposes. As to his "exceptional qualifications," in Texas Lawyer his boss described his job in the last 16 years as primarily taking negotiated guilty pleas, with the occasional pretrial hearing, in third-degree and state jail felony drug cases. Coronado's "rocket docket," aka the "Challenger docket," is anything but expeditious. Jim blames this on the four judges who "unanimously" hired him 16 years ago for forcing him to read from a prepared script. Most of our current judges don't refer any cases to him at all. I, on the other hand, am board-certified in criminal law; I am only the second woman ever to write and grade that board-certification exam; I have handled the capital, first-degree, and second-degree felony cases my opponent has not touched in the last 16 years, if ever; I was deputy chief of the Habeas Corpus Division at the Texas Office of the Attorney General, litigating hundreds of serious felony cases in federal court. I was co-counsel on the second-ever DNA exoneration in Texas and have represented people on death row. I've practiced in state and federal court, from the U.S. Supreme Court on down, for more than 14 years. I read the new criminal cases from the appellate courts every week. I am running because I believe the law is important … much more important than the shallow political interests driving my opponent's campaign, which seem completely divorced from any real concern about who has the legal knowledge and depth of experience to handle very serious criminal cases, not to mention what would be best for the litigants whose lives and liberty will be at stake in that court. I think the important thing to ask yourself before voting in this race is which candidate has the experience you would want a judge to have if you were to stand trial yourself.
Karyl Anderson Krug, M.A., J.D.
Candidate, 427th District Court, Travis County
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