Salary: $109,183 per year • Term: Four years • Tasks: Oversees the largest law firm in the state with more than 300 employees and 100 attorneys. They prosecute more than 30,000 criminal cases each year. • District: Encompasses Bernalillo County
The conundrum that is Brandenburg—or maybe the whole District Attorney’s Office. What should be the goal of public prosecutors? To lock people up? Or seek justice? Brandenburg’s office is pretty good at locking people up. Maybe a little too good, her opponent during the primaries indicated. Folks are sometimes wrongfully jailed, said Jennifer Romero, or sentenced on inflated charges. The Alibi has reported on a couple of instances where people were imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit. Maybe those men were just casualties in the war on crime. Or maybe the DA’s Office needs to ensure that when it’s working to convict someone, all of the evidence has been processed and points to a solid conclusion. For all that jailing the DA accomplishes, police officers involved in shootings get an easy pass through the justice system. A Journal article pointed out during the primaries that since the ’80s, no officer-involved shooting was found to be unjustified. So the process of putting officers before investigative grand juries was suspended in late May. We’ll see if a more fair system emerges. Brandenburg’s guaranteed a fourth term as she’s challenged by write-in candidate Chris Sturgess (R), who refused our request for an interview and doesn’t appear to be campaigning. Still, we can’t endorse her. We like her emphasis on preventing folks from returning to jail and hope in her next term, Brandenburg keeps her eye on the right prize: justice.