After favorable posts regarding Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner, Rob Owen, and David Protess, I wanted to write a fair and balanced post regarding Lynn Switzer. Switzer is well-known to readers of this blog as the District Attorney who refuses to release the DNA that could further exonerate Hank Skinner.
There is not a lot of favorable information about Lynn Switzer available on the internet. I'll do the best I can.
The only biographical information I can find is that included in Rick Perry's announcement that Lynn Switzer will be replacing Rick Roach as DA for the 31st Judicial District.
Gov. Rick Perry today announced the appointment of Lynn Switzer of Pampa as district attorney of the 31st Judicial District. She will serve for a term until the next general election when she can opt to run for a full term. Switzer serves as assistant district attorney for the 31st judicial district [sic] and has previously served as assistant district attorney of the 51st, 119th and 106th judicial districts [sic]. Switzer is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas District and County Attorneys [sic] Association, and the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. She also is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Kiwanis Club International and Altrusa Club International.
A graduate of the College of the Southwest in Hobbs, N.M., she received a law degree from Texas Tech School of Law.
Rick Roach had been the latest in a string of loser district attorneys for the 31st Judicial District. There was of course Harold "Stock Footage" Comer who lost his job for drug related issues, and for using drug forfeiture funds as his personal piggy bank. He was rewarded with an $86,000 payment from Texas for his pathetic defense of Hank Skinner, a man he had twice prosecuted.
Comer was replaced by John Mann, who suppressed and lied about the post-conviction DNA results he thought (incorrectly) would put "a few more nails" in Hank Skinner's coffin.
Roach defeated Mann in a general election, and continued the withholding of the DNA evidence. Eleven days after being re-elected after a tough-on-drugs campaign, Roach was arrested for some combination of using, buying, selling methamphetamines within 1000 feet of a school while having 35 or so weapons at home and lying about how poor he was so that Texas would provide him free quality representation. Texas turned on him and ate one of their own. Last I read, Roach was facing life in prison. Luckily, he didn't have Harold Comer defending him or he could have ended up strapped to a gurney.
Rick Perry appointed Lynn Switzer to clean things up. Almost all the Switzer stories on the web have to do with her continued withholding of DNA material that could prove Hank Skinner innocent. The second most frequent group of stories has to do with her decision to pursue the death penalty for Levi King.
Levi King killed people in both Missouri and Texas. Missouri got to him first and sentenced him to life without possibility of parole. Lynn Switzer then not only decided to try him in Texas, she decided to pursue the death penalty. King offered to plead guilty, accept a few additional life sentences, and promise not to appeal if Switzer would take the death penalty off the table. Switzer declined.
Then Switzer lost.
One of the jurors refused to vote for death and King was sentenced to life. Unfortunately, the trial cost Gray County some $850,000, which was somewhat more than 10% of the county's budget. Residents of Gray County ended up with a tax increase, employees of Gray County ended up without a pay increase, and Lynn Switzer said she did it for the kids. "Cost of prosecution is a factor to consider, but at the end of the day, what price do you put on the life of a 14-year-old boy, an unborn child, a mother, father, son, sister?"
Switzer has a brand new blog underway. So far there is only one post, Blue Sunday (??), dated 08 April 2010. "As part of the Child Abuse Awareness project, churches are asked to acknowledge child abuse and neglect during their services on that Sunday."
In the header, her mission statement reads in part: "To insure the fair Prosecution of felony cases in an ethical manner."
I find it interesting that Lynn Switzer thinks Prosecution is a proper noun.