David Leavitt for Utah Attorney General
It's time to focus—on UTAH!
Utah needs an attorney General that UNITES and Leads

1) Reducing Plea Bargains

How a few small measureS bring Greater protection to constitutional freedoms.

Plea bargains have a place in our justice system. But they have become tools used to bypass courts--sometimes at the expense of justice. Plea bargains are under the discretion of the prosecutor, so there are no true standards of when they can and should be used. Some have used pleas to pile on charges so that charges can be reduced and the defendant shipped off to jail.

I know we can do better. I know that the key to reducing plea bargains is in the screening process. We've completely restructured the screening process to bring appropriate checks and balances, to identify areas that need additional investigation, and to bring more predictability to the disposition of the case. We still plea cases, but we do it with greater consistency, and we are sending more trials to court as jury trials. It won't change overnight. But we can create more fairness by protecting everyone's Constitutional rights.

2) Restoring the Jury Trial

The People alone were given the right to accuse and the right to determine guilt.

We could go into a great history lesson here about how and why the right to accuse a crime and the right to determine the guilt for the crime was never given to government. It was given to THE PEOPLE.

So how did we get to the point that we plea bargain 99% of our cases. That's the history lesson. It eroded over time. We are perilously close to losing a right provided in the Constitution if we don't draw the line in the sand.

As the Utah County Attorney, I've worked to help us return to trying more trials by jury. I find key benefits mean that we have attorneys that are prepared to go to trial with solid evidence. It recognizes the value of solid investigative work provided by law enforcment because they are given an opportunity to witness to the evidence collected. It helps all of us a citizens to appreciate the Constitutional rights afforded to us. 

It gives US the opportunity to protect those rights from eroding completely away. We have a Republic, like the Founders said, if we can keep it.

3) Changing Addiction

Ending the revolving door of addiction and lost taxpayer dollars invested in 14 day jail terms.

Addiction is a tough one. The War on Drugs has turned into a War Against the People Addicted to Drugs. Addiction is a complex issue. 

Focus on jailing the true criminals. I fully support law enforcement and our task forces in going after cartels, gangs, dealers, and manufacturers. They need and deserve to serve time in prison for the destruction they bring to our society. 

But I think you may agree that addiction belongs in its own category. In our county, nearly 90% of offenders are non-violent, and many are dealing with addiction while they await their day in court. Sometimes for months. Certainly long enough to lose a job, a place to live and destroy their futures.

I started the first pre-filing diversion program in the state—maybe the nation— that allows a contractual agreement, mentoring, and help paid by the participant in an effort to not be labeled a criminal. When we create and label people as criminals we change the trajectory of their lives. We destroy opportunities for rehabilitation, work, housing, and becoming a contributor to society.

We are smart enough to create programs that encourage connections between mentors and participants that result in change. For those tough cases, where someone doesn't want to change? They get to go through the court systems.

Why are we reaching out to connect with Utah? Because this office is a sacred trust of the people of Utah and should serve all the people of Utah. Thank you for your time, your questions, and your thoughtfulness.  

  • 27 Town Halls
  • ​2 Special Events
  • ​Dozens of Emails
  • ​Too many texts to count!
  • ​Phone calls unnumbered!
  • ​And more videos than you could ever watch on our YouTube Channel BUT HOPE YOU WILL! 
It's time to focus on prosecuting crime that is hurting people.
IT's our focus to bring meaningful reforms
After just 14 intensive months full of innovative reforms to the Utah County Attorney’s Office, David Leavitt will seek to unite Utah’s 29 counties to become a model of criminal justice reform.

“In a nation that incarcerates more people than anywhere in the world, we have work to do,” Leavitt said. He continues, “Most of those are non-violent offenders. We have done a poor job at trying to help these offenders come back into society.”

Leavitt believes that he can help unite counties, some urban and some rural, in some of the innovations that created change in Utah County. Some of those changes include an innovative pre-filing diversion program designed to not make criminals out of nonviolent personal use drug offenders, providing them an opportunity to restart their lives.

“90 percent of offenders are not violent people. While some just need to be locked up, the vast majority of offenders need different options for punishment and rehabilitation.” Leavitt is one of six elected American prosecutors identified by the American Bar Association who is changing the paradigms in criminal justice). Leavitt is passionate about working to reduce the system’s revolving door of recidivism by finding different solutions. “You can’t prosecute your way out of addiction. You can’t jail your way out of addiction.”

Featured Videos from our YouTube Channel

Have Plea Bargains Hurt Us?

Tough on Crime? 
Let's Be Smarter on Crime

Integrity and Upholding 
the Public Trust

How did the Plea Bargain 
Replace Jury Trials?

President Trump on Criminal Justice Reform

Watch this and then I have 3 questions for you!

“There's a real difference in prosecuting for THINGS vs. PEOPLE. We're turning our focus to prosecute 
PEOPLE who HURT PEOPLE. 
Many of those types of crimes have long been 
pushed to the back burner. It's time to FOCUS on PEOPLE.
- David O. Leavitt
up to 60%
OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IS
FOCUSED ON ADDICTION
up to 90%
OF THOSE JAILED ARE
NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS
2.3 million
PEOPLE ARE IN JAIL OR PRISON
IN THE UNITED STATES
“In a nation that incarcerates more people than 
anywhere in the world, we have work to do. 
Most of those are non-violent offenders. 
We have done a poor job at trying 
to help these offenders come back into society.”
- David O. Leavitt
Follow the campaign online and join the discussion online.
© Copyright 2020 Committee to Elect David Leavitt. All rights reserved. 
PAID FOR BY THE COMMITTEE TO ELECT DAVID LEAVITT
CUSTOM JAVASCRIPT / HTML

Did you see the Survey Results?