Christopher Darden (Courtesy photo)

With over 44 years of legal experience under his belt, including 16 years as a prosecutor, five years as a law professor at Southwestern University School of Law, running his private practice since the late 1990s and much more, Christopher Darden believes his legal experience combined with his life experience gives him a unique perspective and makes him the best candidate in the running for Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge.

“I think the time is right for certain kinds of judges. I think we have a great bench in Los Angeles, no doubt about it, but it’s not just change is coming; change is here now, and I’d like to be a part of it,” Darden said.

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One initiative that Darden would focus on if elected includes sentencing that considers the strengths, weaknesses and culpability of the person being sentenced. Another focus would be giving judges the judicial discretion to take a broader look at the facts, cases, and individual defendants in hopes of leading to a fairer outcome.

Darden would like to see more resources provided near or within the courthouse. He thinks people should have direct access to social workers, mental health professionals and veteran advocates.

“I think judges ought to be more proactive and when it is apparent that someone in the courtroom is suffering from a mental health issue, I think we ought to identify those people and try to provide them resources and assistance more directly and quicker,” Darden said.

Although Darden believes in some folks being given second chances, he doesn’t think that the court should be a “sucker.” He feels those second chances should only be awarded after careful review and consideration.

“At the same time, of course, we have to protect the community from violent crime. We have to protect our shopkeepers from property theft: our small businesses, those mom-and-pop shops. Every one of those businesses in Leimert Park is important. Important to the local economy and important to the local culture and therefore, they impact the quality of life and the kind of life we live in, and we have to protect small businesses from property crime,” Darden said.

Darden has always had a passion for the law and victims’ rights, and he continues to have that same passion today. One of the things he wants to offer the public in his position if elected, is consistency.

“I want the public to know and I want lawyers to know that if they appear in my court, they are going to be consistently treated with respect in a dignified way, that they’re going to consistently be heard. I see congested court calendars where people are unfortunately rushed in and then rushed out,” Darden said.

According to Darden, there’s no time for these people to be heard and he’d like to change that.

He’d also like to administer a justice consistent with the law and the Constitution and doesn’t allow for “special people.”

“The law applies to everyone equally, but this justice is balanced, balanced meaning that I hope that my rulings take into consideration the rights of victims, the rights of the defendants and the right of the community to be safe,” Darden said.

Darden knows that the job of an L.A. County Superior Court Judge is significant and said he can only imagine how many lives are touched, changed, or altered by the ruling of a L.A. County Superior Court Judge.

“I appreciate the opportunity. I don’t know what’s going to happen come election day. I’m doing this because I feel compelled to do it. I don’t have a secret or selfish agenda. This is one of those times when folks need to stand up — in the right positions if they can,” Darden said.