Home Nonviolent defense Ok so. County judge candidate Rand Eddy: Courts need ‘more humanity’

Ok so. County judge candidate Rand Eddy: Courts need ‘more humanity’

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Oklahoma City attorney Rand Eddy is not part of a marginalized group. Yet he has seen firsthand the traumatic effects police brutality has on his clients and the community he seeks to serve as an Oklahoma County judge.

“I think it got worse,” Eddy told the Black Wall Street Times in a Zoom interview as he recounted representing the family of Stavian Rodriguez, a 15-year-old kid who dropped his gun before guns. OKCPD agents shot him dead on 23 November. , 2020.

Eddy felt a sense of relief when the five officers involved in the shooting were accused of manslaughter.

Yet as other cases of brutality continued soon after, and with no trial date set for the five officers who killed Rodriguez, Eddy said he felt a desire to do more for the underprivileged.

As an attorney known for representing the families of victims of police brutality, Rand Eddy seeks to bring a rehabilitative approach to an elected office that is often overlooked, but crucial to criminal justice reform – Oklahoma County Judge.

“I would take each case on its own merits. But I feel like I would bring a little more humanity to the job,” Rand Eddy, a candidate for Oklahoma County judge, told the Black Wall Street Times.

Run for Oklahoma County Judge

With a legal career spanning over 35 years, Eddy began as a court-appointed attorney before moving into private practice. He has represented workers in labor law and, as a criminal defense attorney, he has sued law enforcement and other government agencies for civil rights violations.

“I’ve always kind of viewed my law practice as a form of public service,” Eddy said.

Perhaps most notably, he represented the family of Stavian Rodriguez, as their family continues to await a trial date for the five OKCPD officers charged in his death.

“This case was heartbreaking. Losing him at that age the way it happened was absolutely devastating,” Eddy said.

Just days after that November 23, 2022 shooting, the OKCPD shot and killed Bennie Edwards, a 60-year-old black man who was going through a mental health crisis as he fled from the officer. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater ultimately in charge OKCPD Sgt. Holman Cliff with manslaughter, another rare case of an Oklahoma police officer facing criminal penalties for excessive force.

Police brutality, death in prison and alternative sentences

Both cases reflect Oklahoma City’s morbid status of having one of the deadliest police departments in the nation, according to data from Mapping of police violence.

“I think there have been opportunities for OKCPD to defuse,” Rand Eddy said, but he doesn’t think they’re doing a good job.

For his part, Oklahoma County judge candidate Rand Eddy wants to bring a perspective to the bench that recognizes the lived experience of Oklahoma County’s most marginalized residents.

“I see justice on that side of the fence. I feel like we have a high level of incarceration rate here in the state and in the county. Some of the highest in the country,” Eddy said.

Certainly, even after hundreds of commutations in 2019, Oklahoma continues to maintain one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, despite no longer being number one in the world, according to a Oklahoma Policy Institute 2020 Report analyst Damion Shade.

As Oklahoma County Judge Rand Eddy says he would focus more on alternative sentencing options for nonviolent offenders, especially as remand inmates continue to die in record numbers in the sadly notorious Oklahoma County Jail. Six people have already died there in 2022 alone, the Oklahoma announced at the end of March.

Given the risk to inmates who have not been found guilty and were not facing the death penalty, Rand Eddy said “it is extremely important” to use alternative sentencing options.

“Public safety” at the center of candidate Rand Eddy’s concerns

Still, he made it clear he understood his role was simply to judge on the merits of each case and said he takes the safety of Oklahoma County residents seriously.

“I’ve seen the worst and can tell when society needs protection from an individual. I have experience through and through. As a judge, in order for justice to be done, I would absolutely take public safety into consideration. Something was on my heart and on my mind at all times,” Eddy told the Black Wall Street Times.

Ultimately, Eddy said some of the biggest differences he would bring to the bench might seem like the smallest details.

“I will treat people with respect. When you go to court, the type of judge you have is crucial. No one will be mistreated or belittled in my courtroom. I will adjudicate all cases fairly and efficiently.

Voters will go to polls to select the next Oklahoma County judge on Tuesday, June 28.