Letter: Rosemary Lawler, Leesburg

Editor: I’m responding to Ellie Lockwood’s letter supporting prosecutor Nicole Wittman for Commonwealth Attorney while denigrating her opponent Buba Biteraj’s record as a defense attorney, and Jennifer Wexton’s record as a former prosecutor.

Ms. Lockwood shows ignorance of how our judicial system works, along with a lack of respect for its foundations – including the presumption of innocence and the right to a full and vigorous defense for every person charged with a crime.

A prosecutor’s job is to prove guilt of the crimes charged beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury of the defendants’s peers. Sometimes the prosecutor’s job is to recognize that the proof – beyond a reasonable doubt – does not exist, and justice is better served by a guilty plea to lesser charges.  Is Ms. Lockwood saying that Nicole Wittman has NEVER offered and accepted a guilty plea to lesser charges? Is she saying that Ms. Wittman has promised NEVER to do so in the future, in any case yet to come before her? I find that difficult to believe.

With respect to her complaints about Buta Biberaj’s role as a defense attorney: it is an uncomfortable principle of our judicial system that even those charged with the most heinous of crimes are entitled to a full and vigorous defense. Defense attorneys are ethically bound to make every honest effort to undermine the elements of proof in the prosecutor’s case and to mount a vigorous positive defense, all to convince the jury that there is reasonable doubt about the charges and the case presented. I am not appalled that Ms. Biberaj has embraced that philosophy in her practice, I applaud it. 

Does Ms. Lockwood dispute this is the essence of our system, flawed in result though it might sometimes be? Is Ms. Lockwood advocating for going back to the days prior to the Magna Carta, which established key precedents for our judicial system? Does Ms. Lockwood believe that if you’re arrested and charged you must be guilty, with a trial and a defense neither needed nor allowed?

Personally, I believe both sides in our courtrooms are served best by those who vigorously defend our system of justice and the rights guaranteed within the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth,  Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. I believe the years of defense experience Buta Biberaj brings with her will inform her role in crafting successful prosecutions within an enlightened judicial system.

It is possible to believe in both vigorous prosecution and vigorous defense.
Buta Biberaj has my vote.

Rosemary Lawler, Leesburg

5 thoughts on “Letter: Rosemary Lawler, Leesburg

  • 2019-10-30 at 12:10 pm

    Besides lacking any prosecutorial experience, the main reason to NOT vote for Buterbaj is here close association with Michele Thomas, the polarizing radical pres. of the local NAACP, who calls anyone a racist who disagrees with her and throws the “Jim Crow” card out there like water. Butabij has carried the water for Thomas in her relentless pursuit of Mayor kelly Burk for voting NO to censure councilmembers for how they signed a proclamation. Thomas still wants to recall Burk and the other members. Butabij is counsel to the NAACP and was in on all the meetings and emails, so if she’s Commonwealth’s Attorney, don’t you think people like Michele Thomas will want to get her hooks into her? You want a Commonwealth’s Attorney who has no independence from pressure groups? Why would Loudoun voters support her over Nicole Wittmann, who is essentially a career civil servant prosecutor in Loudoun???? It’s insane to vote for just one party. BTW, I am voting for Democrat-endorsed John Flannery for Soil & Water Conservation Board who also knows Thomas is polarizing and incendiary.

  • 2019-10-30 at 3:35 pm

    “Personally, I believe both sides in our courtrooms are served best by those who vigorously defend our system of justice and the rights guaranteed within the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. ”

    If you really mean that Ms. Lawler, then you should not be supporting Biberaj, as she has made clear she does not support the Due Process protections in the 5th and 14th Amendments for Virginians.

    Biberaj and ALL democrats are working to eliminate these fundamental protections of our civil rights via their insane push for so-called red flag laws, and continued support of the “No Fly” list(s). Why don’t you question Biberaj and Wexton on these issues Ms. Lawler? They don’t like your rights Ms Lawler. They don’t like Due Process Ms. Lawler. And you’re still supporting them?

    I’m with Ken Reid. Everything he says is correct. Biberaj want’s to recall Mayor Burke, for some perceived slight to the radical leftist fringe.

    I’m voting for democrat John Flannery for the S&WCC as well.

  • 2019-11-01 at 4:57 am

    Chris, Ken I intend to pass the information that you are voting against the republican endorsed ticket and if you are members of the LCRC that you both are removed.

  • 2019-11-04 at 4:58 pm

    Save yourself the trouble Mr. O. I’m not a member of any political party.

  • 2019-11-04 at 10:10 pm

    I really can’t believe the lack of honest and logical thinking that is being displayed by those opposed to the candidacy of Ms. Biberaj or Ms. Thomas. I am a supporter of both and I do believe that Ms. Biberaj’s experience and understanding of the justice system makes her an ideal candidate for commonwealth attorney. Pastor Michelle Thomas has demonstrated her commitment to all the residents of Loudoun County and her voice has more credibility than those speaking against her.

    I say don’t vote for anyone or vote against someone because of someone’s else’s experience, at the local level you can do better to know more about candidates if you really care.

    I strongly commit my vote for Ms. Biberaj and Ms. Thomas and do so because I believe in their efforts to improve our justice system and to add new issues of inclusion and diversity for the Soil and Water Board. I recommend them to all voters for their ability to add value for all members of our community.

    I encourage all to make judgements for whom to vote for based on facts and not lies.

    Thank you Rosemary for sharing your position and we need more open and honest dialogue not bashing for insane political purposes.

    As an elected official, on more than one occasion I have been the target of lies and misrepresentation for political purposes, unfortunately it comes along with the territory and it does no good to challenge the attackers but instead I choose to challenge the lies.

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