Ashton Slams Lamar’s ‘Most Ridiculous’ Claim
Former prosecutor, Jeff Ashton, running to become the next Orange-Osceola County State Attorney, completely rejects the idea that he is soft on crime, as his opponent and incumbent Lawson Lamar has claimed.
In an exclusive interview with West Orlando New Online, Ashton said, a review of his record as a prosecutor will demonstrate that he is absolutely not soft on crime.
“…I have aggressively prosecuted hundreds of cases and I have put hundreds of people in prison that deserved it,” said Ashton, who worked as a prosecutor for 30 years up until 2011. ”I’ve put 12 people on death row because they deserved it. So, to say I’m soft on crime is the one argument that Mr. Lamar makes that is the most ridiculous of all.”
Ashton thinks that every crime ought to be looked at on a case-by-case basis and resources must be focused with the view to making communities the safest places to be. He also thinks resources in the State Attorney’s office could be better directed toward making Orange-Osceola County safer.
“Every decision we make should have as its base, ‘What is the best thing I can do, in this case, for the community?,” Ashton said. “Sometimes, with a particular defendant that might be restorative justice….in others, particularly violent cases, you have to concentrate your resources on taking that person off the street and making sure they cannot hurt anyone again.”
Ashton believes that, involving communities in a partnership with law enforcement to work toward solutions, would go a long way to help solve many of the crime-related problems communities face . ”Throwing people in prison is not the only answer,” he added.
Lamar will face Ashton in a Democratic primary set for August 14, 2012. The winner of that open primary race will be the next State Attorney for the next four years. There isn’t a Republican candidate in the race. Early voting runs from August 4-11.