Melanie Newkome Jones

MelanieJones-JudgeCOA-www

Melanie Newkome Jones

Running for:
Political Party Democrat
Campaign Website: https://jonesforjudge.com/
225-344-2200
533 Europe St. Baton Rouge 70802

SURVEY RESPONSES

Ranked Statements
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Short-answer Questions
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1. What should voters consider when choosing their Judge for Appeals Court? What makes a good temperament for a judge?

The voters should look at the candidate’s experience in the courtroom and in the appellate courts. A judge should be knowledgeable about the law and be experienced in the courtroom. He or she should be conscientious and courteous to all persons appearing before him or her.

2. How have your legal experiences prepared you to work in the Appeals Court system and deal with cases from a variety of backgrounds?

I have extensive experience in the courtroom, handling hearings on a weekly basis in all courts in the Baton Rouge area for over 29 years. I have conducted bench trials and jury trials, as well as appearing before the Appeals Court on numerous occasions. My general civil practice provides a background in many areas of law, including civil, family, successions and some criminal matters.

3. What are your views on whether the court, as a whole, deals effectively with racial and gender bias?

I adamantly oppose any racial or gender bias in the courts for any reason.

4. How will your legal views on LGBTQ issues impact your decisions regarding adoption and custody rights as well as the treatment of LGBTQ defendents?

I believe that all persons are to be treated equally in all matters before the court, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or any other characteristics. I have represented same sex partners in adoption and have represented LGBTQ parties in custody matters and property partitions.

5. How has the War on Drugs been effective and ineffective? What is your view on mandatory sentencing for non-violent drug offenses?

I believe that the War on Drugs has not been effective. We have an epidemic of drug abuse and therefore, increased crime. I think that it has been effective only in the sense that it has brought the importance of drug abuse to the forefront, but there needs to be a greater stress on education and mental health treatment instead of incarceration. I believe that judges must rule on all matters that come before them by applying the law(s) in effect at the time to the facts of the case. The sentencing guidelines are legislative, not judicial.

6. What is a judge’s responsibility regarding the growing problem of overcrowding in Louisiana’s prison system?

I believe that judges should review sentences and attempt to fit the appropriate sentence to the crime. If there are effective sentences that can be imposed that do not involve incarceration, those options should be explored.

7. Do you believe all citizens have adequate access to legal assistance and the appeals system? How can this access be improved?

I do not believe that the average person could easily maneuver the appeals process. It is complex and requires legal experience. Once on the bench, and being integral in the appellate court, I would explore options to make appeals more accessible to self-represented parties. All persons should have access to justice at all levels in the judicial system.

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