Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Bexar County Criminal District Attorney

Responsible for prosecuting misdemeanor and felony crimes. Serves as the chief attorney for the county government.

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  • Candidate picture

    Joe Gonzales

  • Candidate picture

    Tylden Shaeffer

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Biographical Information

Is the plea-bargaining system working in Bexar County or would you suggest changes? Please explain.

How would you avoid racial bias in determining which cases should be prosecuted?

What is your position on the death penalty?

Campaign Phone (210) 612-9939
Campaign Email Joe@gonzales4da.com
Experience Born and raised in San Antonio, B.A. in Political Science from St. Mary’s Univ., Law Degree from St. Mary’s Law School, 30 years of practice both as a prosecutor and defense attorney, and served as magistrate Judge for the City of San Antonio for 7 years.
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Gonzales4DA/
Twitter Gonzales4DA
I believe that more must be done to ensure that those accused of crimes, especially, violent offenses are appointed competent counsel. I would suggest a better system of vetting competent counsel and providing compensation commensurate with their experience. Likewise, we must remove the incentive for a jail mate to accept a plea bargain, even though they may be innocent, simply because they do not want to sit in jail awaiting their trial date.
As the next District Attorney of Bexar County, I pledge that the race or ethnicity of an accused will not be a factor in determining whether a case should or should not be prosecuted. Furthermore, the race of the victim will also not be a factor. I will hire experienced prosecutors and train new ones, to use the facts of the case to determine whether a case has merit or not.
First and foremost, my duty as District Attorney will be to keep all the citizens of Bexar County safe. While I believe it is only in very rare instances that I would choose to pursue the Death Penalty, I will reserve the right to use it. Life without parole is an option that I would give great consideration, and it is a viable and less expensive option for keeping violent criminals off our streets. I support efforts for justice reform including adopting a cite and release program.
Campaign Phone (210) 417-4651
Campaign Email tylden@tyldenforDA.com
Experience Licensed 28 yrs, UT Law grad, 9 years experience as a B.C. prosecutor, Top level Felony Prosecutor, lead trial team in white collar and public integrity unit, lead felony district court trial team, tried over 150 jury trials as a prosecutor, Board certified in criminal law, has a state, juvenile, and federal practice, appointed special prosecutor.
Facebook Tylden Shaeffer for DA
Twitter @TshaefferForDA
The Criminal Justice System cannot function without plea-bargaining. It is not possible to take every case to trial. We need to ensure a better review of cases before filing them. I would do that by using a true vertical prosecution team concept again. This means the same team that files a case is the one that tries the case in court. This leads to better decisions and higher accountability--and in the end, more fairness and justice for all concerned.
As a prosecutor I did and as DA I will decide each case based on the merits without regard to race. Racial profiling is wrong and will not be tolerated by my administration. The DA has a duty to serve and protect everyone in the community equally. My administration will not ignore racial bias but rather confront it if/when it occurs as well as work proactively to prevent it. The DA must set the tone for integrity and character in the community.
I support the death penalty as a necessary tool for the DA to use in appropriate cases. It is never sought capriciously or without much careful review and thought. But it is something that as DA I will consider when warranted. Having participated in two capital death cases as a prosecutor, I understand the gravity and seriousness of seeking it. My office will not make such a decision lightly; but likewise, given my actual experience with it, I have the resolve to seek it.