Standing on History, Building a Record, Positioning for the Future.
THE RECORD OF ACHIEVEMENT
"The Local Courts are the First Defense Protecting the Constitution and the Freedom and Rights of the law abiding Citizens. The public must remain informed about the role of judges in our system, so that they are equipped to select the most qualified judicial candidate to fill the office."
The courts are essential for the constitutional balance of powers in our republic. It is vital for the courts to foster and enhance the people’s confidence and respect for the judiciary, and to ensure that the judicial system is viewed as fair, impartial and free from partisanship.
These are the foundation blocks of our constitutional republic. Our system is dependent upon the people’s confidence and respect for the law, under the governance of a reading of the Constitution which is based upon a historical understanding of the Framer’s intent, and a common understanding of the plain differences between right and wrong.
JUDGE WETZEL RECORD OF ACHIEVEMENTS IN FIRST TERM:
OBTAINED APPROXIMATELY $509,000 PER YEAR IN STATE GRANTS TO FUND 8 FELONY PROBATION OFFICERS, AND AN ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, SINCE 2017. THIS HAS ALLOWED THE COURT TO INCREASE SUPERVISION OVER OFFENDERS IN THE COMMUNITY TO HELP REDUCE REPEAT CRIME AND INCREASE COMPLIANCE WITH THE CHANGES IN THE CRIMINAL SENTENCING LAWS ADOPTED BY THE OHIO LEGISLATURE.
RELOCATED THE PROBATION DEPARTMENT FROM THE COURT HOUSE TO A STAND ALONE BUILDING, WHERE MANY KNOX COUNTY AGENCIES PROVIDE ADULT SERVICES AND SUPPORT PROGRAMS TO PEOPLE IN THE COURT SYSTEM.
2019 STARTED A DRUG COURT, WITH CERTIFICATION FROM THE OHIO SUPREME COURT (I’LL INCLUDE AS AN ATTACHMENT THE LETTER FROM THE CHIEF JUSTICE, AND THE CERTIFICATE).
2017 BEGAN A PRETRIAL SUPERVISION PROGRAM, TO SUPERVISE OFFENDERS WHILE THEY ARE AWAITING TRIAL. THIS REQUIRES OFFENDERS TO REPORT REGULARLY TO THE PROBATION DEPARTMENT SO THAT THE COURT CAN ASSURE THEIR ATTENDANCE AT TRIAL AND HELP TO REDUCE REPEAT CRIME. (SEE PRESS RELEASE).
IMPLEMENTED AN INTERVENTION IN LIEU OF CONVICTION PROGRAM, ALLOWING ELIGIBLE OFFENDERS TO COMPLETE TREATMENT AND ALL OTHER CONDITIONS OF SUPERVISION UNDER OHIO REVISED CODE SECTION 2951.041. IF OFFENDER IS SUCCESSFUL IN THE PROGRAM, THEIR CASE IS DISMISSED AND THEY DO NOT HAVE A FELONY CONVICTION ON THEIR RECORD. IF THEY ARE NOT SUCCESSFUL, THE CASE PROCEEDS TO CONVICTION AND SENTENCING.
COVID-19 PROTOCOLS AND COURT ORDERS IMPLEMENTED BY THE JUDGE, ASSURING SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC, COURT STAFF, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT. PROTOCOLS INCLUDED ORDERS FOR VIDEO APPEARANCES OF OFFENDERS BEING HELD IN JAIL AND IN THE PRISON SYSTEM, TO ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR LOCAL SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES TO TRANSPORT INMATES TO THE COURTHOUSE FOR HEARINGS.
2020 TECHNOLOGY GRANT OF APPROXIMATELY $20,000 FROM THE OHIO SUPREME COURT TO UPGRADE VIDEO EQUIPMENT IN THE COURTROOM, TO ACCOMMODATE COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC, COURT STAFF AND LAW ENFORCEMENT.
2020-2021 PRESIDED OVER 5 JURY TRIALS AT THE KNOX COUNTYMEMORIAL BUILDING TO ACCOMMODATENEEDS FOR ADDITIONAL SPACE TO COMPLY WITH COVID-19 PROTOCOLS.
WORKED WITH CLERK OF COURTS TO IMPLEMENT ELECTRONIC FILING PROGRAM IN 2020 SO THAT MANY DOCUMENTS CAN BE FILED IN THE COURT ELECTRONICALLY, TO REDUCE THE NEED FOR LAWYERS AND LITIGANTS TO ENTER THE COUNTY SERVICE CENTER, SAVING COSTS AND ADDING HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTECTION FOR THE PUBLIC AND COUNTY STAFF.
ESTABLISHED COURT WEBSITE WITH INFORMATION AVAILABLE ONLINE RELATING TO THE COURT SYSTEM, JURY DUTY, LOCAL RULES, ACCESSIBLE FORMS, PROBATION DEPARTMENT, AND CURRENT ORDERS OF THE COURT FOR COVID-19. WWW.CO.KNOX.OH.US/COMMONPLEASCOURT.
CONDUCTED 20 JURY TRIALS 2017-2021.
Since being elected to his first term in 2016, Judge Wetzel has proven his qualifications and commitment to serve the needs of the people in Knox County, and to continue to preserve the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary.
Our local courts in Knox County have earned a reputation for prompt and efficient administration of justice. As a judicial candidate, I am dedicated to continue to preserve the confidence and respect of the people in our local courts, through dignity and fairness, and impartial decision making, based upon the facts and the law of each case.
Strong leadership is vital to guaranteeing the constitutional rights and liberties of the people. We live in challenging times, where wise and experienced leadership in the courts is essential to preserve the future for our children and grandchildren.
REELECT RICHARD WETZEL FOR JUDGE
COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
KNOX COUNTY, OHIO
A Good Judge Shows Impartiality, Judicial Temperament, and Independence from influence
Prompt decisions should be made on the basis of the facts and law of each case. Each case is unique.
Character and courage is needed to make the right decision, even if it is unpopular.
The People should have confidence that the judge is fair, impartial, and non-partisan.
Maintaining an open mind and uncommitted spirit with respect to cases before the court is essential.
A good Judge affords the opportunity for each person to have their day in court.
Wisdom and Discernment to adhere to a basic understanding of right and wrong.