My Principles

  • Justice is not one-size fits all. We need to treat everybody who comes into court, victims and defendants, fairly. That means seeing everyone who enters the courtroom as a human being and not just a case number. My experience as a criminal defense attorney for 23 years and my perspective as a gay, immigrant Latina, means that I understand what works and what doesn’t work in our Travis County criminal justice system.
 
  • People suffering from issues like addiction, mental illness, and unemployment deserve the chance to access programs that address the roots of their problems. However, diversion programs that are available in Travis County are often inaccessible to the people who need them, due to location, expense, the defendant’s work schedule, or other factors. As Judge, I will examine every case to ensure that our alternatives to incarceration work for the needs of the defendant and their families, and ensure the safety of the community.
 
  • Quality legal representation is the right of every single person, not just those who can afford it. That’s why I’ve dedicated my career to helping vulnerable members of our society. I believe a robust, accountable, and fully funded indigent defense program is the best way to guarantee quality legal representation for all those who need it.
 
  • I will work to strengthen alternatives to cash bail and reduce pre-trial detention. People should not be detained for extended periods of time while awaiting trial solely for the reason that they can not afford bail.   In addition, even when defendants qualify for pretrial release or probation, the conditions are often not possible for them to actually meet. We need to make sure that every step of the process including pre-trial, trial, and probation work together to connect defendants to the most appropriate and accessible services.
 
  • The criminal justice system has ramifications for everyone in Travis County, not just defendants and victims. Our entire community is impacted by issues caused by recidivism and over-detention. We need a comprehensive approach to justice. That means examining all the circumstances surrounding a case, and when appropriate, finding paths for those involved to heal and reintegrate into the community.